March 3, 2009

Women's Lacrosse Hosts UConn In Season Opener On Thursday At 2:30 P.M.

Game #1

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (0-0) vs.

University of Connecticut (0-3)

Thursday, March 5, 2009 – 2:30 p.m.

Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf – Hamden, Conn.

New Season, New Start

The Quinnipiac women's lacrosse team kicks off its 2009 season on Thursday, Mar. 5, when it hosts UConn. The game, originally scheduled for Wednesday, Mar. 4, marks the first contest of the season for the Bobcats, who are coming off of a share of the 2008 Northeast Conference Regular Season Championship. Quinnipiac was predicted to finish first in the 2009 NEC Preseason Coaches' Poll after earning the No. 1 seed and finishing as conference runners-up last year. Returning for the Bobcats will be the 2008 NEC Player of the Year Tiffany Manzi (Feeding Hills, Mass.) and last year's NEC Defensive Player of the Year junior goalkeeper Hannah Nelson (Glastonbury, Conn.).

Scouting the Huskies

UConn lost its first three games of the 2009 season. The Huskies opened the year with a 14-11 loss to Vermont on Feb. 21 and followed by dropping games at Hofstra, 12-8, and Fairfield, 17-10. M.E. Lapham and Whitney Michele lead the Huskies this season. Lapham scored two goals in the season-opening loss to the Catamounts, while Michele had a hat trick. The Bobcats and Huskies met on Mar. 4 last season with Quinnipiac winning 10-6. The Bobcats' victory was the first in nine all-time meetings between the two teams.

On Air

The game can be seen as part of the Bobcat Channel's live video stream. The game can also be heard on WQAQ's webstream. Justin Cohen will provide-play-by-play, while Corey Hersch will add color commentary.

Captains

Seniors Manzi and Ashley Valentine (Friendship, Md.) will serve as this season's captains. Manzi led the Bobcats last season with 49 points (37 goals, 12 assists), while Valentine was second on the team with 41 points (33 goals, 8 assists). Senior Meghan Latonick (Severna Park, Md.) and junior Lyndsey Banach (Syracuse, N.Y.) will serve as assistant captains in 2009.

Returning Players

Quinnipiac will return nine starters from last season. Manzi, Valentine, Banach and Latonick will all be returning for the 2009 season as will sophomores Lauren Matuszczak (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and Kaitlyn Kelly (Sudbury, Mass.), juniors Kelly Bruneau (Cheshire, Conn.)and Brittany Hauser (East Northport, N.Y.), and seniors Nicole Fiore (Monroe, Conn.) and Erin Coffey (Huntington, N.Y.).

New Faces

Head Coach Danie Caro has added six freshmen to this year's squad. Devon Gibney (Hopkinton, Mass.), Marissa Caroleo (North Babylon, N.Y.), Kim Davis (Darien, Mass.), Jane Moldovan (Shoreham, N.Y.), goalkeeper Noelle Martello (Westbury, N.Y.) and Kelley McDonough (Mahopac, N.Y.) will all be joining the Bobcats for the upcoming season. Junior Kaitlyn Vennard (Albany, N.Y.) and sophomore Stephanie Tourto (Kings Park, N.Y.) will also be back with the Bobcats after sitting out last season.

Who's Gone?

Quinnipiac lost only two seniors from last year's team. Katy Delagi and Jamie Zeitler graduated following a senior season that saw both players add major contributions to the team's run to the conference championship game. Delagi was fourth on the team in scoring with 34 points (22 goals, 12 assists), while Zeitler was a member of the All-NEC First Team. Both players were named to the NEC's All-Tournament team as well.

Banner Year

Last season, the Bobcats were honored with three of the four major NEC awards. Manzi was chosen the league's top player, while Nelson was tabbed as the best defensive player in the NEC over the course of the season. Caro was named the Coach of the Year after guiding the Bobcats to their best conference record mark and a share of the first regular-season title in program history. Manzi, Nelson and Zeitler were honored as members of the All-NEC First Team, while Valentine and Brittany Hauser (East Northport, N.Y.) were honored as members of the conference's Second Team.

Coaching Staff

Joining Caro on the sidelines this season will be Kate Backman and Meaghan Fitzpatrick. Backman enters her first year as an assistant coach with the Bobcats, while Fitzpatrick returns for her second season as a volunteer assistant coach. Backman previously served as an assistant coach with the University of New Haven in 2007 and Central Connecticut in 2006. Backman graduated from CCSU in 2005 after a four-year playing career with the Blue Devils.

Friends Of Jaclyn

At the game, the women's lacrosse team is asking spectators to consider donations to the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation upon entry to the turf complex. Quinnipiac will also wear Friends of Jaclyn t-shirts during warm-ups with profits from purchasing the t-shirts to go directly to the organization. Friends of Jaclyn is a non-profit organization geared towards improving the lives of children and their families affected by pediatric brain tumors. Each member of the Bobcats as well as the coaching will be making personal donations to the charitable fund.