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Women’s lacrosse: Johns Hopkins looks to take next step in 2013

Saturday, 2nd February 2013

Categories College, Girl's/Women's  
 

BaltimoreLacrosseNews.com, Posted 2/2/13
From Press Release

After back-to-back seasons hovering around .500, the Johns Hopkins women’s lacrosse team is looking to take the next step forward in 2013, but with just five returning starters and 12 newcomers on this year’s squad, that could prove to be quite a challenge for the Blue Jays.

“The last two years, we’ve had some real marquee wins but also some challenging losses,” said head coach Janine Tucker. “So we’re really working on being more consistent. We’re coming off a very successful fall and the graduating class that moved on from last year really opened up a lot of opportunities. We’ve moved some people around to new positions and are experimenting with putting kids in different positions looking for the strongest group that will get us the consistency that we’re looking for.”

Junior co-captain Taylor D’Amore returns to quarterback the attack.

Attack

With the graduation of Colleen McCaffrey and Candace Rossi, who combined to score more than 270 goals and 360 points, it will be offense by committee this season. This group shares the ball and they set each other up well and the coaches are looking to attack from all different points of the field this season.

Junior co-captain Taylor D’Amore is the only returning starter from last season. The Blue Jays’ leading point-scorer from last season, she has gained invaluable experience as a member of the US National Team, and will lead the attack this season for Hopkins. D’Amore notched career highs in goals (33), assists (40) and points (73) and also set a school single-season record with 74 draw controls. She earned First Team All-American Lacrosse Conference and IWLCA All-Mid-Atlantic honors last season.

Joining D’Amore on attack are senior Katie Duffey and sophomore Jen Cook. Duffey missed much of last year due to injury but is back and ready to pick up where she left off as a sophomore, when she scored 13 goals. She is an outstanding cutter and shifty off-ball player and is developing great chemistry with D’Amore. Cook, who transferred to Hopkins last fall, has demonstrated a strong skill set and has a knack for getting to the cage. A great finisher, she has added a different dimension to the Jays’ offense.

Also featuring in the offense this season are junior Lauren Burke, sophomore Jenna Kasmarik and freshmen Caroline Turco, Jenna Reifler, Maddy Aldave and Erica Matz. All six bring something different to the table. They are versatile, extremely competitive and want to contribute to the success of the team.

Kasmarik is a dynamic player with flashy stick skills and a nose for the cage. She led all rookies in scoring last year with six goals. Turco is one of the most explosive freshmen on the team and the coaching staff is experimenting with her and Aldave as midfielders. Reifler is a natural lefty and the coaches want to work her into the offense.

Senior Sammi Arbitman will quarterback the defense in 2013.

Midfield

The middies are also lending some offensive firepower this season. The Blue Jays were attack heavy in 2012, because of a young midfield but this season the middies are more seasoned and the Jays will look for more balanced scoring.

“We have a lot of speed and athleticism coming through the midfield,” Tucker said. “That group is really going to complement the skill and finesse we have on the attacking end of the field. Our midfield will be one of our strengths this year and that’s going to be a focus for us in respect to the draw control and our ride. We’re expecting them to own the middle of the field.”

Returning to anchor the midfield are seniors Courtney Schweizer and juniors Sammy Cermack and Sarah Taylor. Schweizer made the move from defense last season and scored 16 goals for the Blue Jays. She has tremendous speed and is instrumental in the ride and clearing game. Cermack, a co-captain this season, broke through for 24 goals and 11 assists in 2012, quadrupling her point total from her freshman campaign. She ranked fourth on the team in goals and third in assists, while also ranking second in ground balls (25) and third in draws (28). Taylor, who was hampered by injury last season, returns after scoring 13 goals in 16 games. She combines great size (5’11”), speed and strength in the midfield.

Sophomore Sarah Biron and freshmen Josie George and Dene’ DiMartino will complement the experienced trio. Both Biron and George are workhorses all over the field and bring a lot to the midfield. DiMartino is a dynamic player and really plays with an edge. The coaching staff will look to move her up to attack as well to take advantage of her skill set.

Defense

On defense, there are a number of seniors that are fighting to establish themselves. Returning to lead the way is senior Sammi Arbitman, who has started every game the last two seasons and will quarterback the defense. Classmate Sophia Sherry is a very aggressive, feisty in-your-face defender. She has really come into her own and has earned increased playing time throughout her career. Tucker also expects to move Schweizer down on defense some as well.

Senior Monica Fischer, who came in as a middie but played on attack the last two seasons, adds to the mix on defense this season. Because of her play in the fall and her knack for ground balls, hustle plays and making things happen, Tucker moved her to the defensive side of the field. She in strong in the clearing game and transition and brings a high level of composure to the defense.

Senior Cosette Larash will also serve as a co-captain this season.

Sophomore Octavia Williams and freshman Olivia Long will likely see time on both defense and in the midfield. Williams spent the summer playing in Australia and the coaches are seeing the fruits of that experience. She has established herself as a good matchup defender, while Long is a force on the defensive side of the field, combining tremendous speed with an aggressive style of play.

That group will be complemented by freshman Madison Khanna, who was recruited for her speed and played middie in high school, but will be on the defensive end for the Jays. She plays fearless and brings athleticism to the defense. Freshman Kirsti Paavola has really come into her own this preseason after missing the fall and has a big presence on defense.

Junior Liz Johnson will battle for playing time and brings good experience to the younger players, while classmate Kayley Henz is looking to work her way into the rotation after recovering from back-to-back knee surgeries. Sophomore Jane Sussman is a solid defender and is pushing for an increased role. Freshman Ritchie Assini is also working her way back from a knee injury and brings a tremendous work ethic and level of quickness to the practice field.

Goalie

The Blue Jays return senior co-captain Cosette Larash and sophomore KC Emerson, who split time last season. Larash started 11 games a year ago and posted a 10.57 goals against average with a .377 save percentage, while Emerson started seven games and finished with a 9.51 goals against average and a .448 save percentage.

“Cosette and KC both received significant playing time last year and really balanced each other,” noted Tucker. “They are both doing a good job this preseason and are making it very hard on the coaching staff to determine a starter. So we’re going to give it a little more time and see how it shakes out during the rest of preseason.”

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