After missing the postseason in 2012 the Princeton women's
lacrosse team will use that as its biggest motivator heading into the 2013
season. Getting back on top of the Ivy League as well as being a national
contender will be built around maintaining consistency and building on success.
year, our biggest problem was with consistency," head coach Chris Sailer said. "We
had some great wins followed by backbreaking losses. Coming off such a strong
2011 season, I think we just expected we'd be really good in 2012. It was a
tough pill to swallow being left out of the postseason tournaments, but a huge
motivator heading into 2013. This year's group has learned a lot from that
experience. They understand that getting better as a team is a daily
commitment, and they have impressed me with their intensity and focus. Our
leadership has been excellent, and the team has bought in. We're betting we'll
turn some heads in 2013, as we reassert ourselves as a dominant program in the
Ivies and the nation."
The Tigers have gotten a jump start on team bonding, filling
in gaps left by the Class of 2012 and finding new leaders to guide this year's
team after an international trip in October. Princeton traveled to Malta and
England during the University's fall break.
trip to Malta and London was so great for this team," Sailer said. "To travel
abroad together and experience new cultures and sights as a team had a
profoundly positive effect on this group, cementing relationships and
cohesiveness, and creating lifelong memories. We had so much fun together on
the trip, and even now, months later, we constantly laugh and tell stories of
our adventures. In terms of team bonding, we couldn't have asked for a better
experience. On the competitive side, being able to continue our training after
fall ball and compete so well against the English national teams has given us
an edge in our preparation and our confidence as we head into preseason."
co-captain Jaci Gassaway and sophomore Erin McMunn will provide a huge 1-2
punch for the Tigers on offense. Gassaway led the team in scoring last year
with 54 points on 38 goals and 16 assists. McMunn led the team in assists with
30 and added 18 goals for 48 points. During fall ball, McMunn showed new
confidence in shooting and will be a scoring threat as well.
Sam Ellis was in double digits in scoring with 16 points on nine goals and
seven assists last season. Sailer will be counting
on her to play a major role in this year's attacking unit. Junior Mary-Kate Sivilli made eight starts and
played in all but one game. She scored
10 goals and added nine assists in 2012, and
according to Sailer, she's emerging as a big threat in 2013. Classmate Grace Bowen saw limited time in 2012
but made it count, scoring on both of her shots on goal. Another player looking
to make an impact on offense is sophomore Erika Grabbi.
There will be brand new faces on offense as well, with freshmen
Alexandra Bruno, Anya Gersoff and Stephanie Paloscio all in the mix for significant
playing time. Bruno ranked No. 3 on the Top 25 Rising
Freshman list put out by Inside Lacrosse this summer. Against the English
national teams this fall, Bruno led the rookies in scoring and was fourth
overall with six goals and one assist for seven points. Paloscio was also an
active scorer in London collecting four points. Gersoff,
a top recruit out of Colorado, is coming off of a national championship with
the Princeton field hockey team. She's
been getting more and more comfortable on the lacrosse field every day, and should
be a big contributor this spring.
The top Tiger midfield unit is talented and tested. Senior Charlotte Davis will be a leader in
organizing the unit. She was fourth on the team in scoring last year with 20 goals
and five helpers, and was solid on defense and through transition for the
the center circle is the duo of junior Sarah Lloyd and sophomore Erin Slifer.
Lloyd led the team in draws last season with 43, and was second in caused
turnovers with 13 and fourth in ground balls with 22. Lloyd was fifth on the
team in scoring with 22 points on 17 goals and five assists. Slifer was second
on the team in draws with 35, while picking up 12 ground balls. She also scored
10 goals and added seven assists for 17 points.
Other players looking for time in midfield are freshman Anna
Menke, sophomore Blake Dietrick and junior Kellie Ragg. Menke proved strong around the center circle,
winning six draws in matches against England. Dietrich, a member of the women's basketball team, won't join the squad
until her winter season is complete. She was an all-star in both sports in high
school and was recruited by Sailer, but focused only on basketball in her
The defense should be the backbone of the Tigers this year. Headlining the unit is senior co-captain
Caroline Rehfuss, who has been a starter since her freshman year. Rehfuss is playing with fire and intelligence,
and seems poised for a standout season. She was third on the
team in caused turnovers last year with 11, fifth in ground balls with 15 and
had five draw controls. Rehfuss also gets involved offensively as she scored on
her only shot of the goal of the season and assisted on three goals.
solid contributor on defense is junior Colleen Smith. A
physically strong and aggressive player, Smith appeared in every game last year
and had 12 ground balls, eight draws and five caused turnovers.
Jenna Davis, who has battled injuries nearly her entire collegiate career,
showed major talent in London. She led the team in caused turnovers with six,
while adding four grounds balls. Davis
played in just one game last year, the season opener where she suffered a
season-ending injury. Sailer may also use her at midfield, to give depth to that
Liz Cutting has asserted herself on the field this year, and should help fill
the shoes of graduated defenders Cathy Bachur and All-America Lindsey
deButts. Junior Erin Williams, who
played well this fall after seeing limited time in 2012, and freshman Liz
Bannantine, ranked No. 11 on the Inside Lacrosse Top 25 Rising Freshman list,
will battle for a starting position as well.
out the defense are sophomores Jess Nelson and Erin Curley, both of whom are
much improved from 2012, and freshmen Maddy Lynch and Tate Crosby, who is on
the mend from an injury suffered this fall.
of the biggest question marks Tiger fans had last year was who would fill the
big shoes left by All-America Erin Tochihara in goal. Freshman Annie Woehling
dispatched any concerns as soon as the season got underway. She began her
career with a career-best 2.40 goals against average at Villanova with two caused
turnovers. Woehling started in all 15 games last year and made 101 saves for a
.412 save percentage and a 9.50 GAA She is not easily intimidated as she made a
season-high 13 saves in a 9-7 win over No. 10 Virginia and had five ground
balls against the Cavaliers. Backing her up is junior
Caroline Franke who has seen time in each of the last two years. A talented goalie in her own right, Franke
should be ready when called on this season.
opens the season hosting Villanova on Feb. 23. The Tigers will host six other
opponents on the brand new Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium, including first-year
program USC on March 3. Non-conference games at home include: Johns Hopkins on
March 23 and Penn State on April 27. Ivy League teams coming to Princeton
include: Brown on March 9, Columbia on March 27 and Harvard on April 13.