PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State College women's lacrosse team gets a jump on the 2000 spring season this Wednesday (Mar. 15) with a pre-spring break contest at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. (4 p.m.)
The Panthers then travel to Florida next week during the school's spring break, getting in lots of outdoor, warm weather training, compared to the confines of the indoor fieldhouse at PSC. There is one game scheduled during the trip, next Tuesday (Mar. 21) vs. Wellesley College.
Plymouth State has 13 games on the schedule after spring break, including five games at Arold Field. PSC is seeking its first New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance championship after advancing to the semi-finals in 1998 and finishing runner-up in 1999.
The home opener is slated for Saturday, Apr. 8, vs. Bridgewater State 1 p.m.). The NEWLA play-offs are the week of May 1-7.
2000 PSC Women's Lacrosse Season Outlook
After contending for the NEWLA championship the past two years, Plymouth State is hoping to capture the title in 2000, and what better time to do it with the NEWLA champion receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
PSC has won its NEWLA divisional title both years, and set a school record for victories in 1999 with a 12-5 overall record. Second-year head coach Abby Burbank returns a veteran squad in 2000, including 10 starters from last year's record-setting team and the entire offensive unit.
"We have a good group of experienced returnees," says Burbank. "They've played together for a couple of years now, and we're playing together as a team. They're all playing like they expect a successful season this spring."
The heart of the offense returns with senior co-captain Amanda Beedy (New Hampton, NH) and sophomores Janet Conner (South Freeport, Maine) and Robin Hartman (Santa Maria, Cal.). Beedy has 72 goals the past two years, and is a proven offensive threat. Conner and Hartman had two of the best offensive seasons in school history last year, ranking 1-2 on the team in scoring with 43 and 35 goals, respectively. Burbank says they will be joined by top newcomer Heather Adey (Nashua, NH)
Several other Panthers could see playing time in an attack role. Senior Allison Beaumier (Nottingham, NH), junior Ali Hoffman (Hancock, NH) and sophomore Cathleen Yackenchick (Greenfield, Mass) continue to improve with collegiate experience, and two newcomers, sophomore Marcia Wood (Sanford, Maine) and freshman Melissa Cotton (Osterville, Mass.), could also contribute.
The Panther midfield unit has several veterans who can fill roles. Senior Faith Wahlen (Hampstead, NH) is a returning starter who scored 21 goals, and junior Courtney O'Sullivan (East Kingston, NH) has been top-notch in taking draws, and is strong on ground balls. Other returnees who should see playing time include junior Chrystn Pitt (Freeport, Maine) and sophomores Brooke Smith (Columbia, SC), Megan Wolfley (Maplewood, NH) and Sacha Jackson (Sangerville, Maine).
The defense must overcome the loss of last year's captain and defensive leader Sam Guthrie, but Burbank expects a strong defensive line. Seniors Jess Shapiro (Windsor Locks, Conn.) and Jenn Hilbert (Lyme, NH) are returning starters, and backbone the unit. Newcomer Marushka Eddy (Nantucket, Mass.) could also see regular playing time.
Junior Lisa Goldberg (Newton, Mass.), who started in all 17 games last season, returns in the Panther goal. She could be challenged by freshman Lindsey Breda (Londonderry, NH), who was a standout keeper for the PSC field hockey team.
"We had an outstanding season in 1999, and with just about everyone returning," says Burbank, "we're looking for another great year in 2000. We'll concentrate on every game, but we'll have an eye on the NEWLA Championship."
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