First year Head Coach Nicole Bonvouloir looks to turn around a Bobcat women’s lacrosse program that has had back-to-back 6-8 seasons after earning post-season tournament bids in 2000 and 2001. Bonvouloir, who has been an assistant for the past two seasons, takes over the program from Eric Day, who guided Frostburg State to 38 wins in his five years as head coach.
“We simply haven’t had numbers the past couple of years, which made it hard to compete in practice,” said Bonvouloir. “This season, we have 20 girls on the roster and the talent has increased.”
“Our main goal this season is to win the games we should and make it to a post-season tournament.”
Bonvouloir will be aided in that quest with returning first-team regional All-America junior Page Macey (Linthicum, Md./North County), who has led the team in scoring the last two seasons. Macey, who had a career-high 52 goals as a freshman, scored 44 goals and added 29 assists to lead the Bobcat offensive attack last year.
“Page is the backbone of our offense,” said Bonvouloir. “She will have some added weapons this year which should only benefit her great scoring ability.”
Helping out Macey on the attack are sophomores Stefanie Ritz (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) and Kate Nicol (Mt. Airy, Md./Glenelg). Ritz was third on the team in goals (23), assists (9) and points (32) last season, while Nicol was second on the team in assists (10) and fourth with in both goals (17) and points (27).
“Stefanie has tremendous stick skills and Kate is a great passer who sees the field well,” said Bonvouloir. “Those three girls have all had a year of experience together which should help us produce more goals this season.”
Aiding the offense from the midfield will be senior Caitlin Howley (Damascus, Md./Damascus), junior transfer Angela Munro (Bel Air, Md./John Carroll), sophomore Kelley Duncan (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) and freshman Brittany Brumby (Gaithersburg, Md./Quince Orchard).
Howley led the team in groundballs (50) last season and finished sixth in goals (16) and points (23). She will be looked upon to set up the offense more this season and create turnovers in the midfield.
Duncan returns as the second-leading goal scorer (26) and point-getter (34) for an FSU squad that averaged 11 goals a game last season. She is the key person in transition for the Bobcats when they look to go from defense to offense.
Munro, a transfer from Harford Community College, and Brumby will both see a lot of playing time in the offensive midfield. Munro is a good attacker with strong game sense. Brumby has a good shot and will look to contribute more as the season progresses.
On the defensive side of the midfield are sophomores Erin Young (Newark, Del./Glasgow) and Tara Blake (Crofton, Md./Arundel) and freshman Ashley Mattison (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake).
Young, who started 12 games last season, has improved her speed and stick work this year. Blake is one of the quicker players on the team and will look to create turnovers on defense. Mattison has good speed and should battle for a starting position right away.
Providing depth in the midfield are four newcomers - sophomore Ann Long (New Market, Md./Linganore) and freshmen Holly Mariano (Glen Burnie, Md./Old Mill), Kelly Daly (Barnegat, N.J./Southern Regional) and Lindsay Welsh (Baltimore, Md./Our Lady of Mt. Carmel).
“We haven’t had depth here for a couple of years, so it is going to be nice to have girls come off of the bench and contribute to the team’s success this year,” said Bonvouloir.
Directing the defense this season along with two newcomers are a pair of returners. Senior Amanda Skilling (Church Hill, Md./Queen Anne’s County) is the most experienced returning defender as she started 11 games and grabbed 22 groundballs in 2003. Sophomore Kari Voneiff (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) saw action in 13 games last season, grabbing six groundballs.
Freshman Tina Trent (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) and junior transfer Candi Burkhardt (Baltimore, Md./Parkville) will look to step into starting roles right away. Trent is an aggressive defender who will probably guard the opposing team’s top scorer. Burkhardt, who attended Essex Community College the last two seasons, hasn’t played lacrosse in a year but her skills are returning at a rapid rate.
Another reason Bonvouloir is confident that FSU can return to the post-season is senior goalie Sarah Shockley (Fallston, Md./Fallston). Shockley, an ECAC second-team Southern All-Star last season, has started every game since the midpoint of her freshman season and has racked up some impressive numbers along the way. She has made 38 consecutive starts in net, 525 career saves and has a career save percentage of .566, including 199 saves and a .572 save percentage in 2003.
“Sarah is the anchor of our defense,” said Bonvouloir. “She provides leadership in the back and is good on the clear which really helps out the offense.”
Backing up Shockley in goal is sophomore Meghan Norris (White Hall, Md./Hereford). Norris saw action in three games last season, making six saves. Freshman Rachel Lewis (Laurel, Md./Wilde Lake) is red-shirting this season due to a knee injury but will look to compete for the starting job next season.
There are several familiar opponents for the Bobcats in 2004. FSU will take on national powers Salisbury, The College of New Jersey and St. Mary’s all of which are ranked in the IWLCA preseason top ten.
“We have to compete better this season against the top teams,” said Bonvouloir. “That is one of our main goals this year.”
Overall Bonvouloir is excited about the upcoming season.
“We are playing better as a team this season and the girls have more defined roles. Having most of the girls returning from last year, adds consistency that our program has lacked in the past.”
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303