Women’s lax to be hit hard by graduation
By Erika Tower, Sports Writer
Published on Wednesday, May 24, 1995
Dartmouth women's lacrosse has finally gotten the respect it deserves. Ivy League champions and NCAA semifinalists, the women of the 1995 team have achieved the success they have desired for several years. As for next year, Dartmouth can only look ahead.
One flaw in the plan, however, is that Dartmouth will lose five seniors to graduation: Wallis Cook,Jenny Edwards, Lauren Holleran, Mya Mangawang, and Kirsten Prettyman.
"Obviously the loss of five seniors is going to hit us hard," Coach Amy Patton said. "They are important not only in their athletic ability but also in their leadership on and off the field. They're irreplaceable."
All five athletes earned Ivy League recognition this year and Edwards, Holleran, and Mangawang received All-American recognition as well.
Because of this loss, the team will be young in a year when the schedule will be tougher than usual. "In order for this team to remain in the top six, you have to make the schedule a little tougher so we can get better," Patton said of her reasons for choosing a more difficult schedule.
One addition to the team's schedule will be James Madison, always ranked among the top teams in the nation.
Dartmouth will also travel to Maryland next year to face the defending national champions.
To try to pick up the slack, the team will add seven recruits and two transfers next year.
Lindsey Eichelberger, an attacker, comes from Holtan Arms School in Washington, D.C. Dartmouth's acquisition of Eichelberger is an amazing coup when one considers that her brother plays lacrosse for Princeton and that her father is a Princeton graduate.
Next is goalie Sarah Carlson from the Pingree School in Massachusetts. Patton describes Carlson as "one of the best high school goalies [in the country]."
Allison Weiner is a midfielder defender at the Rye Country Day School. "She reminds me a lot of Jenny Edwards," Patton said.
Heather McNulty, a Smithtown High School senior in New York, plays both midfield attack and defense.
"She has what we need, size and speed," Patton said. "She's something like Mya Mangawang; she has the versatility to play both attack and defense."
Weze Shorts, another Pingree senior, has the speed that will be essential to the Dartmouth attack and "a style like Sarah Devens," Patton said.
From the Friends School in New York comes Katie Catapuno, a line defender. Patton said she noticed Catapuno at first because she wore a bandana like many of the Dartmouth players.
Also, "she stuck to her player like glue and communicated with the defense very well," something not many incoming freshmen do.
Finally Liz French, a line defender from the McDonough School in Maryland, will add her skills to the team.
All the recruits played on high school all-star teams.
Along with these seven recruits, two transfer students will also join the team.
The first of these, like Eichelberger, is also being stolen from under Princeton's feet. Sarah Drake is a sophomore at Princeton this year. She did not play lacrosse for the Tigers this year but played field hockey and ice hockey during her time at Princeton.
Drake, a midfield attacker who Patton recruited two years ago, decided to attend Princeton instead of Dartmouth. "She has great speed. She's a very intense, scrappy player," Patton said.
Ginger Kreitler transfers from Middlebury to play both lacrosse and hockey. She will play attack.
"Losing five seniors last year and five seniors this year is tough. They aren't just any seniors, but All-Ivy players and All-American players," Patton said. "Luckily this year we had a good recruiting year. Once you attain a level, you want to keep it there."
One area that will lack experience is in the goal cage. Goalie Kirsten Prettyman played all but 18 minutes of every game this season. Freshman Nicole Gercke came of the bench.
Prettyman's graduation leaves almost no experience in the net.
"I can't say enough about Kirsten Prettyman," Patton said. "The year she had after being behind Kim Cohen ['94 for three years] ... She showed a lot of guts to stick with it. It really payed off this year."
However, because of Prettyman's strength in the net, Gercke saw little time between the posts and lived in Prettyman's shadow much as Prettyman lived in Cohen's shadow in previous years.
Next year, Gercke and Carlson will battle it out for the starting position in the cage. "[Gercke has] improved with leaps and bounds this year. Sarah Carlson is one of the best goalies out there," Patton said. "They have very different styles and strengths. What we're looking at is an inexperienced goalkeeper."
The goalie, however, will have four returning defenders in front of her.
Another loss for Dartmouth will be the midfield speed possessed by Edwards and Mangawang. Patton hopes that the team will be able to find that strength in both the new players and the returning upperclassmen.
"I'm looking to the returning players who didn't see a lot of playing time to step into those starting positions. With freshmen, you never know how they are going to play," Patton said.
Dartmouth will open next season facing James Madison University. That game will be the true test of how the team is doing, according to Patton.
The only thing they do know now is that James Madison will not be taking Dartmouth lightly.
"I hope that Dartmouth lacrosse will get a little more respect than in the past. We have our foot in the door," Patton said.