WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Second year Eph head coach Alice Lee welcomes back 90% of her offense both in goals and assists from last year. In Lee's debut season in 2018 the Ephs went 6-9 overall and 2-8 in NESCAC with two of the losses coming by one goal.
Back from last year's Eph team are twelve players who played in at least 13 games a year ago.
When building a team and a program it always takes time for a new coach's system and approach to be learned and implemented. Nothing beats experience in game situations for building team chemistry and trust between the players on the field.
"Last year was a success in many ways, and this year's team is excited to build on what they started. There's a really great energy on the team and I get the sense that they're truly enjoying competing together and working for each other.
Headlining the list of returnees this spring are sophomore midfielder Claire Fitzpatrick, senior attack/midfielder Emma TenBarge, and junior Kara Wollmers all of whom earned IWLCA All-Berkshire honors last season.
Fitzpatrick also earned Second Team All-NESCAC honors in 2018. She made an impression from day one and she started all fifteen games in her initial season. Fitzpatrick led the Ephs with 16 assists and secured 44 draw controls. She was second in points with 38, and third in both goals scored (22) and ground balls (29) and was second in caused turnovers with 18.
TenBarge was second on the team in goals scored with 35 and with one assist recorded 36 points. She scored on 13 of her 26 free position opportunities. She has scored at least 31 goals each year and has 102 career goals.
Wollmers led the 2018 Ephs in goals scored (38) and points (41), and after netting 27 goals as a first year she has 65 career goals,
Coach Lee will also have back experienced attackers on the offensive end in seniors Suzanna Penikis and Kallie Saudek, and sophomore Olivia Gomez. Sophomore midfielders Sophia Millay and Meghan Halloran will also significantly add to the dynamic offense. Millay in her debut season last spring tallied 16 goals and registered three assists, Saudek netted nine goals and dished out 10 assists, while Gomez scored 14 goals and assisted on eight and Halloran contributed six goals and added 11 assists.
"Our new assistant coach (Lauren Mazza) has been doing a nice job with our offensive unit, and our returners and firstt-years are combining for a balanced and potent offense."
On defense Lee will count on a core returning group, anchored by Junior Kami Cisneros in the net. Cisneros started 12 of the 15 games last year and will lead the defense alongside senior defender Korinna Garfield. Juniors Isabel Perry, Louisa Ebby and sophomore Jessie Hem will also be back after an impactful season. Sophomore Kasey Stern also returns in the back defensive line.
"We're focused on playing smart and gritty lacrosse, where we capitalize on our strengths and embrace pushing past our comfort zones to take risks. Every team has its challenges, but I believe we have some really strong pieces, and all 22 of us are working together to maximize our potential.
We're hungry and determined, and the team enjoys working together. That's a big reflection of our senior class and what they've been doing to build an inclusive team atmosphere. I think the team is buckling in and excited to see where this ride will take us."
The Ephs will open the 2019 season hosting Wesleyan University at 1:00 PM on Farley-Lamb Field on March 2.