February 21, 2014

Women's Lacrosse Opens Season At UConn on Saturday Feb. 22 At 1 PM

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Bobcats Open Season At In-State Foe UConn
The Quinnipiac University women's lacrosse team will open their 2014 season in Storrs, Conn. against in-state rival UConn on Saturday, Feb. 22.  The Bobcats went 7-9 last season and 5-4 in their final season in the NEC as they finished fifth in the conference.

Scouting The Huskies
UConn went 13-5 last season and 5-3 in the Big East. UConn was 7-0 at home and fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to UMass. The Huskies are 0-1 so far this season after dropping a close contest to No. 12 nationally ranked UMass on Feb. 15th.  Senior Lauren Kahn scored four of UConn's five goals in the 7-5 loss at home.

Schedule
The Bobcats face an ambitious schedule in 2014 as they make their debut in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. "We are challenging the team to take the next step with our non-conference schedule. If we want to improve the program, we need to play better teams. The quality of our opponents like Connecticut, Yale, Albany, Hofstra and Vermont will really force our team to get better quickly to prepare for the MAAC season. We know we have a tough road ahead, but the team is excited for the challenge. They want to prove that we can compete on a bigger stage," said Head Coach Danie Caro.

Season Outlook
"We have a lot of potential this year, but only time will tell whether we are able to put the pieces together in a way that translates into wins for us. We have more depth than we've had in several seasons, and if we can remain healthy we should challenge for a spot in the conference tournament," stated Head Coach Danie Caro. Katy Delagi '08 joins the staff for her first season on the sidelines, and will work primarily with the attack unit. "Katy has done a very nice job connecting with the team, and her experience as a former player has earned her their respect. She is beginning to put her own stamp on our offensive play and I think our attack will really flourish under her guidance. I am very fortunate to have Brittany (Hauser '10) back on staff as well. We've made some changes to our defense this spring, and Brittany has been critical in getting that unit on the same page. She and Katy work really well together, and it's been fun to watch how they have developed since their playing days."

Back In The Net
Junior goalie Samantha Tilts will join the Bobcats in the net as the goalie for her third season in 2014.  The young goalkeeper has played in 27 of 32 games in her career. She started in all 16 games last season.  After playing significant minutes during her freshman campaign Tilts had an 11.94 goals against average and .457 save percentage.  Tilts finished out the season with back to back wins and will be pushed for playing time by sophomore Rachel Massicotte.  Massicotte played in four games last season. She posted a 17.63 gaa and a 31.1 save percentage in 105 plus minutes of play.

"We are fortunate to have two goalkeepers with experience returning this year." said head coach Danie Caro. "Junior Samantha Tilts is expected to start for us and will be backed up by sophomore Rachel Massicotte. Sam has gotten a significant amount of experience the past two seasons and has really worked on improving her communication skills. She has been directing the defense well in practice and we expect her to play a significant role in our team defense."

Defense
Quinnipiac will return some familiar faces on the defensive side this season. The Bobcats will return three seniors for their final season in Hamden. "Seniors Emily Samuelman and Kelsey Maroney have been mainstays of our defensive unit the past three seasons and will anchor the unit once again. They are joined by senior Phoebe Laplante and junior Vicki Kuhn, who will both see time on defense and in the midfield, "said Head Coach Danie Caro. Kuhn, who was an all-NEC defender a year ago, is the team's top shutdown defender, usually marking the opponent's top scorer.  "Emily, Kelsey, Phoebe and Vicki are very experienced and work well together. They are athletic, fast, and disciplined, and we expect them to put some pressure on the teams we face and force them to make plays." Freshmen Carly Knowles, Audrey Samuelman, and sophomores Sara McCullough and Trinity Scanlon, will see also quality time in the defensive end. "We are playing a more aggressive style of defense this year, and it requires us to be very fit and fast. That means more people will have the chance to contribute for us. We have some younger players that we expect to contribute immediately, and we look forward to watching them develop over the course of the season," Caro said.

Midfield
The Bobcats have a deep bench in the midfield, highlighted by a trio of sophomores: Aileen Carey, Shana Maglio, and Leah Walter. "Those three are on the small side, but what they lack in size, they make up for in speed and intensity. I expect them to cause other teams some matchup problems this season," stated Head Coach Danie Caro. Junior Briana Fountain, who moved from attack to midfield last year, senior Alison Boudreau, and freshmen Danielle La Rocca and Alex Hlesciak, will also see time on the midfield. "Briana is really playing well right now. She is our most consistent midfielder. She isn't a flashy player, but she does a lot of the little things that can make a big difference in the outcome of games. Alex is expected to play a big role for us in the draw. She has good height, and is very fast, which should help us win critical possessions."

Attack
The Bobcats strength lies in the attacking unit, which features four veterans with significant experience in seniors Mickey Tinsley, Kearney Sneath, Kayla Fu, and junior Kyra Ochwat. "Kyra and Mickey are the two attackers likely to draw the attention of opposing defenses, but we expect them to be able to handle that pressure. I think Kearney and Kayla will be overlooked it bit, which means they will have the opportunity to step up. They aren't flashy players, but they possess the ball well and can finish in front of the net," said Head Coach Danie Caro. Ochwat is a returning all-NEC selection, and the Bobcats most decorated attacker. "Kyra has really matured as a player and she understands her role on the team. She is equally comfortable making a one on one move or feeding off her drive, which makes her difficult to defend." Tinsley was the team's second leading goal scorer behind Ochwat a year ago, and is expected to produce points again this year. "Mickey is a great shooter, but what makes her dangerous is her ability to lose her defender and get open at the right time. She anticipates plays and times her cuts well, and I think she will be a tough matchup for many of our opponents." Sophomore Katie DeVito and freshman Devin Kelly will challenge for playing time this season, and have done a good job learning the offensive system.

The Newcomers
Quinnipiac welcomes ten players for their first season in Hamden. The Bobcats have two newcomers on defense in freshman Carly Knowles (Garden City, N.Y.) and sophomore transfer Trinity Scanlon. Scanlon made one appearance and had a draw control at the University of New Hampshire last season.

The Bobcats add three midfielders in Danielle La Rocca (Voorhees, N.J.), Alexandra Hlesciak (Lumberton, N.J.), and Audrey Samuelman (North Andover, Mass.) Hlesciak was Team MVP her last two seasons at Rancocas Valley Regional High School. She has the second most goals in Burlington County history. Samuelman will join the team that features her older sister senior defender Emily Samuelman.

Quinnipiac will add five players to their attack in Devin Kelly (Miller Place, N. Y.), Samantha Grillo (Setauket, N.Y.) and Michele Merwin (North Haven, Conn.), Kelsey Mumford (Bow, N.H.), and Charlotte Morley (Ridgewood, N.J.) Kelly was in the top 5% of her high school class and was an Academic All-American in her senior year of high school.


Telling You The Facts
Junior Kyra Ochwat had 59 points (41 goals, 18 assists) in 16 games during her sophomore campaign. Ochwat was the highest goal scorer in the NEC at 2.93 goals per game. The junior surpassed her point total (39) in her freshman campaign after missing two games early in the season.

Oh Mickey You're So Fine!
Junior Michaela Tinsley was sensational for the Bobcats last year, recording hat tricks in 10 games - including six out of her last eight. Tinsley stood right behind Ochwat with 36 goals and five assists for 41 total points. The junior collected her 50th career goal against LIU Brooklyn on April 5. She was fifth in the NEC in scoring, averaging 2.25 goals per game.

Keep Calm and "Carey" On
Sophomore Aileen Carey scored the game-tying goal on Saturday, March 9, against Vermont in the comeback win. The goal was the first of her career after missing two games due to an illness.  Carey was seventh on the team with seven goals. She also added three assists in her freshman campaign.

No Tilting Tilts
Junior goalkeeper Samantha Tilts continued to impact the Bobcats defensive unit last season.  In her sophomore season Tilts ranked second in the NEC in save percentage (.457) and was third in saves with 143.  Tilts also ranked eighth in the nation in saves.  Tilts finished out the season strong winning the team's final two games at St. Francis Pa and at Robert Morris.

Allen Tops 100 – And The Nation's Best
Sarah Allen '13 recorded her 112th assist against Yale (2/27) to become Quinnipiac's career assists leader, surpassing Katie Latonick's ('10) career total of 111. In the 2012 season and Allen broke the program's single season assist mark (previously 44 set by Latonick in both 2009 and 2010). Allen was recognized as the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Statistical Champion in two categories; assists and assists per game. 

Comeback Kids
Quinnipiac's five-goal comeback against Vermont was the largest comeback in program history. After trailing 10-5 at the 21 minute mark, Quinnipiac scored seven of the game's final eight goals, capped off by Aileen Carey's game-tying goal with 25 seconds left, and then Maria Blois' hat-trick game winner to beat the buzzer.

Senior Affair
Seven seniors will suit up for their last season on the turf this year, Kelsey Maroney, Kayla Fu, Michaela Tinsley, Phoebe LaPlante, Emily Samuelman, Allison Boudreau, and Kearney Sneath. These seniors will look to capture the first MAAC championship for the women's lacrosse program.