The Lake Forest College women's lacrosse team (19-2 in 2013) is poised for another exciting and successful season. Last year the team put forth several dominating wins, and defeated a nationally ranked team for the first time in their young history (Grand Valley State). The Foresters advanced to the semifinal game at the WCLL tournament at Ohio State University, before falling to the University of Dayton, who finished ranked 10th in the final WCLA D2 Poll. The Foresters recorded their first national ranking, finishing the season ranked 17th in the nation.
The consistent strengths of this team and the large number of returning players, including three returning captains, seniors Sarah Jonathan, Emily White, and Amelia Lawrence. Jonathan, a 2012 2nd Team All-American, paces the back end of the Forester defense. White and Lawrence, both former all-conference players lead through the front end of the Forester attack. The Forester defense is anchored by two, all-conference goalkeepers in Senior Barbara Wye (2012 All-American) and Sophomore Manda Gibbs.
Additionally, the return of dominating face-off center Lindsey Jewett, who missed much of 2013, will greatly improve the squad's power on draw controls and transitions through the midfield. Jewett recorded 37 draw controls in 2012 and had 17 in 2013 in just six games.
The Foresters graduate All-American Attack Sarah Milligan and her 52 goals from 2013, and will need to find significant assistance in putting the ball in the back of the net. The Foresters do return three individuals who scored 20+ goals in 2012. WCLL Co-rookie of the year Melissa Paluch will return to the midfield. Last season Paluch recorded 43 goals and 25 assists. Senior Attack Emily White was third on the team with 57 points on 32 goals and 25 assists. Her savvy around the crease will not only allow scoring opportunities for herself, but also for others. Midfielder Erin Shamley, who led the Foresters in every defensive category, is a fantastic transition player who will look to take more shots in 2014. In 2013, Shamley scored on nearly 50% of her shots.
Sophomore Shannon Morelock will look to carve out a bigger role on the attack end for the Foresters. Playing behind Milligan, Morelock didn’t have many opportunities in 2013, but things are bright for her in 2014. First-year players Hailey Hart, and Alyssa Donovan look to add to the offensive attack as well.
The midfield will have several returners competing for more opportunities. Senior Danielle Leonardo, another returning starter, will split time between defense and the midfield. Returner Michelle Ricolcol had a great first season of lacrosse in 2013. Her keen awareness and ability to pick up ground balls was a tremendous addition for the Foresters. Juniors Sandi Fredericks and Lily Mead continue to see their game grow, and should provide great assistance in the transition game. If their aggression picks up, then their success and staying power on the field will as well.
Defensively, the Foresters will have three seniors in Maeve Connelley, Jackie Friedrich, and the aforementioned Sarah Jonathan back to control the defensive end. Sophomore Fiona Jessup looks to play a bigger role in 2014 after a successful freshman year. Transfer Allie Carter will add some immediate experience to the back-end of the Forester defense. Rookies Lauren Lyon and Shai Choc also provide great athleticism for the Foresters.
The Foresters will again be lead by Jim Catanzaro, who shared the WCLL’s First Coach of the Year Award with Oakland’s Towbey Kassa. Catanzaro has recorded a cumulative record of 38-6 as the coach of the Foresters since they started in 2011.
This season's schedule presents the greatest challenge to the program thus far. The realignment of the division, plus the added difficulty of four WCLA Division 1 games in 2014 are among several exciting schedule changes that will help energize the veteran laden team. The new West division of the WCLL contains four teams from last seasons end of the year tournament. DePaul, the University of Chicago, and St. Louis University join the Foresters with this resume. Wheaton and Augustana provide great competition each year from the West Division.
Tag(s): Lake Forest College