Bears to Open 2007 Season on Sunday at #1 North Carolina

Feb. 21, 2007

Led by third-year head coach Keely McDonald '00, the Brown women's lacrosse team is set to begin the 2007 campaign. The Bears will have to replace three strong leaders from the class of 2006, but the new crop of captains, seniors Amie Biros and Jennifer Redd and juniors Mimi DeTolla and Ali Holland are more than ready to push the team into the upper echelon of the Ivy League.

Brown, which has the sixth-toughest schedule in the nation according to laxpower.com, will get underway this weekend when it faces top-ranked UNC. The Tar Heels opened their season with a 9-8 double overtime win over the defending national champions, Northwestern, to overtake the #1 spot in this week's polls.

The Bears will remain on the road for three straight games to open the month of march, traveling to Sacred Heart, Stony Brook, and Maryland, which was ranked sixth in the Inside Lacrosse pre-season poll.

Bruno will open a four-game home-stand with Temple on March 16th, as the Bears host four straight non-league games before opening up the 2007 Ivy slate on March 31st at Dartmouth.

According to laxpower.com, only Princeton (1), Dartmouth (2), St. Joe's (3), Northwestern (4), and Boston College (5) have a higher strength of schedule than Brown this season, as the Bears will face six opponents ranked in the IWLCA pre-season poll, including UNC (4th), Dartmouth (6th), Princeton (7th), Maryland (8th), Cornell (11th), and Penn (20th).

GOAL
Junior goalie Melissa King will lead the Bears from the back out. She is athletic, quick, and provides a great presence in the cage. King earned the starting job last year and responded with an 11.18 GAA and a .520 save percentage, while playing with an injured knee for the tail-end of the season. Newcomer Amanda Rosenberg will add depth to the goaltending tandem. With King abroad during the fall semester, Rosenberg gained a tremendous amount of experience, allowing her to adjust to the collegiate game as the only goalie on the roster for the fall season.

DEFENSE
Once again, the Bears' defense is fast, aggressive, and will be the foundation of the Brown's success. Every defender has strong one-v-one skills, as well as great vision. Senior captain Jennifer Redd will anchor the defense along with sophomores Val Sherry and Noelle DiGioia. The trio started all 16 games last season, playing nearly every minute of every game. They see the play well, react quickly to any defensive situation, and have the ability to spark Brown's transition onto attack. Junior Jen Caraberis will continue to add to the unit, while four newcomers will contribute to the defense and midfield, including Katie Matthews, Kiki Manners, Kaitlyn Giles, and Elisabeth Avallone. They will all be key in the Bears' transition game.

MIDFIELD
Though the Bears' midfield lost one of its most dynamic players in Kate Staley '06, Brown will once again be strong in the middle with several experienced returning players along with a group of talented newcomers. Sophomore Lauren Vitkus, who started all 16 games mostly defense last year, will lead the midfield. Sophomores Krystina DeLuca and Kelly Robinson, and junior Justine Lupo will look to elevate their games to the next level in helping to lead the midfield. Lupo is the Bears' most fit midfielder with quick hands and a natural ability to play team defense. Both DeLuca and Robinson played in all 16 games last season, with DeLuca starting every one of them. All three of these key midfielders are fast, aggressive and confident as Brown's midfield has the potential to be the strongest it has been in recent history. Freshmen Allie Giordano, Kara Kelly, and Kiki Manners will look to make an immediate impact in the midfield this year, along with freshman Molly McCarthy, who may also see time on the attack, and will be a legitimate scoring threat.

ATTACK
Brown's attack has several looks and numerous plays that keep the entire unit active and threatening as all eight players are aggressive yet composed, and who can all score, feed, and create motion. Junior captain Mimi DeTolla, who can also play in the midfield, will look to lead the Bears up front along with sophomore Bethany Buzzell. DeTolla had a break-through year last season, finishing third on the team with 31 points and second on the team with 26 goals. She was also a vital piece of the Bears' draw, finishing second on the team with 30 draw controls. With one of the hardest shots on the team, Buzzell utilizes her crafty dodges to score from virtually anywhere on the attacking end. A returning All-Ivy player, senior captain Amie Biros will also look to contribute up front after three strong seasons. Senior Lindsey Glennon, who returns to the team after missing last year with an injury, and sophomore Jesse Nunn will also look for big years this year. A true competitor, Glennon has come back strong with a, while Nunn is coming off an unbelievable fall season and will look to continue that drive this spring.

Juniors Mackenzie Staffier and Hillary Anderson along with junior captain Ali Holland, who has battled back from an injury, will compete for more playing time. Though they have seen limited action in their previous two seasons, they have all shown that they can be a threat. Sophomore Callie Lawrence will also be looked to contribute to the offense along with newcomer Meghan Markowski, who like McCarthy has the potential to be one of the top offensive threats.