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Preview: Westerly girls’ lacrosse


Head coach:

Margaret Paisley (second season)

Last year:

The Bulldogs struggled to a 1-10 mark and finished in last place out of the nine teams in Division III.

Returning to varsity:

Seniors:

Haley Nix (captain, MF), Olivia Obertello (captain, MF/Attack), Eliza Woodman (Attack), Angela Chen (Defense).

Juniors:

Betsy Matczak (captain, Defense), Kyra McCormick (goalie)

Sophomores:

Emily Sullivan (MF), Megan Crawford (MF), Sophie Read (Defense), Abigail Ridler (MF).

New to varsity:

Juniors:

Jill Schreier (Defense), Sarah Garvey (MF). Sophomores: Taylor Barrese (Attack), Mary Hurley (Attack), Emily Palmer (MF/Attack).

Freshmen:

Emma Santee (Attack), Stephanie Muccino (MF/Defense).

Outlook:

The Bulldogs lost a pair of first-team Division III-South players to graduation (Lucy Garvey and Marissa Scavello) but still have a number of key players back.

Woodman, who led Westerly with 28 goals in 2013, returns for her senior campaign with a new center midfielder.

Sarah Garvey, who missed 2013 with an injury, brings some speed and skill to the middle of the field.

“She’s probably the fastest girl on the team. I’m excited to have her on the team and I can’t wait to see how she and Eliza (Woodman) play together,” Coach Paisley said.

Paisley said that the combination of familiarity on offense and good overall turnout should help improve the program quickly.

“I do expect significant improvement this year. Most of the girls have played with each other before and are used to each other,” Paisley said. “We also have a number of freshman with three or four years of lacrosse experience which is different than years past.”

The total turnout was 37 players, which meant Paisley needed to make cuts to the roster — something she didn’t have the luxury to do in 2013.

McCormick will play goal again in 2014. Paisley said her junior keeper attended goalie clinics and is much more confident than she was in her sophomore campaign.

Defense might still be an issue with a number of younger players filling out the Bulldogs’ defensive ranks.

Coach’s take:

“I think making the playoffs is our goal for this year and we’ll do that if we don’t finish in last place. Once we get into the playoffs we’ll see but we really need to improve over the season.”



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