Stetson Lacrosse Inaugural Season Opens This Weekend

Moore came to Stetson from the University of Vermont, where she served as an assistant for the last two years. She also spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Temple after her playing days at the University of New Hampshire.

She brought additional credibility to the Stetson program last fall when she hired Brittany Dipper as her assistant. Dipper just completed a stellar playing career at the University of Maryland where she helped the Terps to national titles in both lacrosse and field hockey. She was in goal as the Terrapins won four consecutive ACC titles.

"Brittany Dipper has been an amazing addition to the lacrosse family here at Stetson," Moore said. "She was brought in mainly to work with our goal keepers because she was a phenomenal goal keeper at Maryland, but she has really picked up the ball and run with it. She does a great job in the office and on the field."

The Hatters will enter their inaugural season with 21 players on a roster that includes a senior, two sophomores and 18 freshmen. Only the two sophomores, Samantha Akl and Elisabeth Blackwell, have collegiate lacrosse playing experience. Akl and freshman Mary Kate O'Sullivan were named to the A-Sun's preseason newcomer watch list for this spring.

"It was hard to single out just two players," Moore said of the picks. "Our team is filled with heart. They are a team that works hard and gets along well together. I think they are taking this experience and running with it."

Akl is a transfer from Limestone College in South Carolina, but is a native of Port St. Lucie.

"Sam came in as a transfer with some experience at the collegiate level. She is really striving to be a leader. She pushes herself to get better by working hard, doing extra wall-ball, and she is focused on what this experience is and she is trying to get the most out of it."

O'Sullivan, who is from Naples, Fla., made an impression during the fall when the Hatters played in some fall ball tournaments.

"Mary Kate came in after being a very good player in high school, but she surprised me with how coachable she is," Moore said. "She can be quiet at times on the field, but she is a work-horse. She is always working and asking questions about things she can do to make her game better. She puts in the effort we ask her to do. We see her, along with our goalies, as an anchor for our defense and our midfield."

The two freshmen goal keepers are Caili Guilday from Wallingford, Pa., and Whitney Meyers from Ponte Vedra Beach. They will have a chance to quickly become fan-favorites during the first season of play and have the advantage of having a national champion goal keeper to work with.

"Whitney and Caili play very differently, but are both solid goalies," Moore said. "They can standout and be fan favorites when they come up with saves. It is really too early to tell who will standout at game-time and become fan-favorites. I think that when the fans start to learn our team, they will fall in love with them."

Blackwell is another player with previous college experience. The Naples native played as a freshman at Long Island University-Brooklyn.

"Lizard has a commanding presence in our defense," Moore said. "She is a transfer that will help bring experience to our program, especially the defense. She has the potential to really shine and to shut down attackers."

While the stars of the team may be difficult to point out now, Moore said the size of the Stetson roster will dictate the Hatters' style of play to some extent.

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