Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2018 Wilkes Women’s Lacrosse Preview: Build Together

WILKES-BARRE – The Wilkes University women’s lacrosse team heads into the 2018 season looking to climb back into the Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom (MAC Freedom) postseason for the fourth time in the past six seasons.

Head coach Kammie Towey enters her 12th season and is encouraged by the drive of the returning players and the talent of the newcomers to the program. “We have a great group of student athletes this year on our team who work hard, have great talent and great team chemistry both on and off the field,” Towey said.

The Lady Colonels return their top three point-scorers from a season ago, led by senior Jessyca Held. Heading into this season Held already ranks in the top 10 in program history with 168 points (6th), 125 goals (5th), 43 assists (6th), and 157 ground balls (7th). Her 10-goal game last season against Wentworth Institute was tied for the second most goals in a single game in program history. Held was named Second Team All-MAC Freedom as a sophomore and last season was selected Honorable Mention. “She has such a skill set both offensively and defensively,” Towey commented about Held. “She has a great shot and also has great field vision and sees the open man a lot.”
Junior Kyra Boccio and senior Maura Brownsey will join Held in the midfield. Boccio finished last season with 43 goals and 13 assists while Brownsey added 21 goals and 10 assists to rank second and third on the team in points. “Kyra and Maura are both playmakers and have the versatility to assist or shoot and they make smart choices offensively,” Towey said.
Towey hopes to see the scoring spread out amongst a lot of players this year with the addition of new talent into the program. On attack, freshman Ashley Burkhardt has had a stellar preseason and is a playmaker who possesses a lot of talent according to Towey. Sophomore newcomer Kristen Jackson will be key on the draw and both offensively and defensively as she is expected to see time at attack and in the midfield this season. Returners Heather Lorincz, Gracie Franko, and Sophia Gavigan along with newcomers Sierra Duman, Paige Thomas, and Laura Singleton provide the depth to the Lady Colonels offense.
On defense, senior Kylie Bedwell will provide experience and leadership. “Kylie is a true athlete who plays through anything and really understands the game of lacrosse” Towey said. “She possesses the athleticism to make some big defensive stops against some tough offenses that we will see.” Delaney Lukowski, Danielle McCole, Kayla Gronkowski, Brianna Sailor, and Natalie Dowd make up the rest of the Wilkes defense.
Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Carlini returns after a strong freshman season. Carlini made 153 saves to already rank fourth in program history. Her 10.20 saves-per-game ranked first in the MAC Freedom. Melania Velasquez saw action in nine games last season and freshman Ashley Cadet also joins the goalkeeper unit this season.
The Lady Colonels 2018 schedule begins with 10 non-conference games starting with a home game against Immaculata University tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. at Schmidt Stadium. The seven-game MAC Freedom slate begins with a home game against FDU-Florham on April 7th and concludes at DeSales University on April 28th.

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