2013 SUNY Potsdam Women's Lacrosse Season Preview

After saying goodbye to some of the best players in program history last spring, SUNY Potsdam is ready to begin a new era with a different look. The Bears, who finished 5-11 overall and 1-7 in the SUNYAC, graduated seven players in 2012. Among them were four of Potsdam's top-10 scorers, including all-time scoring leader Carly Richards (147 goals -71 assists-218 points), and the Bears winningest goalie, Kaci Milligan.

"They're definitely tough to replace," said 11th year head coach Lauren Bruce. "But this year's seniors learned what positive leadership is from them and they've been waiting for their turn. So they're showing a lot of confidence and composure already."

Bruce and first year assistant coach Elisha King are excited with what she sees from the newcomers as well.

"It's nice to have a lot of fresh faces because they bring new energy to the team," Bruce said. "They're all very talented. They come from strong high school programs so they expect to win and make the playoffs.

The Bears return 12 letterwinners and add seven new players as they head into the 2013 campaign. Offensively, Potsdam looks to veterans to fill the voids left by Richards, Maribeth Simmons (30-4-34), Sierra Langkammerer (16-4-20) and Aubrey Macintosh (12-2-14). Sophomore Margaret Wall (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas) (28-3-31), and seniors Whitney Boshart (Fort Drum, N.Y./Indian River) (16-3-19) and Denise Johns (Marcellus, N.Y./Marcellus) (9-7-16) will be expected to lead the offense this season.

The Bears strength lies on defense, where many veterans return. There, Potsdam will be led by 2012 Team MVP Erica Olsowske (Seneca Falls, N.Y./Mynderse Academy) and second team All-SUNYAC selection Britanny Coffey (Canton, N.Y./Hugh C. Williams).

Boshart and Johns will lead the Bears attack this year. Boshart started all 16 games last season, while Johns made 13 starts, but saw her minutes limited due to illness. Sophomore Bailey Weigel (East Amherst, N.Y./Williamsville East), junior Michelle Varney (Canton, N.Y./Hugh C. Williams) and freshman Bri McClusky (Watertown, N.Y./Watertown) will join the veteran duo up front.

Freshman Maggie McCabe (Camillus, N.Y./West Genesee) will also split time between the attack and defense. Weigel, who played lacrosse in high school and is currently a vocal leader and aggressive scorer for the Bears basketball team, sees the field well and has been a quick study in learning the team's offense.

Wall stands out offensively in the midfield, returning as Potsdam's second leading scorer. She made 14 starts in 16 games, collected 30 ground balls and totaled 20 draw controls. Sophomores Emily Petit (Queensbury, N.Y./Queensbury) and Katie Putnam (Chittenango, N.Y./Chittenango) bolster the Bears defensively at midfield. Petit is a two-way player that accumulated 11 points (9-2-11) and was second on the team in groundballs (38) and caused turnovers (15).

Putnam played in 15 games and grabbed 11 ground balls. Senior Julie Perna (Williamsville, N.Y./Williamsville North) makes the transition from attack to midfield after making three starts in 15 games there last season. Sophomore Carolyn Herrera (Red Hook, N.Y./Red Hook) is also back after playing in 11 games in 2012. Freshmen Brittany Blake (South Glens Falls, N.Y./South Glens Falls) and Lizzie Marchbanks (Liverpool, N.Y./Liverpool) join the midfield ranks this year.

Potsdam's defensive corps is experienced and talented. Olsowske made 15 starts in 16 games with 11 ground balls, eight caused turnovers and totaled seven draw controls. Coffey started 14 of 15 games, collected 20 ground balls and caused 14 turnovers. Also back are seniors Stephanie White (Brasher Falls, N.Y./St. Lawrence Central) and Renee McKay (Syracuse, N.Y./Bishop Ludden). White made eight starts in 11 games and caused six turnovers. McKay started seven games and saw action in 13.

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