Season Opener: Sunday, February 10 @ St. Bonaventure
2018 record: 5-12 overall (2-7 PL)
The Leopards had a strong fall in all positions on the field and expect to control the pace in this seasons’ games according to senior captain Annelise Kinney. The team will return 32 players from the 2018 roster, nine of which are seniors. With a very experienced and devoted team this season, the Leopards are looking to improve their overall record. The team will focus on using their depth and commitment to their advantage.
Strengths: The team’s fitness level and speed will help them to take control of their games, and the team’s overall experience will allow them to dominate in the Patriot League. With multiple seniors starting in each position on the field, the Leopards will be able to use their chemistry and knowledge of the game to their advantage.
Weaknesses: The players have been working on the “little things,” according to Kinney, and the team is focusing on their ability to respond to opponents quickly and aggressively in order to dictate the flow of the game.
Players to watch: On offense, senior attacker Jane Kirby, named to the Preseason All-League team for the second consecutive year, and senior attacker Emma Novick will use their chemistry and skill to lead the offense. Sophomore attacker Anna Stein and freshman attacker Olivia Cunningham will also bring energy and creative plays to the Leopard offense. Novick said that freshman Caroline Curnal is expected to make an impact in the midfield. Sophomore Quinn Lacy will return as the starting goalie, with senior defenders Amelia Heisler, Elise Ashford, Kinney, and freshman defender Lily Bedell holding down the defense.
Important games: The team is looking to win more games this season, particularly against teams they beat in the 2018 season, such as Bucknell and American. The Leopards beat Lehigh in their fall scrimmage, and look to take the rivalry on April 17.
Captains: Emma Novick ‘19, Annelise Kinney ‘19
“We’re super excited, especially the seniors, to have a good group going into this season. We’re ready to build off of last year, improve, and make it to the tournament,” Kinney said.
“It’s exciting that we have been playing so well,” Novick said. “Our record in the fall was 7-2, and we’ve never had that good of a record going into the spring. There’s a lot of hope for us to make it to the tournament this season.”
Season Opener: Saturday, February 2 @ Rutgers
2018 record: 3-12 overall (0-8 PL)
In Coach Myers’ first season with the team, he instilled the motto, “Doesn’t Matter, Get Better.” The team has been focusing on their present and future, not dwelling on the past, and this new mindset has changed the group for the better, according to senior captain Conor Walters. The team has been working on incorporating three core principles into the program: hard work, toughness and brotherhood.
Strengths: According to Walters, this year’s squad is a very tight knit group that has been working together throughout the fall. The team has managed to stay healthy, allowing the same groups to work together all fall and build chemistry. The team also came back earlier during interim break to prepare for the upcoming season and practice more as a unit.
Weaknesses: The team’s roster is relatively small this year, with just 38 players in total. This will allow for the entire team to contribute on the field, from the seniors to the freshmen. Each player will have an important role on the team, which Walters looks forward to seeing.
Players to watch: Walters, the 2018 offensive MVP, returns for the Leopards, along with senior midfielder Connar Dehnert, who was out with an injury for the 2018 season. In the midfield, junior Adam Close and sophomore Bryan Hess will play key roles. On the defensive side, senior defender Jack Lydon and junior Shayne Sharp, the 2018 defensive MVP, will work with freshman goalie Ryan Ness to protect the Leopards’ net.
Important games: The team’s opening match at Rutgers, the 12th-ranked program in the NCAA, will set the tone for the season. On March 17, the team will play their rivalry game against Lehigh, the 13th-ranked squad in the NCAA. The Leopards will host 4th-ranked Loyola on April 26 at Fisher Stadium.
Captains: attacker Conor Walters ‘19, midfielder Sam Friedman ‘19, defender Jack Lydon ‘19, defender Zack Merle ‘19.
“I think that the guys are ready for whatever is about to come, I think we’re excited,” Walters said. “It’s going to be really positive and we have some good momentum heading into this season.”