PROVIDENCE, RI - Sixth-year head coach Keely McDonald '00 and the Brown women's lacrosse team is set to open the 2010 season this weekend when the Bears host Sacred Heart at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 27th. Live stats for the game will be available on Brownbears.com. The Bears return two of their top three scorers from a year ago and will look to improve upon last year's 7-8 record (3-4 in the Ivy League) and fourth place finish in the Ivy League. Under the leadership of senior tri-captains Bethany Buzzell (Middletown, MD), Kara Kelly (Garden City, NY) and Kiki Manners (North Potomac, MD), the Bears are playing for a top four finish in the Ancient Eight and a trip to the first-ever Ivy League Women's Lacrosse Tournament.
Sophomores Katelyn Caro (Andover, MA) and Kaela McGilloway (Sea Cliff, NY), and Buzzell will look to lead Brown's attack in 2010. Caro and McGilloway finished tied for the lead in scoring a year ago with 29 points. Caro was also second on the team with 24 goals, while McGilloway was second on the team with 13 assists. Buzzell's season was hampered by injuries, but she still finished with seven points (5g, 2a) in eight games and has come back strong and ready to provide leadership both on and off the field to what will be a young attacking unit.
In addition to that trio, other returning players who will look to contribute include sophomores Julianne Bishop (Westwood, MA), Julia Keller (Concord, MA), and Margaret Polanin (Chatham, NJ). All three spent most of last season adjusting to the collegiate game with Polanin playing in seven games. Polanin was actually called upon to take the draw for the Bears on several occasions and could again be used in that role. She posted two points (1g, 1a) a year ago and also had 11 draw controls. Bishop and Keller played in one and two games, respectively, with Bishop scoring one goal and Keller contributing one draw control and two caused turnovers as a defender last season. Newcomers Lily Ricci (Cincinnati, OH), who is expected to compete for playing time immediately, and Sasha Sassoon (London, England) join the Bears this year.
Brown's midfield returns several familiar faces, including senior Molly McCarthy (Scituate, MA), who may also see time at attack. The third-leading returning scorer from a year ago, McCarthy led Brown with 15 assists, finishing with 17 points. She also had 13 draw controls and 16 ground balls and enters her senior season ranked fifth all-time with 47 career assists. Juniors Alexa Caldwell (Middletown, DE) and Paris Waterman (Newark, DE) also provide a wealth of experience to the midfield, having started for most of the past two seasons. Caldwell finished the 2009 campaign ranked seventh on the team with 13 points, including 12 goals, while Waterman scored five goals last year. Caldwell also had 18 caused turnovers and 23 ground balls, both of which were second on the team. Waterman finished 2009 with 21 ground balls and 11 each of draw controls and caused turnovers.
Three defensive midfielders also return to the Bears this season, including three-year starters Kelly and Manners. Manners led Brown with 19 caused turnovers a year ago and enters her senior season ranked sixth all-time at Brown with 57 career caused turnovers. She also had 16 ground balls and contributed three points (1g, 2a) at the other end of the field. Kelly closed out last year with 19 ground balls and seven caused turnovers. Sophomore Nancy Baker (Upper Arlington, OH) showed promise in three games last year, before suffering a season-ending injury. She provides needed depth to the defensive midfielders and will look to contribute this year.
Newcomers Katie DeLuca (Hillsborough, NJ), Lindsay Minges (Rochester, NY), who like McCarthy may also see time at attack, Tara Rooke (Wilbraham, MA), and Kasey Wagner (Southborough, MA) will compete for playing time immediately.
Defensively, juniors Tori Conway (Upper Arlington, OH) and Krissi Penikis (Swarthmore, PA) will look to lead Brown this year along with Baker, Kelly, and Manners. Conway has been a regular at defense in each of her two seasons, while Penikis will look to contribute more after playing in a backup role during her first two seasons. In 12 games in 2009, Conway had eight ground balls and three caused turnovers, while Penikis played in six games and posted four ground balls. Junior Macie Winship (Shrewsbury, MA), who had been converted to defense form attack, has shown great promise in the offseason and could contribute immediately along with newcomer Sidney Jacobs (Blue Bell, PA).
Sophomore Isabel Harvey (Baltimore, MD) returns to anchor Brown between the pipes this season. As a freshman last year, Harvey played in 13 games and posted a 10.43 GAA with a .396 save percentage and a 6-7 record. She will be challenged by freshman Brienne Donovan (Gibsonia, PA).
Pictured: Alexa Caldwell ’11 (photo by DSPics.net)