Head coach: Clyde Britt (6th season). Assistant coaches: Sam Waterman, Jackie Lima, Ed Waterman (volunteer).
Last year: The Bulldogs went 11-6-1 overall and compiled an 8-5-1 record in Division II, good for seventh place. Westerly beat Narragansett in the opening round of the playoffs before losing to second-seeded Pilgrim in the quarterfinals.
Returning to varsity:
Seniors: Johanna Mills (MF, captain), Jess Lawrence (MF, captain), Anne Reisch (MF, captain), Haley Nix (FB, captain), Amanda O’Brien (MF), Kayly Pelagalli (For.), Emily Luther (MF), Juniors: Mackenzie Donnelly (MF), Julia Wicklund (MF), Caitlyn Manfred (MF), Brittany DeGrooth (For.), Sophomores: Amy Luther (FB),Taylor Fiore-Chettier (FB), Christina Imbriglio (FB).
Outlook: The Bulldogs need to replace their leading scorer, starting keeper, and some key midfielders and defenders.
DeGrooth is the top returning scorer, having netted 18 goals in 2012 when she made All-Division. She’ll be counted on to help make up the loss of Ashley LeClair’s 19 goals. Britt says Givens, a speedy freshman, shows a knack for the goal and will add to the attack.
Emily Luther plays the outside midfield and according to Britt works very well behind DeGrooth. Britt hopes the other outside-mid develops good chemistry with Givens.
Fiore-Chettier is expected to step in as the starting sweeper to anchor the defense. Amy Luther returns at stopper and Nix returns as an outside fullback. Burdick will be the other outside fullback and Britt is counting on the defense to help break in the new goalie.
Sullivan and Haik are competing for the starting keeper position.
Coach’s take: “The girls are very close and working very hard together. I think they’ll continue to improve and talk more and become cohesive. If that gets there we should make the playoffs. We have a long way to go but we’re improving daily.”