PLAYERS TO WATCH: Bishop Eustace graduated three terrific scorers but brings back the core of its defense, led by senior Erin Quinn, who made the all-conference first team for the second year in a row. Seniors Drew Pecora and Alexis DiGennaro also return on defense in front of senior goalie Brenna Miller. Junior midfielder Molly Monaghan, a Catholic University recruit, should be one of the focal points of the offense after recording 24 goals and 12 assists last season to earn all-conference second-team honors for the second straight year. She’ll have scoring help from senior midfielder Elise Connelly (eight goals), senior attack Madison Powell (four goals) and sophomore attack Veronika O’Donnell (eight goals). Seniors Camille Marsdale and Ashley Conklin and junior Mia Rose Voss are other experienced attackers, while a trio of sophomores who saw varsity time and will look to take on bigger roles are Lauren Johns, Kat Soanes and Sammie Sorensen. Sophomore attack Rachael Cardone is also expected to contribute.
OUTLOOK: The Crusaders went 10-9 in 2016 and lost in the South Jersey Group I quarterfinals to eventual sectional champion Shore. Look for another winning season despite the offensive firepower lost to graduation.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Camden Catholic graduated a strong senior class but is excited about its returners, particularly on the offensive end of the field. Junior attacker Saige Lyn Gidzinski has established herself as one of the top scorers in South Jersey and will lead the way again. Last year she scored 62 goals—the second straight year she hit the 60 mark—and made the all-conference first team. Junior attacker Camille Pottillo found the back of the net 36 times and made the all-conference second team, and other proven scorers include senior midfielder Erin Campbell (20 goals), sophomore midfielder Erin Wheeler (23 goals) and sophomore attacker Brynn Eilbacher (13 goals). Senior Caroline Smith, an all-conference first-teamer, is back to anchor the defense, although the Irish must replace all-South Jersey second-team goalie Khaia Barnowski.
OUTLOOK: The Irish went 17-5 and reached the South Jersey Group I semifinals, dropping a one-goal game to eventual champion Shore. They look like division title contenders this spring and hope to make another long playoff run.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior midfielder Gab Bodine gives Cherokee one of the premier scorers in the Olympic Conference and is primed for a big junior season. Last year the Butler recruit tallied 57 goals and 17 assists on her way to the all-conference first team. She is complemented by four other returners who all scored at least 14 goals: senior midfielders Gabriella Ciotti and Lilly Fox and junior attackers Samantha Patrizi and Mary Carroll, who has committed to Drexel. Defensively, the Chiefs bring back all- conference second-teamers Devon Fitzpatrick, a Kutztown recruit, and Katie Kopper, both seniors, along with junior goalie Gabby Krug. Other returners include senior defender Olivia Singer and junior midfielder Victoria Hampton.
OUTLOOK: The Chiefs rebounded from a tough 1-9 start in 2016 to finish with a 7-13 record that included a playoff win and a close loss to Lenape in the sectional quarterfinals. They hope to carry the strong finish over to this spring under new head coach Jeff Niederberger.
Cherry Hill East
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherry Hill East graduated its two leading scorers and three all-conference players, but still retains a solid core to build around. That includes one of the top goalies in the conference, senior Emily Millspaugh, a three-year starter who made the all-conference second team. The key defenders supporting Millspaugh are senior Erica Thunberg and juniors Sam Fry, Hailey Abrams and Izzy Cammisa. Offensively, senior midfielder and La Salle commit Priya Kavuru leads the way after scoring 25 goals last season. Senior attacks Haley Pawliczek (15 goals) and Devon Stevens (10 goals) are capable scorers as well. Other returners up front include juniors Elyssa Cohen and Kayla DeGuzman.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars showed progress through- out the 2016 season and hope to keep improving this spring.
Cherry Hill West
PLAYERS TO WATCH: There’s no doubt that Cherry Hill West has offensive firepower, starting with senior attacker Ashley Lechliter, who found the back of the net more than 70 times last year on her way to all-conference first-team recognition. Senior attacker Danielle Graham added 27 goals and led the team in assists, and sophomore attacker Kelsey Clauss scored 14 goals. Graham and Clauss were both all-conference second-teamers. Senior attacker Alexis Miller (eight goals) is another offensive contributor. The defense is led by Bloomsburg recruit Faith Duffy, a senior, and juniors Julia Clancy and Morgan Kyser. Senior Marissa Hawk is an experienced goalie who should take over the full-time role. Other contributors include senior attacker Reilly Donnelly and sophomore defender Gillian Peters.
OUTLOOK: Lechliter highlights a talented crop of returners that should help the Lions improve on last year’s 5-13 record.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Clearview has a talented roster led by five all-conference first-teamers, four of whom have committed to Division I college programs. At the top of the list is senior attacker Kasey Diodati, a Butler commit who scored 63 goals to earn all-South Jersey second-team hon- ors. Junior attacker Dani Paterno (53 goals), a Vermont recruit, and junior midfielder Camryn Pennypacker (31 goals), who has committed to East Carolina, are other dangerous scorers. Junior Alyssa DeAngelo, a Hofstra recruit, is a key player in the midfield and senior goalie Camryn Brogan rounds out the all-conference first-team selections. Senior attacker Victoria Ciara (38 goals) is yet another proven scorer and junior Joanna Bakey is an important piece of the defense.
OUTLOOK: The Pioneers overcame injuries to two of their best players last spring to go 14-8, win the Gloucester County Cup for the third year in a row and reach the sectional semifinals. This group has its eyes on a few more special accomplishments in 2017.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Eastern brings back a strong crop of returners, including two all-conference players and several others who will continue their careers at the next level, so there is plenty to be excited about. Senior Brittany Geis, a three-year captain who has committed to San Diego State, once again leads the defense after earning all-conference first-team honors. She’ll hold the fort in front of senior goalie Cooper Cowdin, an all-conference second-teamer and Central Connectictut State recruit. Key offensive players include junior attacker and VCU recruit Savannah Slack, an all-conference second-teamer who had 37 goals and 10 assists; senior attacker Jenna Carnival, a TCNJ commit who scored 16 goals; and senior attacker Kaela Sierra, a Stony Brook recruit who missed last season with an injury. The junior class features all-conference second-team midfielder Amanda Farnsworth and attacker Jessica Kinser (10 goals). There are also several talented sophomores who contributed as freshmen: Dani Mlkvy (13 goals, 10 assists), Tori Accardo (nine goals) and Madison Cowdin (three goals).
OUTLOOK: After gaining valuable experience last year without any seniors on the roster, the talented Vikings are poised to improve on their 5-12 record.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Gloucester Catholic is paced by a pair of all-conference second-teamers: junior attacker Liddy Sheehan and senior midfielder Julia Kohout. Sheehan led the team in scoring last year after finishing second as a freshman, and Sheehan is another proven finisher who also shines on draws. Seniors Sarah Lozuke, Morgan Hannan and Devin Morrison and junior Isabella Versace are other key returners in the midfield, and the defense includes senior leaders Olivia Driscoll, Samantha Bridge and Nicole Allison. Senior Noelle Marshall has experience in goal. Sophomore twin sisters Meghan and Caitlin Lozuke are promising newcomers.
OUTLOOK: The Rams have the potential for a few more wins this season behind the talented duo of Sheehan and Kohout. They will be directed by new head coach Alyssa Petito, a 2011 graduate of West Deptford.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Haddonfield has a ton of talent returning, including four all-conference first-teamers and six players who scored more than 20 goals. Senior attacker Katie Pileggi has been the team’s leading scorer every season of her career and joined the 100-goal club as a junior. She finished with 54 goals and 16 assists to earn all-conference first-team honors. Other members of the all-conference first team were senior midfielder Meghan Smart (28 goals, 29 assists), junior attacker Jamie McCormick (43 goals) and sophomore midfielder Ashley Campo, who burst onto the scene with 45 goals and 31 assists. The impressive sophomore class also includes attackers Gabi Connor (34 goals, 12 assists) and Caroline Beckett (21 goals); midfielder Wayden Ay (17 goals, eight assists), who has already committed to Georgetown; defender Elise Fiannaca, a James Madison recruit; and goalie Megan Maynes, who made the all-conference second team.
OUTLOOK: The Bulldawgs' 15-6 season included two playoff wins and a trip to the South Jersey Group II semifinals. They should be one of the top offensive teams in the area again and have high hopes for 2017.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kingsway graduated just two players from last year’s team and is led by three seniors who will continue their careers at the Division I level: Taylor Sweeney, Ashley Easterday and Julia Davidson. Sweeney, a midfielder headed to Sacred Heart, scored a team-high 50 goals to go with 13 assists to earn all-conference first-team honors. Easterday and Davidson, both attackers, will continue as teammates at St. Bonaventure. Easterday had 25 goals and 27 assists to make the all-conference first team, and Davidson recorded 36 goals along with nine assists. Sophomore attacker and all-conference second-teamer Payton Barr is another talented scorer who had 34 goals and 16 assists, while senior Gianna McIntyre (19 goals, 19 assists) and junior Alexa Evernham (11 goals) are key pieces of the offense as well. Senior Cami Federico, an all-conference second-teamer, is an important defender in front of returning goalie Lindsey Killian, a junior. Seniors Ashley Davis and Colleen Highland are also back on defense. Other contributors include seniors Amber Boucher and Hayley Kellar and sophomore Julia Evernham.
OUTLOOK: The Dragons made progress throughout the 2016 season and finished with a 7-9 mark. With almost the entire team back, look for them to contend for their first winning record since 2011.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: An outstanding senior class headlined by Gabby Fornia is preparing for one last memorable campaign at Lenape. Fornia, an attacker who has committed to Vanderbilt, made the all-state first team for the second year in a row as she scored 67 goals, increasing her career total to 217. She also had 64 assists and scooped up 95 ground balls. Fornia was joined on the all-South Jersey and all-conference first teams by senior midfielder Erin Donoghue, who had 42 goals and 104 ground balls. A midfield workhorse, Donoghue will continue her career at George Mason. Lenape’s third Division I recruit in the senior class is midfielder and draw specialist Carlee Braverman, who has committed to Duquesne. She had 46 goals and led the Indians with 126 ground balls to make the all-South Jersey second team and all-conference first team. Junior midfielder Lauren Figura, an all-conference second-teamer and St. Joe’s recruit, is another dangerous scorer who had 38 goals and17 assists. Junior Aliza Band is back as the starting goalie, and the important defenders in front of her include junior Caroline McKenna, sophomore Caroline Barlow and senior Delaney Stimson, who will play Division II lacrosse at Tiffin.
OUTLOOK: The Indians went 13-6 and dropped a close game to rival Shawnee in the South Jersey Group IV championship game in 2016. The seniors have been part of 54 wins, a state title and two sectional crowns during their time at Lenape, so look for them to go out with a bang this spring.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior midfielder Quinn Nicolai, the reigning South Jersey Player of the Year, is back for one final season at Moorestown before taking her talents to Penn State. She had 76 goals and 23 assists as a junior to make the all-state and all-South Jersey first teams for the second year in a row. Senior defender Nicki Dadino, a Vanderbilt recruit, made the all-South Jersey second team, and other key seniors include midfielder/defender Brittney Wright (15 goals), who is headed to Richmond; attacker Courtney Nutt, a Monmouth recruit who missed last season with a knee injury; attacker Emily Culbertson, who is headed to Holy Cross; and defender Paige Greer, who will continue her career at Catholic University. Junior attacker Kacey Knobloch is also returning from injury but has already committed to James Madison along with junior midfielder Ava Frantz (17 goals, nine assists). Other talented juniors are attacker Robin Panzarella (26 goals, nine assists, committed to Penn); midfielder Cailin Field (15 goals, committed to Notre Dame); and defender Emily Brooks (headed to Vanderbilt). Midfielder Kayla Frank (a Virginia Tech recruit) and defender Delaney Lawler are sophomores who contributed as freshmen. Other returners include junior Colette Smith and sophomore Julia Dalmass. Senior goalie Jessica Goralski transferred to Friends Central, leaving several candidates to battle for the starting job.
OUTLOOK: The Quakers had a down year—by their lofty standards—as they went 18-6 and lost in the Group III state final, ending a streak of five straight state titles. Needless to say, this group will be hungry to get back on top.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Two explosive playmakers are back to lead Moorestown Friends, including junior attacker Alexis Watson, a Rutgers recruit who had 46 goals and 20 assists last season. Sophomore attacker Meghan Roberts added 29 goals and eight assists as a rookie to earn Friends League honorable mention. Senior Camille Aguilar and junior Margaux Fox also contribute offensively, and senior Lauren Buck is an experienced goalie. Daniella Spector is another senior leader, and the junior class includes Alexis Kasper, Kayleigh Schweiker, Caroline Cook, Libby Mayer and Megan Mininno. A strong incoming freshman class will also have several players pushing for varsity positions.
OUTLOOK: The Foxes’ 6-10 season included a close loss to Bishop Eustace in the first round of the South Jersey Group I playoffs. They’re aiming to return to the postseason and contend for a winning record.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Paul VI graduated leading scorer and all-conference first-teamer Michelle Hallman, but is excited about the return of attackers Kathleen Murphy and Molly McAndrews. A senior, Murphy netted 23 goals to land on the all-conference second team, while McAndrews, a junior, had 27 goals. That duo will get help offensively from senior attackers Maggie Gardner and Alexandria Nevate and senior midfielder Abbey Shields. Senior attacker Emma Trassati will also contribute offensively after missing last season with an injury. Sophomore Taylor Metz returns in the midfield after showing potential as a rookie, and the key defenders include junior Ava Delaney and seniors Grace Jablonski and Jacqueline Knapp. Junior Molly Buechele will seek to take over as the starting goalie.
OUTLOOK: This program has been marked by improvement in recent seasons, and the Eagles hope to build on last year’s 7-12 record.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Seneca graduated five seniors, including leading scorer Danni LeSaint and top defender Sam Scarpello, but there is plenty of talent still in the fold. At the top of the list is senior midfielder Erin Kerstetter, a Wagner recruit who scored 68 goals last year—including the 100th of her career—to make the all-conference first team. Sophomore midfielder Cassidy Spilis had no trouble at all adapt- ing to varsity lacrosse, as she added 50 goals as a rookie and was named to the all-conference second team. She has already committed to Rutgers. Senior midfielder/defender Carly Samuel (16 goals) and junior attackers Abby Regn (15 goals) and Jenna Birnbohm-Kaminski are other key offensive players. The defense is paced by junior Kaitlyn Birnbohm-Kaminski, who has committed to Bryant with Jenna, her twin sister. Lindy Webb, a sophomore defender, is looking to build on a promising freshman campaign.
OUTLOOK: The Golden Eagles went 16-5 and reached the South Jersey Group III final in 2016. More success seems likely with Kerstetter and Spilis leading the charge.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Shawnee graduated four all- South Jersey players, including Liza Barr, who set a school record for points in a season last year. But senior midfielders and captains Molly Baechler and Kate McLoughlin are back to ensure the Renegades stay competitive following a special 2016 campaign. Baechler had 57 goals and 17 assists last season to earn all-South Jersey and all-conference first-team recognition. McLoughlin, who has committed to Cincinnati, scored 46 goals on her way to all-South Jersey and all-conference second-team honors. Junior attacker Erica Barr is another potent offensive weapon who scored 55 goals and made the all-conference second team. Sophomore Lauren Jobes added 12 goals as a rookie and other offensive contributors include senior Grace Caira and junior Jenna Mesisca. Shawnee suffered big losses on defense and will have to fill several starting spots, including goalie. Other starters include seniors Emma Luling and juniors Carly Clapperton and Erin Wicker.
OUTLOOK: The Renegades went 20-2, topped rival Lenape for the South Jersey Group IV championship and reached the state final last spring. They hope to contend for another sectional title this season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior attacker Deanna Balsama has been an explosive scorer since she stepped on the field as a freshman and will again spark the Washington Township offense. Last year the George Mason recruit tallied 67 goals and made the all-conference first team for the second season in a row. Senior midfielder Ilyssa Liberto (30 goals, 11 assists) made the all-conference second team and is a key player at both ends of the field. She will continue her career at Coastal Carolina. Junior Casey Shultz (22 goals, eight assists) and senior Bridget Heist (14, eight) are other proven scorers. Senior Nina Orsimarsi, another Coastal Carolina commit, leads the defense along with senior Lana Paulo, who will play college lacrosse at Bloomsburg. Junior Amelie Cozzan is also back on D and senior Alex Bruce has experience in goal. Junior Sophia Spadano and sophomore Erin Renshaw are other returners expected to contribute.
OUTLOOK: The Minutemaids reached the section- al quarterfinals and finished with an 11-7 record for their first winning season since 2012. They have the talent to make it two winning campaigns in a row.
To see all of the spring girls lacrosse schedules, click here.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 11 (January, 2016).
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