Penn State Lacrosse Welcomes Eight-Member Class for 2013-14

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; June 25, 2013 Penn State head lacrosse coach Missy Doherty has announced the additions of eight incoming freshmen that will represent the Class of 2017. The contingent is comprised of three defenders and midfielders, as well as one attacker and goalkeeper.

"We are extremely excited about the talent coming in next year," said Doherty. "We have a lot of athletes who have excelled at the highest levels in high school, and we are ready for them to come and contribute for us here at Penn State."

The incoming freshmen include:
- Taylor Bleistein, Defense, Bayville, N.Y.
- Megan Callaghan, Attack, Dallas, Texas
- Steph Lazo, Midfield, Stevensville, Md.
- Sarah Piazza, Defense, Bel Air, Md.
- Cat Rainone, Goalkeeper, Newtown Square, Pa.
- Natalie Schmitt, Midfield, Malvern, Pa.
- Abby Smucker, Midfield, Bel Air, Md.
- Jane Truffer, Defense, Arnold, Md.

Individual bios can be found below. The incoming freshmen hail from Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Under Doherty's guidance, Penn State has posted three straight 10-win seasons, while this spring recording the program's most victories since 1999. The Nittany Lions advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals for the second straight year and appeared in back-to-back NCAA championships for the first time since a three-year span from 1995-97.

In 2013, Penn State defeated its highest ranked opponent since 2007 with a 16-11 upset victory against then-No. 2 Florida. The Nittany Lions also finished a perfect 9-0 at home to complete its first undefeated home campaign since 1991. In her three seasons in Happy Valley, Doherty has coached six Nittany Lions to IWLCA All-America accolades, as well as 14 to all-conference status.

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Taylor Bleistein

Position: Defense
Hometown: Bayville, N.Y.
High School: Locust Valley
Club Team: Yellow Jacket 2013 Blue

Before Penn State
Totaled 230 goals and 110 assists during six-year varsity career with Locust Valley ... Three-time all-county (2011-13) and a 2010 all-conference member ... Two-time US Lacrosse All-Academic member (2012, 2013) ... Named team MVP as a senior ... Participated in the 2012 Under Armour Underclassman Elite Stars Tournament as a member of Team Long Island ... Won the 2010 US Lacrosse U-15 national championship with the Yellow Jackets ... Selected to the all-tournament team ... Helped lead the team to the 2011 Northern RISE and 2012 Lax for the Cure tournament championships ... Served as team captain from 2006-12.

Daughter of Robert and Patricia Bleistein ... Mother, Patricia, attended Penn State ... Has a brother, Bobby, and a sister, Lindsay ... Brother, Bobby, earned USILA All-America honors after his freshman season at Connecticut College ... Sister, Lindsay, plays lacrosse for Locust Valley ... Also played soccer and competed in track ... Named team MVP as senior in soccer ... Plans to major in international affairs ... Born Nov. 24, 1995 in Manhasset, N.Y.

Doherty on Bleistein: "Watching Taylor play the last few years has been exciting. She just keeps getting better, and I think her potential here at Penn State is limitless."

* * * *

Megan Callaghan

Position: Attack
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
High School: Highland Park

Before Penn State
Four-year member of the Highland Park girls' lacrosse team ... As a senior, served as team captain ... Scored 53 goals and named to the all-state team as a junior ... Earned team MVP honors ... Helped lead squad to a state semifinal appearance ... Played for Texas at the National Tournament.

Daughter of Joseph and Mona Callaghan ... Father, Joseph, played lacrosse at American and mother, Mona, played soccer at Maryland ... Has one brother, Stephen, and two sisters, Brenna and Kailee ... Brother, Stephen, plays for the Texas A&M club hockey team ... Plans to major in special education ... Born Jan. 30, 1995.

Doherty on Callaghan: "Megan is a tough, competitive attacker who has a great will to score."

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