2015 Season Previews: Part One

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Caesar Rodney (9-7) - CR started off on a rocky start in 2014, opening up the season with Cape Henlopen and Charter (the two teams combined for a score of 37-3 against the Riders), but went on a run towards the end of the season with crucial back-to-back wins against Polytech and Ursuline. That, along with their strong strength the schedule propelled Caesar Rodney into the last spot of the state tournament for the first time since 2008.

Despite losing 5 seniors, CR brings back a duo of offensive firepower in leading goal scorers Kourtney Olsen (66G, 14A) and Delaney Steele (58G, 17A) - the two juniors combined for 124 of their team's 195 goals. Junior Jenna Rigby (12G, 9A) returns in the midfield, along with fellow junior Maegan Stewart (10G, 4A). On defense junior Madeleine Card returns along with senior Amber Pearson. Caesar Rodney also returns one of their strongest assets from 2014 in 2nd team all-state junior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Longest.

Cape Henlopen (13-5) - The last time that the Cape Henlopen Vikings collected five losses in a single season was back in 2007 when they were still being coached by Gretchen Wyshock, and before Cape started to go on their state championship run. The very next year lacrosse guru PJ Kesmodel took over the program and one short year later a dynasty was born.

All five of their losses in 2014 came from out of state opponents, including a 11-12 overtime loss to a nationally ranked top 10 Bishop Ireton (VA), who later went on to clinch both the VISAA and WCAC titles in Virginia. In two separate 2015 pre-season polls, Bishop was ranked #4 in the nation in the Nike/LM High School Girls' Top 25 and #3 in the nation by USA Today. The two teams will meet up again in Cardinal territory on Saturday, May 2nd for what should surely be another exciting game.

The Vikings graduated 8 seniors from 2014, including 1st Team All-staters and US Lacrosse All-Americans Allie Yeager (44G, 43A) and Katherine Judge (30G, 14A - Player of the Year), draw specialist Karalyn Joseph (26G, 14A), and Maggie Delp (1A) and Riley Wagner on defense. Although the defending state champions graduated some crucial pieces on both sides of the field, it returns it's leading goal scorer in senior attacker Sarah Tappan (62G, 27A), along with fellow senior attackers Jordan Brown (37G, 3A) and Alexa Woodruff (23 G, 18A). In the midfield juniors Lizzie Frederick (15 G, 12A) and Tess Bernheimer (11G, 4A) along with sophomore Cailey Thornburg should contribute considerably again, while 1st team all-stater Taylor Gooch and fellow senior Coryn Cannon will anchor the defense. Their stalwart goalkeeper, Samantha Broadhurst (1st team all-state) is back between the pipes for her fourth and final year. In addition two familiar last names return in freshmen Katie Frederick, younger sister to Lizzie ('16) and Anna ('13, Temple) and Annie Judge, younger sister to the 2014 player of the year and recent Cape grad Katherine Judge.

The quest for lucky number seven kicks off in exactly five days, when the visiting Parkside Rams (MD) come into town.

Dover (8-7) - The Dover Senators look drastically different this year, losing ten seniors from 2014's squad - six of which were responsible for producing 57% of the team's 176 goals. In addition, a new face can be found on the sideline in first year head coach Emily Peets. Peets, who hails from Pittsford, New York was a member of Delaware State University's inaugural women's lacrosse team in 2013.

This year's team is particularly young, with defender Natalie Glascock the only senior remaining on the roster. Seventeen juniors however make up the bulk of the Senators roster - Ave Burleigh (6G, 1A) and Rachel Mills (3G, 2A), along with sophomore Mira Prisco will anchor the team's attack. Junior Catherine Schoepp looks to be the new keeper.

Polytech (11-4) - Polytech reached the state tournament for a second straight year in 2014, and on paper looked poised to win their first ever tournament game only to suffer another home field heart breaker to the eventual runner ups Charter School of Wilmington. In 2014 the Panthers had to replace six starters from graduation, this year however Polytech returns with most of its lineup still intact.

Poly returns a strong class of midfielders, spearheaded by the second highest goal scorer in the state from last year, junior Jamie Trabaudo. The future UNC lacrosse player scored in every single game of the season last year, and in both of their upset losses to CR and Charter at the end of last season, Trabaudo was kept to only 3 goals. Joining her in the midfield is fellow junior Alison McKay (45G, 13A) along with senior Rachel Slater (17G, 4A). At attack, Kathryn Richardson (19G, 22A) is back along with Rebecca Shirey (5G, 1A). Junior defender Kaitlin Bergold will hold down the fort on defense, while Lauren Lee should be taking on the full-time job of goalkeeper after splitting time in the net with the graduated Taylor Lyon last season.

From attack to defense, the Panthers are loaded.

Smyrna (7-7) - Smyrna achieved a respectable 7-7 record for their first year as a varsity program in 2014, and return virtually all of their starting line-up in 2015. The Eagles lost their leading goal scorer in Nia Wright (25G, 3A) to graduation, but retain a slew of juniors who can get the job done in her place. The midfield will feature Madeline Price (22G, 1A) and Shabnam Noroozi Poova (17G, 2A), while Alison Sayers (11G, 3A) and Allison Wheatley (16G, 4A) will team up on attack.

Sussex Tech (7-8) - After losing 8 seniors in 2013, what should have been a rebuilding year for the Ravens, Sussex Tech rebounded back after a rocky start to the season and came within two places of making the state tournament for the fourth straight year. Graduation left holes in all three lines and in the cage as well, but a strong foundation still remains in 2015. Seniors Torrie Huk (20G, 6A) and Emma Spellman (13G, 6A) along with junior Lexus Purnell (3G, 3A) return on attack and in the midfield. Senior Hannah Collins who saw time last year should return back on the defensive end. She'll have a new goalie guarding the net behind her though, as the old keeper Taschiana Gibbs-Hughes was lost to graduation.

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