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The Hilbert College women’s lacrosse team opens their 2013 inaugural NCAA Division III season competing against opponents from the NEAC and AMCC conferences. Head Coach Erin Robson (Orillia, ON) is confident the roster of seventeen is set to tackle an independent thirteen-game schedule, challenging well-established programs in NY, PA and OH.
Leading Hilbert are senior captains, Maria DelMonaco (Orchard Park, NY) and Caitlyn Jacob (Derby, NY). They are both aggressive players and starters from the 2011-2012 club program and they will anchor the Hawks at the defensive end of the field.
The Hawks have two additional multi-sport, underclassmen serving as captains. Junior Robbi Bailey (Codyville, NY) is a fierce competitor who will contribute at both ends of the field as a midfielder. Sophomore Jordan Botsford (Penfield, NY), will use her athleticism to get to the net. Bailey’s endurance will prove to be an asset to the young Hawks squad while Botsford’s vocal leadership will be critical to the attack in setting up high-scoring opportunities for the Hawks.
Local Hamburg student-athletes and graduates of Frontier High School, Sarah Lorusso (sophomore) and Kristi Mergenhagen (junior) are threats on the attack and are expected to lead in goal-scoring early in the season. Both powerhouses should be considered scoring threats from anywhere in the eight-meter area. As a 2011 high school graduate, Lorusso was a pivotal player in winning the Section VI Class A title, as well as being named to the Section VI Second Team all-conference.
Rachael Bergman(East Aurora, NY), a sophomore transfer from Kent State, is anticipated to move the transition quickly from defense to attack on the fast break, as well as develop scoring opportunities around the cage. Fellow sophomores Chantelle Mikilajczak (Derby, NY) and Miquita Potts (Buffalo, NY) are predicted to spark the aggressive side of the Hawks by utilizing their speed and agility to challenge for ground balls, and cause turnovers at both ends of the field. Potts comes to Hawks as an Erie Community College transfer.
Seven freshmen make up half the roster number and they will be a force to be reckoned with over the next four years. Out-of-state recruit Olivia Tom (Sturgis, MI) joins the squad following a successful run in play-offs with the NCAA Hilbert Hawks volleyball team. Harlie Decker (Beaver Dams, NY), a versatile player, will be an asset on both low D and high attack. Her ability to create space will open up lanes on attack for fellow freshman recruit Kelly Mandell (Lockport, NY) to have strong scoring angles. Freshmen Julianne Spring (Alleghany, NY), Shannon Campbell (Avon, NY), Khadene Jarrett (Buffalo, NY), and Kanika Haggins (Buffalo, NY) will be competing for starting positions immediately and are expected to rotate in the midfield contributing with both offensive and defensive stats.
Backstopping the Hawks will be starting goaltender sophomore Meghan Stewart (Oswego, NY). During her freshman club season, she led the Hawks with saves last year. Stewart’s strength of being a sound positional goalie, combined with impressive reaction speed will be critical to the Hawks success this season.
The Hilbert College women’s lacrosse squad is anxiously waiting the spring season. The Hawks boast a talented mix of freshmen and upperclassmen and are confident the young group will be competitive for the upcoming season. They created an intense four-week fall-ball non-traditional season and since then, the Hawks have worked on their techniques individually for a quick start in March. The squad has shown continuous improvement since their fall debut and is predicted to surpass expectations as the underestimated underdog in all match ups this spring.
Hilbert opens with a road games at Keuka, Grove City (club team) and Franciscan University. Their first home game of the season is scheduled for March 23, when they host Thiel College. Cazenovia, Franciscan and Houghton make appearances in Hamburg while the Hawks travel to Alfred, Wells, Medaille, SUNYIT before they end their season at Mount Union College.
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