Feb. 17, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - A new era of Villanova women's lacrosse begins on Saturday as the Wildcats open the season Saturday at Wagner at 1:00 p.m.
First year head coach Julie Young is set to lead the Wildcats in a fresh start as they look to build a foundation for the future and become a threat in the ever competitive BIG EAST Conference.
The Wildcats were selected eighth in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll after turning in a 5-11 record last season and a 1-7 conference mark.
Senior co-captain Justine Donodeo and Maria Bowman will lead the Villanova attack. The duo brings experience to the field and poses as strong, scoring threats to the opposition. Donodeo was a second team All-BIG EAST selection in 2011. Junior Shannon Lane, sophomores Ali Judge and Katie Collopy and freshman Jackie Froccaro will also be counted on in the Villanova attack. Judge is a cutter who can be a scoring threat, while Froccaro will bring a heard shot to the field.
Junior co-captain Annie Fallon will help lead the Wildcats' in midfield. They will rely on her for leadership on the field and off. Also strong in midfield will be senior Princess Livingston, sophomore Ali Brandenburg and freshmen Hannah Goforth and Kerry Anderson.
On the defensive end senior co-captain Shawna Giust will be the vocal leader. She is strong and hard for opponents to get around. Giust will also take the draw for Villanova. Junior Sarah Moody and sophomores Amy Begay, Christine O'Reilly and Cait Yackus will also be strong defenders for the Wildcats.
There will be good competition for the goalie position. Junior Amanda Hirschfeld and sophomore Julia Todd have been playing well and could split time. Newcomer junior Dani Wiedmeier will also provide another option in goal.
"Overall we are looking to play smart, controlled lacrosse this season," Young said. "This is a season of change and a season to build a solid foundation for Villanova lacrosse. We have some new faces in new positions and we are working on confidence to get us to where we want to be. One of our goals this season is to compete for a full 60 minutes when we are on the field."
Wagner was selected ninth in the NEC Preseason Poll. The Seahawks were 4-12 a year ago and 3-6 in the Northeast Conference.