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March 16, 1999

PSC Women's Lacrosse to open 1999 campaign

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - An early season women's lacrosse game between Plymouth State College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, scheduled for Wednesday, Mar. 17, has been postponed due to unplayable field conditions. The game has been rescheduled for Friday, Apr. 9th (4:00 p.m.).

The cancellation moves the scheduled debut of new Panthers head coach Abby Burbank to Thursday, Apr. 1st. Burbank, who came to Plymouth State after five years as an assistant at William and Mary, replaces Wynn Hohlt, who moved on to Bates College after last season.

The Panthers are in Year Two of the New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance. PSC finished 8-1 in NEWLA games last season, and 9-7 overall, a dramatic improvement from the 3-14 mark of '97. Burbank has over a dozen returnees back this spring, including three All-Alliance Team selections.

"We've been working together since last fall," said Burbank, "and we're coming together as a team. We're looking forward to getting outside, and playing games on grass."

PSC is scheduled to have its first three games at Arold Field, Thursday (Apr. 1) vs. Eastern Connecticut, Tuesday (Apr. 6) vs. New England College, and Thursday (Apr. 8) vs. University of New England.

1999 PSC WOMEN'S LACROSSE PREVIEW

Plymouth State hopes to challenge for the title in the second year of the league. PSC tied New England College for first place in the Northern Division last spring, but got knocked out in the semi-finals of the NEWLA Tournament.

The Panthers defense should again be strong this season, with the entire 1998 unit returning. Senior co-captain Sam Guthrie (Falmouth, MA), junior Jess Shapiro (Windsor Locks, CT) and senior Phedra Hamilton (Rindge, NH) anchor the group. Guthrie is a four-year veteran, and was an All-Alliance pick last season. Coach Burbank expects to see junior Nancy Davis (Plymouth, NH), senior Andria Belanger (Billerica, MA) and junior transfer Jenn Hilbert (Hanover, NH) all to contribute to the defensive effort.

PSC has the luxury of two experienced returnees in goal in senior Brenna Matarazzo (Salem, NH) and sophomore Lisa Goldberg (Plymouth, MA). The duo shared playing time last season and maintained a .528 saves percentage, with Matarazzo earning All-Alliance honors. Both keepers are strong in the cage, and Burbank indicated both will get plenty of playing time.

Several key players return for what should be a solid midfield for the Panthers, led by sophomore Chrystn Pitt (Freeport, ME), seniors Erin Fitzgerald (Mansfield, CT) and Faith Wahlen (Hampstead, NH) and junior Renee Grasso (Billerica, MA). Pitt was one of the top freshmen in the league last season, and Fitzgerald was a National Academic Team member. Wahlen is a veteran of both the Panther lacrosse and soccer teams, and Grasso is now in her third year as a starter. Adding to the midfield effort will be sophomore Kelly Curran (Forestdale, MA) and newcomers Megan Wolfley (Maplewood, NJ) and Brooke Smith (Columbia, SC).

The Panthers lost to graduation two of the top three leading scorers, Dani Paradis and Carrie Killeen. However, the second leading scorer, Amanda Beedy (New Hampton, NH), returns to lead the attack. The junior co-captain scored 42 goals and was an All-Alliance pick last year, and should be one of the top players in the league this spring. She'll receive solid support from sophomore Courtney O'Sullivan (Kingston, NH), who scored 10 goals last season, and Ali Hoffman (Hancock, NH). Burbank says newcomers Robin Hartman (Reistertown, MD) and Cathleen Yackenchick (Greenfield, MA) could have an immediate impact on the attack.

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