“Diaper dandies” — to steal a phrase from ESPN’s Dick Vitale — might be one of the most applicable descriptions for the emerging stars on the women’s lacrosse team.
With 34 goals and 10 assists in just nine games, the Red’s freshmen class is not only “dandy,” but impressive enough to make a serious impact immediately.
“We really contribute a lot of hustle and spirit on and off the field,” said freshman Jessica Dwinell.
Holding a remarkable 13 of 27 roster spots heading into the 2005 spring season and facing seven ranked teams in the first nine games, the newcomers certainly had a lot of pressure on them to get used to the college game quickly. Impressively, the freshmen reacted like veterans and almost right away became key contributors.
“There was definitely an adjustment period, but the class did a good job adjusting to the college game,” Dwinell said. “We were a little inconsistent the first two games getting used to the physical game, but we feel well adjusted now.”
Most recently, the Red’s first-year players proved that they could play with anybody by leading the comeback against No. 4 Princeton two weeks ago at Schoellkopf Field. Down by two with less than nine minutes to play, rookies Katherine Simmons and Amanda Linnertz each notched a goal in order to force the Tigers to overtime.
The freshmen class as a whole has acted as a catalyst for the Red’s offense, putting up almost 40 percent of the team’s overall scoring.
Pacing the newcomers, Simmons and freshman Courtney Farrell have each established themselves as legitimate scoring threats for the Red. Farrell ranks second on the team in points (20), goals (15), and ground balls (16). Meanwhile, Simmons has added 11 goals of her own while scooping up 13 loose balls on the season.
Classmates Noelle Dowd, Linnertz and Charlotte Schmidlapp — each with multiple goals — have also made their mark in the offensive end. Dowd, a midfielder, leads that group of players with three goals and three assists.
At the other end of the field, the freshmen class also appears to be laying down a foundation for a stingy Cornell defense in the future. Dwinell has been a consistent defensive starter all season and has seven ground balls to her name.
Meanwhile, freshman goaltender Ashley Blum, another one of the key cogs for the future of the Red’s defense, has been the back-up to junior netminder Maggie Fava. Though receiving limited playing time, the freshmen has shown some promise in earning a goals against average of 10.20.
With such a strong core of girls together for the next few years, the Class of 2008 is excited about what the future holds.
“It is really a great group of girls,” Dwinell said. “In our four years here, we really hope to get an Ivy title and … we want a national championship.”
Archived article by Scott Reich
Sun Staff Writer