Two years removed from the most successful campaign in team history, the Kenyon College women's lacrosse team enters 2012 with hopes that another banner season is on the horizon. A number of key players, who now know what it takes to reach the highest levels of success, remain from that 2010 squad that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament.
The Ladies followed up their historic run in 2010 with a 9-6 mark last spring. Five of those six losses were by four goals or fewer, so the focus going forward will be to apply the lessons learned from those narrow defeats and take aim at the program's first-ever North Coast Athletic Conference championship.
Offensively, few duos in the NCAC compare with juniors Leah Sack and Emily Nichols. Sack already owns the College's single-season (41) and career (71) assists records and has tallied 125 points--Kenyon's eighth-best total--in two short seasons. Nichols has been equally explosive over the first half of her career. She's amassed 97 goals to this point and has secured her place among the Ladies' top-ten all-time scorers.
Senior Monty Sherwood returns after a year away. She and sophomore Alex Bair will provide plenty of punch as additional scoring options. Sherwood owns 51 career goals and Bair's 27 goals as a freshman trailed only Nichols' 42 last season.
Sophomore Charlotte Greene heads up a midfield that saw her collect 29 groundballs, earn 24 draw controls, and register 20 points in 2011. Alicia Florin adds an extra boost to the midfield. After missing last season, she returns to the field with career numbers that include 38 goals, 19 assists, and 44 draw controls.
The Ladies' biggest question mark in 2012 will be on the defensive end, where graduation claimed three starters, including all-region first-team selection and NCAC Defensive Player of the Year Brigid Donahue, as well as goalkeeper Casey McKone.
Senior Elizabeth Daly, who scooped up 26 ground balls as a junior, will provide much-needed veteran leadership to the defensive unit. Fellow senior Ann Kelly and junior Marissa Henderson also look to be key components of that revamped Kenyon defense.
The season gets underway on March 9th with the opener at North Central College.