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Women’s recruits: Penn State adds eight for Class of 2017; two from Philly

Tuesday, 25th June 2013

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, Recruiting, Posted 6/25/13
From Press Release

Penn State head lacrosse coach Missy Doherty has announced the additions of eight incoming freshmen that will represent the Class of 2017. The contingent is comprised of three defenders and midfielders, as well as one attacker and goalkeeper.

“We are extremely excited about the talent coming in next year,” said Doherty. “We have a lot of athletes who have excelled at the highest levels in high school, and we are ready for them to come and contribute for us here at Penn State.”

Penn State recruits Cat Rainone (left), Natalie Schmitt

Penn State recruits Cat Rainone (left), Natalie Schmitt

The incoming freshmen include:
– Taylor Bleistein, Defense, Bayville, N.Y.
– Megan Callaghan, Attack, Dallas, Texas
– Steph Lazo, Midfield, Stevensville, Md.
– Sarah Piazza, Defense, Bel Air, Md.
– Cat Rainone, Goalkeeper, Newtown Square, Pa./Marple Newtown
– Natalie Schmitt, Midfield, Malvern, Pa./Archbishop Carroll

– Abby Smucker, Midfield, Bel Air, Md.
– Jane Truffer, Defense, Arnold, Md.

Individual bios can be found below. The incoming freshmen hail from Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Under Doherty’s guidance, Penn State has posted three straight 10-win seasons, while this spring recording the program’s most victories since 1999. The Nittany Lions advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals for the second straight year and appeared in back-to-back NCAA championships for the first time since a three-year span from 1995-97.

In 2013, Penn State defeated its highest ranked opponent since 2007 with a 16-11 upset victory against then-No. 2 Florida. The Nittany Lions also finished a perfect 9-0 at home to complete its first undefeated home campaign since 1991. In her three seasons in Happy Valley, Doherty has coached six Nittany Lions to IWLCA All-America accolades, as well as 14 to all-conference status.

Cat Rainone
Position: Goalkeeper
Hometown: Newtown Square, Pa.
High School: Marple Newtown
Club Team: Ultimate Goal Lacrosse

Before Penn State
Four-year starter for the Marple Newtown girls’ lacrosse team … Two-time team captain (2012, 2013) … As a senior, named team’s defensive player of the year … Played club lacrosse with Ultimate Goal Lacrosse … Also played for Motion Lacrosse.

Daughter of Donna Tomlin … Has three brothers: Bobby, Jesse, James … Born Feb. 10, 1995 in Media, Pa. … Plans to major in biology/pre-medicine.

Doherty on Rainone: “Cat will add depth to the goalkeeping position, and we are extremely lucky she chose to come to Penn State.”

Natalie Schmitt
Position: Midfield
Hometown: Malvern, Pa.
High School: Archbishop John Carroll
Club Team: Phantastix Purple

Before Penn State
Helped lead Archbishop John Carroll to four straight Catholic League championships (2010-13) … As a senior, named a US Lacrosse All-American … Earned First-Team All-Catholic and All-Delco honors … In 2012, honored with US Lacrosse High School All-America, All-Delco, All-Main Line and second-Team All-Catholic laurels … Played for the Phantastix Purple club team.

Daughter of George and Anne Schmitt … Father, George, a Marple Newtown graduate, was a first-team All-America football player at Delaware (the NCAA Division I-AA runner-up in 1982) and played one season for the then-St. Louis Cardinals (1983) … Has two sisters, Hannah and Isabelle … Sister, Hannah, will enter her junior season at Loyola (Md.) in 2014 … Uncle, Tommy, and cousin, Kelly, attended Penn State … Cousin, Thomas, currently attends the University … Plans to major in business … Born March 15, 1995 in Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Doherty on Schmitt: “We first noticed Natalie as an extremely quick attacking player, but she has also emerged into a fantastic midfield defender. We are looking forward to her impact in the midfield.”

Taylor Bleistein
Position: Defense
Hometown: Bayville, N.Y.
High School: Locust Valley
Club Team: Yellow Jacket 2013 Blue

Before Penn State
Totaled 230 goals and 110 assists during six-year varsity career with Locust Valley … Three-time all-county (2011-13) and a 2010 all-conference member … Two-time US Lacrosse All-Academic member (2012, 2013) … Named team MVP as a senior … Participated in the 2012 Under Armour Underclassman Elite Stars Tournament as a member of Team Long Island … Won the 2010 US Lacrosse U-15 national championship with the Yellow Jackets … Selected to the all-tournament team … Helped lead the team to the 2011 Northern RISE and 2012 Lax for the Cure tournament championships … Served as team captain from 2006-12.

Daughter of Robert and Patricia Bleistein … Mother, Patricia, attended Penn State … Has a brother, Bobby, and a sister, Lindsay … Brother, Bobby, earned USILA All-America honors after his freshman season at Connecticut College … Sister, Lindsay, plays lacrosse for Locust Valley … Also played soccer and competed in track … Named team MVP as senior in soccer … Plans to major in international affairs … Born Nov. 24, 1995 in Manhasset, N.Y.

Doherty on Bleistein: “Watching Taylor play the last few years has been exciting. She just keeps getting better, and I think her potential here at Penn State is limitless.”

Megan Callaghan
Position: Attack
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
High School: Highland Park

Before Penn State
Four-year member of the Highland Park girls’ lacrosse team … As a senior, served as team captain … Scored 53 goals and named to the all-state team as a junior … Earned team MVP honors … Helped lead squad to a state semifinal appearance … Played for Texas at the National Tournament.

Daughter of Joseph and Mona Callaghan … Father, Joseph, played lacrosse at American and mother, Mona, played soccer at Maryland … Has one brother, Stephen, and two sisters, Brenna and Kailee … Brother, Stephen, plays for the Texas A&M club hockey team … Plans to major in special education … Born Jan. 30, 1995.

Doherty on Callaghan: “Megan is a tough, competitive attacker who has a great will to score.”

Steph Lazo
Position: Midfield
Hometown: Stevensville, Md.
High School: St. Mary’s
Club Team: Maryland United 2013 East

Before Penn State
Named to the 2013 Under Armour South All-America team … Participated in two Under Armour Underclassman Elite Stars Tournaments (2011, 2012) … Three-year member of St. Mary’s girls’ lacrosse team … Two-time team captain (2012, 2013) … As a senior, totaled 51 points (43g, 8a) … Garnered all-conference and team MVP accolades … Earned second-team all-county honors … In 2012, earned all-county first-team, all-conference, All-Met honorable mention and all-country private school laurels … Received the Coaches Award … Named the ninth-ranked junior by ESPN … Also played for Maryland United 2013 East … Participated in the Crosse Over England Tour.

Daughter of John and Sue Lazo … Mother, Sue, played basketball at Delaware … Has one sister, Dani … Also played field hockey and basketball at St. Mary’s … Helped lead the basketball team to the conference title and was named an all-county all-star as a senior … Named all-conference and to the league’s all-star team as a junior … Plans to major in kinesiology … Born Dec. 28, 1995 in Silver Spring, Md.

Doherty on Lazo: “Steph is one of the fastest players in her class and her abilities will make an impact quickly on Penn State lacrosse.”

Sarah Piazza
Position: Defense
Hometown: Bel Air, Md.
High School: C. Milton Wright
Club Team: NEMS

Before Penn State
Four-year starting defender at C. Milton Wright … Helped lead the team to four state tournaments, including the 2010 state championship game and three semifinal appearances (2011-13) … Two-time captain (2012, 2013) … Earned first-team all-county honors following sophomore, junior and senior seasons … Named team’s best defensive player in 2012 … Teammates with future Nittany Lion freshman Abby Smucker … Named to the ESPNHS Watch List in 2012 … Member of the NEMS club team from 2006-12 … Also played for Baltimore Metro Team 1 and the Under Armour Baltimore Team.

Daughter of Joseph and Robin Piazza … Has an older sister, Rachel, and a twin sister, Rebecca … Born Dec. 5, 1994.

Doherty on Piazza: “Sarah possesses so many great qualities that she can be an asset anywhere on the field.”

Abby Smucker
Position: Midfield
Hometown: Bel Air, Md.
High School: C. Milton Wright
Club Team: NEMS

Before Penn State
Four-year starting midfielder at C. Milton Wright … Two-time captain (2012, 2013) … Three-time first-team all-county selection (2011-13) … Helped lead the team to four state tournaments, including the 2010 state championship game and three semifinal appearances (2011-13), and three straight conference and regional crowns (2011-13) … Garnered All-Metro tournament team honors from 2010-13 … As a senior, earned US Lacrosse All-America honors … Named a Baltimore Sun Player to Watch … Named team MVP as a sophomore and junior … In 2012, earned second-team all-state honors and All-Metro status … Garnered US Lacrosse High School All-Academic Team laurels … Honored with second-team all-country recognition as a freshman … Played for NEMS lacrosse and captured the 2011 and 2012 club national championships … Named to the 2011 all-tournament team.

Daughter of Richard and Donna Smucker … Both parents, as well as grandfather, Richard, and aunt, Nancy, attended Penn State … Has two brothers, Marcus and Jacob … Brother, Marcus, will enter his junior year at Penn State in fall 2013 … Plans to major in biology … Born April 12, 1995.

Doherty on Smucker: “Abby is an extremely smart and athletic player whose versatility will add strength to our midfield.”

Jane Truffer
Position: Defense
Hometown: Arnold, Md.
High School: Archbishop Spalding
Club Team: Maryland United

Before Penn State
Four-year starting defender at Archbishop Spalding … Team captain as a senior … Earned US Lacrosse All-Academic honors … Helped lead school to a 10-win improvement from 2011-13 … Honored with the school’s C. Markland Kelly Award, presented to one senior male and female student-athlete for leadership, promotion of athletics within the school, scholarship, teamwork and sportsmanship … Named to the ESPNHS Watch List in 2012 … Played for the Maryland United East Team from 2010-12 … Also played with Integrity Lacrosse.

Daughter of Chris and Ann Truffer … Has one brother, Mark … Grandfather, Earl, played football at Penn State … Uncle, Peter, also attended the University … Member of Archbishop Spalding’s field hockey team … Served as team captain as a senior … Named to the NFHCA High School National Academic Squad … Earned all-county honors … Recipient of the school’s Presidential Scholarship Award … National Honor Society member … Plans to major in secondary education … Born Sept. 5, 1995 in Baltimore, Md.

Doherty on Truffer: “Jane is a tough, quick defender with great game sense who will be able to adapt quickly to the college game.”

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