8th- Ranked Lord Jeffs Ready for Spring Slate
Senior tri-captain Maddie Hoeg
Amherst had a competitive and winning season finishing 9-7 overall and 5-4 in the NESCAC. The season started off strong with a 10-5 win over Wesleyan, before falling to national powerhouse Salisbury University in the next game. Amherst rebounded by reeling off five straight wins, including three over NESCAC rivals Bates, Connecticut and Trinity colleges. Amherst earned the No. 6 seed in the NESCAC tournament and defeated third-seeded Wesleyan in the first round, but the season ended with a 10-8 loss to No. 4 Colby College in the semifinals. Bright spots in the season included finishing second in the NESCAC in shooting percentage (.444) and shot-on-goal percentage (.464), and third in goals allowed per game (8.31).
Amherst graduated a talented class in attackers Alyssa Briody and Dana Kuper, midfielders Lauren Dudley, Rachel Lewis and Liz Wise, and defenders Maggie Roth and Emery Sweeney. The group finished with a 51-18 record in its four years together, including three trips to the NCAA tournament and a visit to the national semifinals in 2004. Briody anchored the offense and was named First Team All-American in 2006, as well as three All-NESCAC and IWLCA All-Region teams during her career. Briody finished an amazing career at Amherst with 106 goals and 97 assists for 203 points. Dudley produced 50 goals during her career and earned NESCAC All-Academic honors in her senior year. Lewis was a steady and consistent midfielder who grabbed 99 ground balls during her great career and was named to the IWLCA All-Region Second Team during her junior year. Roth made huge contributions to the defense and was a NESCAC All-Academic honoree in her senior year, while Kuper was a constant contributor during her four years at Amherst finishing her career with 36 goals and 30 assists. Sweeney was a dynamic defender and was named First Team All-America by Inside Lacrosse during her junior year and a Third Team All-American her senior year. Wise was a top performer in many statistical categories and was named First Team IWLCA All-Region and NESCAC All-Academic in her senior year.
Returning points-leader Amy Craig
Amherst returns 14 players from last season’s roster, led by a trio of senior captains. Leading the attack is senior tri-captain Maddie Hoeg, who finished last season with 29 points for the second consecutive season. Hoeg will be joined by junior Amy Craig, who returns as the top returning scorer for Amherst. Craig had 56 points in 2007, and a team-high 53 goals, including five game-winning tallies. Junior Caki Guinee and sophomore Christina Hopkins also return to provide depth for the Jeff attack. In the midfield, Amherst returns standout junior Mary Noonan and second-year Kathleen Scheld. Noonan is a well-rounded player, as she finished last season ranked in the team’s top three in points, draw controls, ground balls and caused turnovers. Amherst fans look forward to a bright sophomore campaign from Scheld, who earned a starting spot by last season’s midpoint as a first-year. A speedy midfielder, Scheld has the ability to snatch a ground ball and take it the distance at any point of the game. Looking to break into the starting line-up this season in the midfield will be senior Kristina Green, and sophomores Hannah Walker and Tyler Tory-Murphy. Returning this season to anchor the Amherst defense is senior tri-captain Gretchen DeLuke, who stepped into a starting role last season. As a shutdown defender, DeLuke will pair with junior Catherine Calvert to form a solid foundation for the defensive unit. They will take direction from senior tri-captain, and returning goaltender, Linda McEvoy, who ranked second in the NESCAC last season with just 8.41 goals-against per game. Sophomores Natalie Singer and Yin He will both look to earn more playing time this season on defense as well.
The team opens its door to a large class of first-years this season, highlighted by a number of promising blue chippers who can expect to make an immediate impact. The 10-player class of 2011 includes four players who will look to fill the large shoes of Briody on attack. Kelley Trapp will enter the season as possibly the fastest player, and joining her on attack are classmates Liz Adamo, Jamie Cohen and Annie Morrison. Two first-years will look to crack the line-up in the midfield. They are Liz Foye and Robyn Lightner, who both come in highly regarded. Foye was named an honorable mention All-State player in Connecticut last season, and should make an immediate spark in the Amherst system. On defense, Katie Guthrie, Gigi Maturo and Lauren Gleason will all push to get into the mix this season as first-years, while Caroline Burke will start as a back-up to McEvoy in net. Overall, Amherst looks to rebound from a tough conference season last year with a fresh look. The team will benefit from speed and quickness as a unit, and hope to rise back to the national spotlight in 2008. Head Coach Chris Paradis views this season as a chance to implement some new defensive and offensive sets. Paradis also notes that the team has been working extremely hard during the off season to get ready, and that anything the team lacks in experience, they have already made up for with hard work and determination.