2014 UMass Dartmouth Women’s Lacrosse Preview

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth women's lacrosse team will open its 17th varsity season at noon on Saturday, March 1, when the Corsairs host Smith College.

A LOOK BACK INTO 2013
The Corsairs are looking to build off the momentum from the 2013 season in which UMass Dartmouth recorded the most single season wins in program history (7) since 2008. The Corsairs posted an overall record of 7-9, an additional two victories from the previous campaign. UMass Dartmouth is determined to return to the Little East Women's Lacrosse Championship after missing out on the annual tournament the past two seasons.

POSITION BY POSITION

ATTACK
Sophomore Colleen Kane (Arlington, Mass.) is expected to serve as the offensive catalyst for the UMass Dartmouth attack. The native of Arlington, Mass. was the fourth Corsair in program history to earn the prestigious Little East Conference Rookie of the Year award and lone rookie to garner first-team All-Little East honors. Kane made an immediate impact in the UMass Dartmouth lineup, leading the squad in points (85), goals (63), ground balls (53) and draw controls (64). The prolific scorer registered 10 hat tricks as a rookie, including a season-high nine markers against Rhode Island College and Southern Maine.

Freshman Catrina Longo (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) is expected to utilize her explosive first step and proven goal-scoring ability to provide the Corsairs with a dynamic 1-2 scoring punch.

Freshman Taylor Hill (Braintree, Mass.) and senior Michele Winchell (Wilmington, Mass.) are vying for playing time within the attacking third of the field. Hill has excellent field vision, while Winchell provides a seasoned presence upfront.

MIDFIELD
UMass Dartmouth will utilize its midfielders to dictate the tempo of play. The Corsairs will count on their quartet of midfielders in senior Taylor Carsano (Bourne, Mass.), senior Kelly Kryzak (Jeffersonville, Vt./Lamoille Union), freshman Rachel Machado (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo), and freshman Kathryn Gibb (Georgetown, Mass.) to apply the offensive pressure. Corsano, a team captain, was one of the Corsairs' top play-makers in 2013 with 81 total points, on 59 goals and 22 assists. She represented UMD on the first-team All-Little East. Kryzak is a terrific all-around player with a smart field sense, while Gibb drives well to net and will be strong in the draw circle. Machado is an athletic player that is embracing her new offensive role in the UMD strategy.

The freshman tandem of Jessica Miles (Lynnfield, Mass.) and Sarah Mealy (Plainville, Mass./King Phillip Regional) will assume the defensive midfield responsibilities. Miles has incredible instincts to break apart the oppositions offense, while Mealy provides a physical presence on the field.

DEFENSE
Sophomore captain Sarah Kalmes (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) will anchor the UMass Dartmouth defensive unit. She will assume a new leadership role within the back line, coordinating the Corsairs' defensive game plan. Senior Vicky Wood (New Bedford, Mass.) will return to defense after seeing time on attack the past two years. Wood has strengthened her versatility and understanding of the opposing teams' attacking sets with the experience she has obtained over the past three years. Sophomore Madison Reilly (Bridgewater, Mass./Bridgewater-Raynham) will provide the UMD defense with an added dimension of speed.

GOALIE
Freshman Nicole Butts (Milford, Mass./Mount St. Charles Academy) and classmate Leah Wilkinson (Northford, Conn.) are battling for the starting spot in the Corsair cage. Butts has great instincts and is disciplined inside the net, while Wilkinson has an aggressive style and communicates well with defenders.

SCHEDULE
UMass Dartmouth will sponsor a 17-game schedule during the 2014 campaign. The Corsairs will host Smith and Mount Ida (March 6) before hitting the road for matches at Salve Regina (March 8) and Castleton State (March 15). UMass Dartmouth will enjoy some time in the Sunshine State with neutral site competitions against Clarkson and Mount Holyoke during its Spring Break trip to West Palm Beach, Fla. The Corsairs will open their Little East schedule at 4 p.m. on March 29, when UMD hosts Western Connecticut. The Corsairs have a three-game homestand in April with Fitchburg State (April 10), Eastern Connecticut (April 15), and Keene State College (April 19). UMass Dartmouth will close the season at Rhode Island College (April 23) and Southern Maine (April 26).

The top-six teams in the final Little East regular-season standings advance to the 2014 conference tournament with the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds earning a first round bye. The semifinal finals are scheduled for Friday, May 2 with the championship game being played two days later at the highest remaining seed. The 2014 Little East champion will receive automatic qualification into the NCAA Division III tournament.

TRACKING THE CORSAIRS
The UMass Dartmouth athletics department will provide a free video broadcast of all women's lacrosse home games during the 2014 season on LittleEast.tv. Fans can also access real-time statistics on the Corsair schedule and results page.