In 2016, the Amherst College women's lacrosse team posted a 13-5 overall record and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Division III Championship. The 2017 version of the Purple & White returns 19 players from that squad including an experienced core of five senior captains who will look to pave the way this season.
Despite the loss of six seniors, including Rachel Passarelli '16, Christy Forrest '16 and Mia Haughton '16, who each garnered IWLCA All-American honors last season, head coach Christine Paradis and the Amherst coaching staff are excited for what the season holds.
"So far we appear very balanced." Paradis stated. "With lots of holes to fill, everyone is vying to get into the mix and this has created a strong dynamic on our squad. On any given day different players are stepping up and it's been a great preseason. As coaches we think our team has loads of potential and it will be exciting to see how it plays out as we start playing games."
"They really have a pulse on the team," Paradis explained of the leadership group. "They are well respected, and are demanding and holding everyone accountable. They lead both by example and vocally, and are finding their stride as captains."
Amherst returns the bulk of its scoring from a season ago including Wyeth, Julia Crerend '18 and Mary Grace Cronin '18 who finished with 19, 16 and 14 goals each. Kusiak also featured prominently in the scoring for the Purple & White last season notching 14 points on the strength of eight goals and six assists.
Junior Dakota Foster returns in 2017 after six appearances last season with potential both in the attacking and defensive third of the field, while a quartet of sophomore attackers, Kaitlyn Haase, Lindsey Call, Haley Henriksen, and Annie Cohen will all look to bolster the offense. They will be joined by Dani DiTommaso '20 and Caroline Shim '20, each looking to make a mark in their debut campaigns.
Cagnassola and Krueger anchor an experienced and stellar midfield in 2017. Krueger, a 2016 Second-Team All-NESCAC selection, ranked second on the team in ground balls (31) and draw controls (39), while Cagnassola was third on the team in points (32) with 23 goals and nine assists, in addition to notching a team-high 43 draw controls.
Returning to the field are Sabrina Solow '19 and Kate Burns '19, as well as junior Kelly Karczewski who came on late last season and scored nine goals and registered two assists. Joining the mix is first-year Katherine Malone who has the potential to have an immediate impact, as well as Hannah Fox '20, a member of our top-ranked basketball team.
Rijo anchors the defense having recorded eight ground balls and causing five turnovers last year. In addition, Krueger will see time in the defensive third of the field along with returner Rowena Schenck '18 – a Second Team All-NESCAC honoree in 2016 – and Shannon Tierney '19. Schenck picked up 22 ground balls and caused nine turnovers in addition to winning 13 draw controls.
Between the pipes, Kyra Gardner '18 played in two games as a sophomore and made a save, while Katie Savage '19 also saw minutes last season. They will be accompanied by rookie Talia Land '20 who will provide depth to the position.
The 2017 season begins Sunday, March 5 at NESCAC rival Bowdoin College followed by a midweek tilt with Keene State College. Amherst then opens its home slate with a conference matchup against No. 13 Bates College on March 11 before traveling to No. 5 TCNJ (March 15). The Purple & White close out the month of March with four straight home games beginning with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (March 17), Springfield College (March 21), No. 16 Hamilton College (March 25) and Babson College on March 29.
Amherst will then play four of its first five games in April on the road beginning at No. 1 Middlebury College on April 1. The Purple & White then travel to Wesleyan University (April 5) before returning home to face No. 18 Colby College on April 8. They then travel to Conn. College (April 11) and Tufts University (April 15), before hosting archrival Williams College (April 22) and No. 3 Trinity College to close out the regular season on April 26.
Not yet a member of the Friends of Amherst Women's Lacrosse for the 2016-17 year? Become a first-time member of or renew your membership in the FAA and support Coach Paradis and the women's lacrosse program. Make a gift ahead of the team's first game on Suday, March 5 at Bowdoin. Go Amherst!