Feb. 15, 2007
By Megan Cross
Special to GoHolyCross.com
The Holy Cross women's lacrosse team heads into the 2007 season looking to continue where they left off after making school history in 2006 as the first team to win the Patriot League Title. The Crusaders ended last season with a 14-7 mark and were undefeated in the league (6-0). The Crusaders have been chosen to win the Patriot League Championship again in a vote by Patriot League head coaches and sports information directors in the 2007 Women's Lacrosse Preseason Poll as announced by the league Wednesday.
"This season is going to be the toughest one yet," said head coach and 2006 Patriot League Coach of the year, Stephanie Ridolfi. "We have to improve off of last year and fix the mistakes that we made throughout the season. The girls are ready and motivated to be a threat again in the Patriot League but they also know that it will not come easy."
The Crusaders have the experience and depth to do great things again this season with 18 letterwinners returning including eight starters. The 2007 team consists of five seniors and eight juniors who have already been to the Patriot League Tournament twice in their careers here at Holy Cross.
"The seniors and juniors have had two years of Patriot League Tournament play so that experience will hopefully help us to return to the Patriot League Tournament," said Ridolfi.
Captains Patricia Sutton (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Megan Orr (Wilton, Conn.), Darcy Wolcott (Concord, N.H.) and Amy Archambault (West Hartford, Conn.) make up a significant part of the returning starters who will look to lead the team back to the Patriot League tournament this season one game at a time.
"The leadership that the veterans will bring to the field is extremely important to the success of the team and can be the deciding factor of how our season ends up," Ridolfi said.
Last year Sutton led the team as a junior with 75 points, 54 goals and 21 assists and is expected to continue with her success in her senior season. Sutton was named the 2006 Patriot League Player of the Year after leading the league in goals and ranking second in assists. She was also a Northeast Region All-American Second Team selection.
Goalkeeper Orr enters her fourth season after starting every game last year. Orr led the league in save percentage (.551) and goals against average (9.17). She faced 551 shots and recorded 238 saves. At the completion of the 2006 season, Orr was named the Patriot League Goaltender of the Year. She was also named to the Northeast Region All-American Second Team and was a First Team All-Patriot League selection.
Wolcott played in and started every game at defense last season as a junior. She played a big part in holding the Crusaders opponents to 195 goals all season as Holy Cross put away 230 goals. Wolcott had 32 groundballs and was selected to the All-Patriot League Second Team last season.
Junior Archambault will be a threat at attack after finishing her sophomore year third on the team with 35 points, scoring 30 goals and serving out five assists.
Other returning starters include senior Katie Brown (Amherst, N.H.), juniors Kristine Corkum (Ipswich, Mass.), Nikki Bolduc (Exeter, N.H.), Kelly Winslow (Wrentham, Mass.) who played in all 21 games. Brown picked up 33 groundballs at defense, Corkum was fourth on the team with 39 points (30 goals and nine assists), Bolduc was fifth on the team with 32 points (27 goals and 5 assist) and Winslow scored 12 goals and had six assists in 2006.
Senior Jenna Constantino (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), juniors Sheila Rom (Raleigh, N.C.), Kaitlin Nangle (Skaneateles, N.Y.) and Cara O'Sullivan (Duxbury (Mass.) and sophomores Calley Benoit (Concord, N.H.) and Samantha Hallowell (Duxbury, Mass.) look to play a significant part on the team after given a considerable amount of playing time last season. Constantino saw action in nine games with one start, Rom had five goals, Nangle had four, Benoit had two and Hallowell recorded her first assist from the back field.
Junior Cashel Scanlon (Bethesda, Md.) and sophomores Lisa Gagne (Groton, Mass.), Kelly Casey (Newtown, Pa.) and Kaitlyn Curley (New York City, N.Y.) came off the bench last year and will continue to give depth to the team this season.
The Crusaders welcome one of the biggest freshmen classes with nine rookies joining the 2007 squad. At attack will be Katie Gardner (Garden City, N.Y.), and Ali Baird (Wilbraham, Mass.) while Allison Donovan (Saco, ME). Laura Driessen (Albany, N.Y.) and Megan Fenton (Bridgewater, N.J.) will join the five returning midfielders. Mary Kate Finnegan (Rockville Center, N.Y.), Laurie Noreika (New Fairfield, Conn.) and Katie Riddle (Cheshire, Conn.) come in at defense and Michelle Granara (Norwell, Mass.) will be the second goalkeeper.
"The newcomers are steadily improving," Ridolfi said. "They gained a lot of great experience in the fall and some will look to be threats this year."
The Crusaders will begin their regular season schedule with three straight home games. First they will play host to Massachusetts February 21 at 4:00 p.m. followed by New Hampshire Feb. 27 at 3:00 p.m. and Harvard March 1 at 3:30 p.m. After that they will be on the road for six straight games.
Colgate was picked to finished second in the league followed by Bucknell, American, Lafayette and Lehigh.