UMBC Opens 2013 Lacrosse Season Under Appelt and Giro

BALTIMORE UMBC opens its 2013 slate, the first under co-head coaches Amy Appelt and Tony Giro, on Saturday, Feb. 16 when the Retrievers travel to American for a noon contest at Jacobs Field.

Outlook

UMBC made a trip to its third straight America East Championships last season, finishing with a 3-3 mark in league play and earning the third seed in the tournament. The Retrievers look to build upon their semifinals appearance from a year ago and get back to the league title match for the third time in four seasons. Tony Giro and Amy Appelt enter their first season as co-head coaches of the program, having been on UMBC's coaching staff for five and four years, respectively. The duo return 12 letterwinners and seven starters from a squad that defeated a pair of top-20 programs in 2012.

Attack

With the graduation of Emily Coady, who ranked second on the team in assists (10) and third in goals (27) and points (37) last season, UMBC will look to sophomore Abby Wilson and junior Shannon Harkey to lead the Retrievers' youthful attack this season. Wilson earned all-rookie team recognition in 2012, ranking second in points among freshman last season, tabbing 22 goals and seven assists, while Harkey notched six goals and five assists in 13 starts in her first campaign with the Retrievers.

"We will expect a lot from our returners on the attack," said Appelt. "We will look to Wilson, Harkey and newcomer Sam Nolan, who has seen significant minutes in the preseason, to contribute a lot on the offensive end."

Nolan, an Under Armour All-American as a junior at Fallston High School, will look to make an immediate impact on the attack for UMBC in 2013. Sophomore Michelle Platz is the only other attacker on the roster with game day experience, having registered six goals on 10 shots in 12 appearances as a rookie. Sophomore Jordan Lyons, who missed all of the 2012 season, along with newcomers Kris Coppolino, Paulina Christ, Kayley Jones and Rachel Benzing will all compete for time in their first campaigns with the Retrievers.

Midfield

"In the midfield, we're very lucky," admitted Appelt. "We have girls with excellent abilities to get to the goal. We have Lindsay Cox, Kristen Bilney and Alyssa Semones, along with a bunch of newcomers that are putting in significant time, who are all very vital to our team's success.

"We're a lot faster than we have been in the past, so we're able to push the fast break a lot, which is what we're looking do to," Appelt continued. "These are the three or four girls that make either end work, so right now, we're in a good place with having such diverse midfielders."

Cox and Bilney, two of the team's four captains this season, return after starting all 17 games in 2012. Cox enters her senior year with the Retrievers after leading UMBC in goals (42) and points (50) as a junior. The High Bridge, N.J., native also ranked third on the team in assists (eight) and draw controls (21) last season, while Bilney led the team in draw controls (51) and accumulated career-bests in goals (23) and points (25) as a sophomore.

Semones comes to the Retrievers for her sophomore campaign after seeing action in three games at Penn State last year. The Westminster High School career record holder in goals (229) looks to make an immediate impact for UMBC's offense, which averaged 9.94 goals per game last season. Fellow transfer Mary Milligan hopes to continue her success after scoring 143 goals in two seasons at Anne Arundel Community College. UMBC will look to the pair to fill the shoes of Alicia Krause, who earned all-conference second team recognition after reaching the 30-goal plateau for the second straight season, finishing the year with 31 scores.

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2013-02-15



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