Natalie Williford is a 5-6 midfielder from Woodside, Calif., where she attends Menlo High School and plays for the Bay Area Wave club team. Natalie is a two-sport standout in both lacrosse and tennis. In 2008, Williford was honored with the MVP on the JV squad at Menlo. Her numerous tennis honors include second-team all-league in 2008, Most Improved Player in both 2006 and 2008, Coaches Award in 2006 as well as 2007, a second-place finish in the PAL in 2007 and a ranking in the USTA NorCal Girl’s 18-under division.
Davidson women’s lacrosse coach Kim Wayne has announced her recruiting class as the Wildcats will welcome six newcomers to the Class of 2014 for next year.
The incoming class will feature Natalie Williford, Rebecca Garman, Ann Fucigna, Erin Doherty, Paige Logan and Elizabeth Edwards. They come from the states of California, Connecticut, Maryland, New York and Ohio.
“We are extremely excited to welcome these six student-athletes to the Wildcat lacrosse program,” said Wayne, who is entering her second season. “All six players bring a tremendous amount of talent, hustle, speed and heart to the team.”
Williford is a 5-6 midfielder from Woodside, Calif., where she attends Menlo High School and plays for the Bay Area Wave club team. Natalie is a two-sport standout in both lacrosse and tennis. In 2008, Williford was honored with the MVP on the JV squad at Menlo. Her numerous tennis honors include second-team all-league in 2008, Most Improved Player in both 2006 and 2008, Coaches Award in 2006 as well as 2007, a second-place finish in the PAL in 2007 and a ranking in the USTA NorCal Girl’s 18-under division.
A 5-8 defender, Garman will come to Davidson next year from Catonsville, Md. Garman is a two-sport athlete at Catonsville High School, competing in both lacrosse and soccer. She has been a two-time Baltimore County All-Academic Team member in 2008 and 2009 in lacrosse. A three-year starter, Garman was part of a team that won the regional championship her sophomore year and competed in the state finals. Then in 2007, she helped Catonsville to another regional championship title and earn state finalist honors.
As part of the soccer team, she has been a Baltimore County All-Star and guided the 2009 team to a ranking of 12th in the Baltimore metro region. This past season, Garman was apart of the school’s first Baltimore County Champion team and a regional finalist.
Fucigna is from Darien, Conn., the home of current Wildcat Haley Cook. A 5-4 lefty attacker, Fucigna plays for the CT Chargers club team. She is a three-sport athlete at Darien High School, playing lacrosse, basketball and soccer. As a junior in 2009, Fucigna was named the FCIAC Lacrosse Championship MVP in guiding Darien to its third state championship title. She also has been apart of two FCIAC Championships as a freshman and as a junior last season. An MVP as a sophomore on the JV soccer team, Fucigna helped the team win the FCIAC conference regular-season title as a junior in 2008.
Two incoming freshman come from Cincinnati, Ohio, in Doherty and Edwards. A 5-7 attacker, Doherty was the third-leading scorer at Sycamore this past season and earned all-district honorable mention. She helped guide Sycamore to its second state title in 2009 and was selected for the Ohio Team One for the Lacrosse National Tournament. Doherty has also played soccer and water polo, garnering Unsung Hero Award honors in 2006-07 in soccer, and a team MVP and Second-Team All-State in water polo in 2009. Doherty has also excelled in the classroom, garnering National Honors Society three years and GMC All-Academic Award twice in 2008 and 2009.
Edwards is a 5-6 midfielder at Summit Country Day School and plays for the Midwestern Force club team. A two-time varsity captain, Edwards has totaled 121 points on 85 goals and 36 assists during her three years and holds the school’s career record in groundballs with 201. She is a two-time OSLA All-Region pick and was named to the OSLA All-Tournament Team as a freshman. Edwards has also participated in soccer, earning all-conference first team honors three times (2007, ‘08, ‘09). She has been an All-SW Academic and All State Academic honoree three times, while being a National Honor Society member and an AP Scholar with Distinctions (2009).
Davidson’s final member of 2014 Class is Paige Logan, who is a 5-4 defender/midfielder from Garden City, N.Y. She is a member of the lacrosse team for Garden City High School and plays for the Liberty Lacrosse club team.
The Wildcats open up their 2010 season with a home game against Limestone, Feb. 13, at 2 p.m.
It’s two adjacent rectangles of Bermuda grass (one for practices, one for games), lined only for women’s lacrosse and flanked by stands for 1,500 fans. Inside the clubhouse, the equipment room resembles a Nike store. The number of flat screen televisions in the locker rooms would put a midlevel rappers’ “Cribs” episode to shame.
The field is one of the most tangible signs of gobs of money Florida has thrown at its women’s lacrosse program.
Another is 29 players on the practice field, working on how to ride a clear. It has been rated the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, built by two years of legwork by head coach and Hall of Famer Mandee O’Leary.
They’ve all come to Gainesville for one reason.
“They bought into the dream. They bought into the fact that they want to win national championships,” says O’Leary.
The newly planted palm trees by the entrance of Florida’s field will take about 15 years to mature.
How soon will the Gators’ lacrosse team do the same?
Lacrosse fans making the trip this month to the Champion Challenge in Orlando may enjoy a relaxing visit to Disney World and a respite from winter’s grip, but the U.S. teams don’t see relaxation on their travel itinerary. There’s too much work to be done.
Lifestyles: David Slomkowski
Who says goalies can’t run? Not David Slomkowski, a former first team All-American keeper at Washington College who founded Athletes Serving Athletes, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping physically challenged kids compete in marathons and triathlons with adult mentors. He slowed down to talk about it with LM.
LM’s Question of the Month: Lax is _________ (fill in the blank).
We kept it simple this month. No gimmicks, no boundaries and no strings attached. What does lacrosse mean to you? LM’s readers responded in force.
|Virginia stars Rhamel (in red) and Shamel Bratton typically get the run of Adam Ghitelman’s pad, so we joined ‘em.© Matt Riley|
Rhamel and Shamel Bratton
Junior midfielders Rhamel and Shamel Bratton live together a stone’s throw from the University of Virginia’s historica Rotunda and Academic Village, but they spend all their free time at goalie Adam Ghitelman’s pad. They kicked it with LM in their home away from home.
Lessons from Signing Day
November say the first signing period for high school seniors bound for NCAA Divisions I and II colleges, an effective, “whew, glad that’s over” to a sometimes topsy-turvy recruiting road. Not long before that, September began the initial communication period for juniors, when they began receiving information from college coaches about playing at the next level. As the recruiting cycle takes another spin, LM surveyed the scene for some lessons from Signing Day.
LM’s 2010 vision sees plenty of storylines and personalities making headlines this year. As the season gets underway, here are 10 to watch.
Old, Bald & Underrated
Unheralded defensive midfielder Chris Schiller’s tenacity earned him a spot on the 2010 U.S. team. For the 32-year-old Schiller, who considered himself a long shot, Nov. 1 was one of the most agonizing days of his life.
Take a peak at the players we think will position their teams for greatness in 2010, and make a name for themselves in the process. Click here for the rankings.
Division I Men: Ned Crotty, Duke
Ned Crotty seldom warrants a second look with his pedestrian 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame. But oh, the places he’ll go with it.
Division I Women: Caitlyn McFadden, Maryland
Maryland’s Caitlyn McFadden had a great junior season in 2009. But LM’s Preseason Player of the Year is looking for something more in her senior year.
Division II Men: Drew Bezek, Le Moyne
|Le Moyne’s Drew Bezek is the only defender among LM’s Preseason Players of the Year. Yeah, he’s that good.© Greg Wall|
Drew Bezek will be the first to tell you that he’s the most boring defenseman you’ll ever see play. He’s not flashy, he doesn’t put up crazy statistics and he doesn’t pour out emotions that would make for good TV. But none of that is what made him one of the most respected players in Division II.
Division II Women: Kaitlyn Carter, Adelphi
Adelphi coach Joe Spallina can’t say enough nice things about center Kaitlyn Carter — but he gives it a pretty good effort anyhow. “She’s everything a coach could possibly want,” Spallina gushes.
Division III Men: Steve Kazimer, Stevenson
Steve Kazimer has virtually the complete package. Great finisher. Good vision. Pinpoint passer. The only chink in his armor? An extremely short fuse.
Division III Women: Kate Robinson, Catholic
There’s only one thing that could possibly slow down the final year of Kate Robinson’s prolific lacrosse career at The Catholic University of America. Basketball.
MCLA Division I Men: Eliot Grow, BYU
Eliot Grow has taken an unusual path to this LM’s Preseason Player of the Year award.
MCLA Division II Men: Joe Costello, St. Thomas
In his heart of hearts, Joe Costello knew his return to the University of St. Thomas was the right one.
WDIA: Krista Shaw, Santa Clara
“Win everything.” Krista Shaw doesn’t mess around when she talks about her team’s goals for the 2010 season.
NJCAA Men: Emmett Printup, Onondaga
Two years ago, Onondaga Community College coach Chuck Wilbur was recruiting at a local tournament when he saw a stocky left-handed attackman unleash a blistering shot that hit the crossbar so hard it landed at midfield. He had seen this shot before.
NJCAA Women: Lauren Welch, Onondaga
Three years ago, the West Genesee (N.Y.) girls’ lacrosse team came up with a catchy phrase to describe squandering an easy scoring opportunity: “Welch’n it.” My, how things have changed for Lauren Welch.
Sunshine State of Mind
|Casey Powell’s all in, leading the Titans’ migration south.|
The National Lacrosse League failed in untapped, warm-weather markets like Anaheim, Phoenix and San Jose. That trend could change in Central Florida with the new Orlando Titans.
Prout Ages Out of Colorado
One of the biggest offseason trades involved Gavin Prout, the all-time leading scorer and captain no longer with the Colorado Mammoth.
Stars Align for K-Hawks
Rochester is expected to make the greatest improvement among NLL teams due to the returns of superstar John Grant Jr. and 44-goal scorer Scott Evans. Both missed the 2009 season due to knee surgery.
LM’s Theresa Smith breaks down all 11 NLL teams and their prospects for the 2010 season.
US Lacrosse: USLaxTeams.com
Lacrosse program administrators have finally found solace for their operational woes in USLaxTeams.com, a new league management system developed by US Lacrosse in conjunction with LeagueAthletics.com.
Women’s College: Uhlfelders’ Back
She has a playing and coaching resume rivaling anyone at any level of the women’s lacrosse world, but Michele Uhlfelder will work at Division III Occidental College in Los Angeles this spring.
Your Game: Rules of Engagement
It’s lacrosse’s version of King of the Mountain. You snap the buckles on your helmet, step out behind the crease, turn towards the endline and face the ball carrier. it’s you and him, one-on-one. You’re the only line of defense between him and pay dirt. It’s time to impose your will. Here’s how, courtesy of Joe Cinosky.
Your Game: Crash the Free Position Party
Frankin and Marshall women’s lacrosse coach Lauren Paul provides an often-used, but seldom spoken of nugget in spoiling 8-meter opportunities: the free-position push.
Your Body: This, That and the Other
One of the biggest misconceptions is that speed, agility and conditioning are the same. They are not. Learn how to work all three elements at once.
Your Playbook: The Value of Players Asking Questions
One of the best ways to teach your players life lessons while striving to win is to get them to ask questions, writes PCA’s David Jacobson.
Your Style: Two-Faced
Stylin’ Strings whips up a goalie head, when a few imperfections revealed the uniqueness of custom dye jobs.
Amy Bokker, Stanford and Team USA
Check out LM’s Q&A with the Stanford University head coach and U.S. Elite team assistant Amy Bokker, who shows her Philly roots and shares here affinity for Billie Jean King and Sally Ride as women who broke barriers.
To Our Members: ’10 Sense
The US Lacrosse National Convention is on tap. On your way to Baltimore, chew on these morsels PK could surmise as he continued to digest an overindulgence of holiday dinners and sweets.
Her Space: Card Me If You Can
With the increasing physicality of the women’s game, changes to our penalty system could help preserve the grace and agility of the sport, writes Clare Lochary.
His Space: Hoya Paranoia?
Rumors have Georgetown men’s lacrosse coach Dave Urick on the hot seat. That’s balderdash, writes Bill Tanton.