Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/30/10
From Media Guide Releases and Staff Reports
Freshman midfielder Emily Garrity (Strath Haven) is expected to make an immediate impact at North Carolina.
UNC head coach Jenny Levy said Garrity, the 2009 Phillylacrosse.com Player of the Year, “is a freshman who really impressed me in the fall, especially when we played the U.S. team.”
Garrity, who led the Panthers to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association championship game last year, is joined by sophomore defender Beth Ellis (Radnor), who played in two games last year before a season-ending injury. Ellis was the Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year in 2008 when she led the Red Raiders to a perfect 23-0 season.
Levy sat down with TarHeelBlue.com Media Guide prior to the season to preview the 2010 campaign for the Tar Heels, who are
coming off perhaps the best season in school history. The 2009 Carolina team made the fourth NCAA Final Four appearance in program history and reached the national championship game for the first time. Ten starters return from that squad to take the field in 2010. The following are excerpts from that conversation.
On the Attack:
“I am really excited about my attack this year. I think this is probably the best attack unit we have had in a really long time, probably since 2002, as far as what they can accomplish on the field. The personnel are largely the same, but those players are all a year better and more mature. Kristen Taylor is going to be our leader up front. She is really healthy and feeling good, which is great since she was sick and not able to play at full strength the last couple of years. We will rely on her as a leader because she is tough as nails and a true competitor.
“With Kristen will be Corey Donohoe and Becky Lynch. Corey has had two very solid seasons already and is poised to be even better as a junior. We moved Becky into a new position last year at the beginning of the season. We would like to see her get more aggressive at the cage, but she can play, is smart and is tough. She can score, feed and her instincts on the field are great. Kristen, Corey and Becky will be the mainstays up front and I think we will see them put up big numbers.
On the Midfield:
“We return our whole midfield from last year. Jenn Russell was a First-Team All-America last year and is one of the better young players on the U.S. team as well. She is a special player who should be a candidate for ACC and National Player of the Year. She just does it all, all over the field. She plays defense, she is a scoring threat, she can shut down the other team’s top scoring threat and she can pick up ground balls and draw controls – she really can fill out a stat sheet. Jenn is so good because she is fearless, savvy, versatile and plays at a consistently high level with good athleticism.
“With Jenn will be Kristen ‘Cookie’ Carr and Megan Bosica. Meg moved to the midfield last year for the first time in our program and had
a good year. She can do it all and is very deceptive with her speed. She causes matchup problems for our opponents because she can score at will and is extremely unselfish.
“We also want to make some room for Laura Zimmerman, who really came on strong at the end of last season and has continued to get better every single day. Laura can be a tremendous threat for us all over the field. Laura has become a tremendous player. Her quickness, toughness and competitive fire separate her on the field. Emily Garrity is a freshman who really impressed me in the fall, especially when we played the U.S. team.”
Garrity had 114 goals and 124 assists last year and scored 406 career goals.
On the Defense:
“We lost Amber Falcone to graduation, and she was such a dynamic player and will be tough shoes to fill. That being said, it is easier to replace one player than an entire unit. We do bring back the rest of our defense and we have size, speed and experience returning. Taylor Chumney will be a three-year starter for us, and her experience makes her tough. Some people might overlook Meredith Newton, but what she does on the field on such a consistent basis is very impressive.
“The presence of Taylor and Meredith allow Cookie Carr, Mia Hurrin and Katy Fitzgerald to be athletes on the field and take the ball forward when they can. Mia is our most consistent player defensively and there isn’t anything you can throw at her that she can’t handle. She wants to step up into a bigger role and mark the big-time scorers on the other team, which is encouraging. Katy is on the U.S. team for the first time as a defender and she might be our best athlete. Her size, strength and quickness are outrageous and she has continued to get better. She played a lot in big games last year, which will help her this year.”
On the Goalkeepers:
“At this point, Logan Ripley has been the best goalkeeper to come through our program even though last year was only her first year as a starter. She knows how to work hard and does it every day. The goalkeeper position is unforgiving because if you have a bad day it can be glaring. I believe that Logan’s hard work in practice created the consistency that she displayed last season during games. Not every game is perfect in the cage, of course, but I think she is the best overall goalie in the country. I have not seen a kid quicker than her in the cage and her fundamentals are very good.”
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