HAMDEN, Conn. Quinnipiac University women's lacrosse Head Coach Danie Caro has announced captains for the 2009 season. Tiffany Manzi (Feeding Hills, Mass.) and Ashley Valentine (Friendship, Md.) will serve as captains for the upcoming year, while Lyndsey Banach (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Meghan Latonick (Severna Park, Md.) will be assistant captains. Manzi was named the 2008 Northeast Conference Player of the Year after leading the Bobcats to a share of the regular season conference championship, while Valentine was named to the All-NEC Second Team.
Caro said of her decision, "These four young women are excellent leaders, and they have earned the respect and admiration of their teammates and my staff. Each of them have different strengths as leaders, and I believe they will complement each other well. We look forward to watching them rise to the challenge of guiding our team towards achieving all of the program goals we have set for this season."
Besides being named as the NEC's top player during 2008, Manzi was also honored as the Quinnipiac University Female Athlete of the Year as well as the team's MVP and Outstanding Midfielder. She led the team in goals (32), points (49), draw controls (44) and caused turnovers (30) while serving as a captain during her junior season. Manzi was also named to the All-NEC First Team after winning NEC Defensive Player of the Week and Player of the Week honors during the season.
"Tiffany has really matured as a player and a person over the past three years," Caro said. "She brings so much passion for lacrosse to the field every day, and her teammates really respond to that. She's our emotional core."
Valentine finished second on the Bobcats in goals (28), points (35), ground balls (30) and draw controls (22) in the 2008 season. During her junior campaign, she scored a goal in every game she played. Nine times she scored multiple goals, including scoring five at Wagner on Mar. 30.
"Ashley is one of the most motivated athletes I've ever coached. She is a fierce competitor and is willing to do whatever she can to help her team win," Caro said. "Her desire and drive really set the tone for our squad."
Banach scored 12 goals and recorded two assists last season in 16 games for the Bobcats. She put together a four-game goal streak from Mar. 22 through April 4, scoring eight goals against NEC opponents. Banach collected her final assist of the season in the team's 12-11 win against Mount St. Mary's in the semifinals of the NEC Tournament.
"Lyndsey really came into her own this fall," Caro explained. "She has begun to reach the potential we always thought she had, and even her teammates are seeing her with new eyes. She is a great role model for our younger players and they all look up to her."
Latonick was one of the Bobcats' top defenders during her junior season, collecting nine ground balls, eight draw controls and causing four turnovers. She added two goals and five assists for seven points en route to helping the Bobcats to an 8-2 NEC record and 10 wins for just the second time in program history. Latonick also received the Becca Main Kohli Ultimate Bobcat Award at the conclusion of the season. Caro considers Latonick one of the Bobcats' strongest vocal leaders.
"Meggie has found her voice on the field, and it's one her teammates listen to," Caro said. "She manages to say the right things at the right times, and it's going to be critical for us to have someone filling that role this spring."
The Bobcats open the season against intrastate rival UConn on Mar. 4 at 2:30 p.m. on the Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Field. Last season, the Bobcats defeated the Huskies for the first time in program history, 10-6, in Storrs, Conn.