University of Delaware Women’s Lacrosse Hosts No. 15 Georgetown to Kick Off 2013 Campaign Saturday at Delaware Stadium

NEWARK, Del.  – Coming off of a 2012 season that saw the University of Delaware women’s lacrosse team narrowly miss the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament, third-year head coach Kateri Linville looks to build momentum for her program as the Blue Hens kick off their 2013 slate this Saturday with a noon contest against No. 15 Georgetown at Delaware Stadium.

“I am passionate about Delaware and I am thrilled to be a part of the momentum that is moving our athletics department from good to great,”
stated Linville, a 2003 Delaware graduate who took over the program in the summer of 2010.  “We are attracting and committing talented student-athletes.  We have shown a positive trend in player development, academic success and service.  It’s fun to be a part of a program that is on the rise to national prominence.”

Linville enters the 2013 with a talented squad that includes two All-Region players, three All-CAA and five CAA All-Rookie Team members, and an outstanding freshman class.

Delaware appears to be headed in a positive direction and will be paced by 2012 CAA Rookie of the Year and 2013 Preseason CAA Breakout Player in Caitlin McCartney.

“Caitlin is an outstanding athlete and game-changing player,” commented Linville.  “She is really humble and selfless on the field but is always willing to take it to the cage when needed or get a draw, groundball or defensive stop.”

McCartney returns for her sophomore campaign after leading the Hens with
35 goals and 37 groundballs while making an immediate impact on the Delaware squad.  The midfielder finished in the top 10 in four statistical categories in the CAA during her freshman season.  Her 2.47 groundballs per game were also good for 30th in the NCAA. Additionally, McCartney, a native of Doylestown, Pa., netted six total hat tricks last season.

The Blue Hen midfield unit figures to be one of the strengths for Delaware on the field as McCartney is joined by 2012 All-CAA honoree and
2013 CAA Preseason Team selection Shannon Burns and 2011 CAA All-Rookie Team awardee Bridget Burns.

Shannon Burns marked her spot in the history books last season after recording a school-record nine draw controls against Drexel on April 13.  Additionally, Burns finished second in school history with 47 draw controls during the 2012 slate.  The Springfield, Pa. native also placed seventh all-time with 24 caused turnovers last year.

Bridget Burns started all 17 games a year ago, ranking second on the squad with 24 draw controls while adding six goals and an assist.

Adding skill, speed and depth to the midfield unit are sophomore Rachel Dooley and five freshmen, including Elyse Andrews, Lizzie Duffey, Shannon Hawley, Ali Karwoski and Emily Pollard.

On the defensive side of the field, senior and preseason CAA pick Angela Biciocchi returns to lead the defenders.  Biciocchi was a second team IWLCA All-Mid-Atlantic Region defender last season, the first Blue Hen to do so since 2009.

“Angela is a returning starter who will be relied upon to make impact plays in our transition game as well as continue to be one of our top matchup defenders,” Linville stated.

Biciocchi, Delaware’s lone senior on the 2013 roster, started all 17 games for the Blue Hens in 2012 and finished the year with 30 groundballs and 24 draw controls.  Biciocchi, a Potomac, Md. Native, also caused 16 turnovers last season.

Also returning to the UD defensive squad is junior Alex Alois, who was named to the CAA All-Rookie Team in 2011 following an outstanding freshman campaign.  She made 16 starts last season, scooping up 15 groundballs for Delaware while ranking third on the team with 10 caused turnovers.

Kierstan Smith and Mollie Smith add depth to the defensive unit in addition to freshmen Abby Wheble, Erin Wein and Devyn Heidelbaugh, who will add speed and quickness.

The defensive unit will be playing in front of the goalie spot, which will be a tightly contested battle between the returning starter in sophomore Alex Zaugra and backup goalie in junior Tori Zorovich.

Last season, Zaugra started 15 of 17 games played for the Blue Hens and ranked nationally in the top 45 of four different categories with a .431 save percentage, 7.29 saves per contest, 124 total saves and 11.44 goals allowed.  Recognized for her talent in the conference, Zaugra was named a pre-season CAA honorable mention selection.

Delaware’s attack looks to gain momentum with a young, but more experienced group in 2013. Sophomore Allison Hahn is expected to quarterback the attack as a returning All-Rookie team attacker. Junior Chelsea Fay, who started 16 of 17 games last season, will also pace the Delaware attack unit.  She led the Blue Hens with 41 points and tied for the lead with 35 goals.

Sophomore Abbie Hartman is likely to start up front for Delaware while classmate Leigh Kaminski will also contribute for the Blue Hens.

Adding vision, speed and versatility to the attack will be freshmen Kara Dattellas, McKenzie Rafferty and Lauren VanDaniker.

Junior Kelsey Dlugos will spend the 2013 season on reserve as she rehabs from an injury.

Linville has once again put together a challenging schedule for the young Delaware squad, including competitions against Georgetown (No. 15) and Loyola (Md.) (No. 7).  The CAA slate will also feature tough competitors including pre-season No. 17 Towson.

The Blue Hens were selected to finish fourth overall in the conference in the preseason standings.

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