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College preview: St. Joseph’s women return 17 letterwinners and have high expectations for 2011 lacrosse season

Tuesday, 22nd February 2011

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, Posted 2/21/11
From Press Releases

The Saint Joseph’s women’s lacrosse team has high hopes in 2011 as it returns 17 letterwinners, including 10 starters. With a large group of returning veterans and a talented group of newcomers, the Hawks will look to make an appearance in the Atlantic 10 Tournament this season.

The leadership of three captains will bring an offensive and defensive balance to the team this season. Junior Jen Peters will lead the Hawks on offense, while senior Christine Readinger (Archbishop Carroll) will be the communicator on defense. Senior goalkeeper Kaitlin LaBarbera will bring a wealth of experience and provide direction to the young goalkeepers.

Although the Hawks graduated Jenna Martino, the program’s second all-time leader in goals (154) and points (192), they return their top two leading scorers from last season. Junior midfielder Grace Dinn, a 2010 Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team honoree, scored 38 goals, while Peters netted 26 goals and assisted on six. Together, the duo accounted for 51 percent of the Hawks’ offense last season.

SJU also returns junior attacker Meghan McDevitt who, despite suffering a season ending injury after playing in just three games last year, scored four goals and assisted on two. The 2009 Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team selection scored 32 goals and had six assists in her first season on Hawk Hill.

Sophomores Nora Mcguire and Gwen Nihill will look to make a bigger impact on offense this season. Seniors Ashley Scherer and Francesca Volpe also return to the attacking line this season.

Newcomers joining the attack are sophomores Kathryn Daisy and Maggie Mauer (Archbishop Carroll), along with freshmen Gillian Murphy and Jessica Nawojski (Great Valley).

Backing Dinn in the midfield are fellow juniors Alana Glanell and Julie Mineweaser (North Penn). In 2010 Glanell led the Hawks in assists with 16 and had seven goals, while Mineweaser was second in assists (8) and tallied 11 goals.

Juniors Alli MacDonald and Carly Kindbom also return to the midfield. MacDonald brings aggressive play to the midfield, as she led the Hawks in caused turnovers (13) and scooped up 29 ground balls last year, while Kindbom tallied eight caused turnovers and scored five goals.

Freshmen Michele Granger and three Academic All-Americans – Abby Ananian, Meghan Watkin (Bayard Rustin) and Val Paolucci (Springfield-Delco), also a 2010 All-American, will compete for time in the midfield.

Returning to the defense will be 2010 Atlantic 10 Second Team All-Conference selection, Elizabeth Fox. The junior defender was third on the team in ground balls (29) and fourth in caused turnovers (11) last season. Sophomore Alisha Aquilino (Abington) is the backup goalie and played a key role last year in reserve.

Behind the leadership of Readinger and Fox will be sophomores Heather Olson and Jess Phelan, while freshmen Brittany Hanrahan (North Penn), a two-time Honorable Mention All-American, and Kaitlyn McSwiggan will also look for time on defense.

The Hawks open the 2011 season with a home match versus Drexel (Feb. 23) and then play road games at Wagner (Feb. 26) and Lehigh (March 2).

The remainder of March consists of all non-conference games, including two home games versus Saint Francis (March 6) and Rutgers (March 9), and an away game at Monmouth (March 13).

The Hawks return home to face Old Dominion (March 19), travel to Delaware (March 23), and host Saint Mary’s of California (March 26) to wrap up non-conference play.

Saint Joseph’s opens Atlantic 10 play at home versus city rivals La Salle (April 1) and Temple (April 3).

The Hawks hit the road for three games against St. Bonaventure (April 8), Duquesne (April 10), and Richmond (April 15) and then return home to host George Washington (April 17) and two-time consecutive A-10 champion Massachusetts (April 23).

After appearing in the Atlantic 10 finals two seasons ago the Hawks will look to get back on their feet after a tough, injury-plagued 2010 season. With an experienced, well-rounded and athletic squad, Saint Joseph’s has the potential to get back to the A-10 tournament and return to the A-10 finals this season.



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