Women's Lacrosse 2015 Preview
Feb. 2, 2015
MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University women’s lacrosse team is in the midst of its preseason preparation for the 2015 campaign, which it opens on Sunday, Feb. 8 against Johns Hopkins in Houston, Texas as the inaugural NCAA Division I women's game in the city.
In year three of competition head coach Meredith Black has the experienced roster she envisioned when 27 freshman or redshirt freshman suited up in 2013. In 2015, 25 of the 38 women are either juniors or sophomores and all 12 starters from a year ago are on the roster for the Blue and Gold.
“Our team is finally at the point where they are playing more at their age,” Black said. “Our upperclassmen now have two years of playing experience under their belts and we will have a bit more maturity on the field each and every day. With that, hopefully will come more leadership.”
The leadership begins on the defensive end where Jenaye Coleman, Elizabeth Goslee and Kayce Haverstick were all named captains for the second consecutive year. Coleman, who appeared in all 17 games last season, is in her third season as a team captain.
Also returning for her third year between the pipes is junior goalie Sarah Priem. Priem, who was named All-BIG EAST Second Team last season and saw her goals against average drop by 3.51 from 2013 to 2014. She also faced over 100 less shots from year one to year two, a reflection of the improvement of Marquette’s defense.
“Sarah Priem is such an athlete and very competitive,” said Black. “She has been able to gain experience each time she has been able to take the field. Being a goalie, a position that is mentally challenging, she has really been able to control her mentality and been able to elevate her play to the competition we have faced. She thrives off of pressure situations and she has been able to also grow as a leader. She is a great voice for us down on the defensive end.”
With the continuity the junior class has established, notoriety has followed. This past June, Goslee was invited to try out for the U.S. Women’s Lacrosse National Team as it began building a roster for the 2017 Federation of International Lacrosse Women’s World Cup in Surrey, England. The defender was one of 38 players who took on both Maryland and Syracuse on Jan. 17 and 18 as part of the 10th annual Champions Challenge in Naples, Florida.
Goslee was also recently named an Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-America Honorable Mention after causing 21 turnovers, while grabbing 24 ground balls as a sophomore.
Marquette also brings back most of its goal scoring from 2014. In year two of competition, the Golden Eagles posted 20 more assists, while committing 100 less turnovers than in 2013.
Junior Claire Costanza, who has led MU in goals and assists the past two years, accounted for almost 30 percent of Marquette’s points in 2013. She saw her offensive share drop to 22 percent in 2014, but the Golden Eagles accumulated 54 more points in year two due to the emergence of then-freshman Amanda Bochniak (22 goals, 20 assists), midfielder Hayley Baas (22 goals, 26 ground balls), and then-freshman Julianna Shearer, who notched 15 points in just seven games.
“Our attack had a good season last year and continuing to grow off the accomplishments they had last year is crucial,” Black said. “Continuing to add contributors on the attacking unit, including the midfielders is important and the midfielders becoming more of a presence is a goal in the preseason.”
A balanced attack will be key for the Golden Eagles as they ramp up their strength of schedule in 2015. By virtue of adding both Florida and Vanderbilt to the BIG EAST, Marquette will face six teams ranked in the top 20 of the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll. This includes No. 19 Johns Hopkins and No. 8 Northwestern in the month of February.
Despite the challenge, Black believes the experience gained by her players during the past two seasons has developed a culture of leadership.
“We are starting to see the seniors with a sense of urgency which comes with experience,” said Black. “It’s hard to get the proper internal motivation with a very young roster but with more upperclassmen we are starting to see that play out. That mentality shift has been a positive.”
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