William & Mary Looks to Re-emerge as CAA Contender in '14

There is great excitement and optimism surrounding the William and Mary lacrosse team this season, as first-year head coach Hillary Fratzke ushers in a new era of Tribe Lacrosse. A proven winner as both a coach and player, Fratzke assumed the head coaching duties this summer after spending the past three seasons at Northwestern, where she helped the Wildcats win two NCAA titles and post a 61-7 overall record.

The former three-time All-American is also very familiar with the Colonial Athletic Association, as she was honored as the league's player of the year twice during her standout playing career at Towson en route to helping the Tigers advance to the NCAA Tournament three times.

As the Tribe looks to re-emerge as one of the conference's top teams this spring, it will do so with an experienced and talented roster that includes four of its top five scorers from last season and nine players with significant starting experience. This year's squad will also feature an outstanding group of leaders that includes a quartet of captains Maggie Bermingham, Hannah Clarke, Colleen Nofi and Ellen Shaffrey who will be instrumental in helping W&M maximize its potential and achieve its goals.

The 2014 schedule will pose a tremendous challenge and opportunity for the College, as the slate includes four games against teams that competed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, including national quarterfinalists Maryland and Duke. Benefiting the Tribe, however, will be the fact that it will host 10 of its 16 regular season games at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field. Providing extra motivation will be a chance to compete for the CAA title on its home field this spring, as the Tribe will welcome the league's top four teams to Williamsburg for the league championship in early May.

W&M expects to be dynamic at attack this season and hopes to utilize a strategy that emphasizes movement and multiple scoring options. The squad will look to junior captain Ellen Shaffrey to help propel the unit, as the Charlottesville, Va., native started 15 games last season and emerged as one of the team's leaders. Honored as one of five national finalists for the 2013 Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award last spring, Shaffrey posted 31 points (22g, 9a) last season and led the team with a .579 shooting percentage. She possesses outstanding skills, moves well and has an amazing shot, which should translate to even more success during the upcoming campaign.

After seeing limited playing time during her first three years, senior Bridget Brown appears poised for a breakout season. The Annapolis, Md., native posted an impressive fall and demonstrated outstanding stick skills, excellent decision making and worked well behind the cage. In addition to her scoring ability, the attacking corps will count on her for leadership throughout the campaign.

Sophomore Kelly Martins is also expected to emerge as a key member of the attacking unit this season. Although she appeared in just three games as a reserve in 2013, she is a consummate team player who is fundamentally sound and makes her teammates better. As a standout at Langley High School, the McLean, Va., native earned US Lacrosse All-America distinction and was invited to compete at the 2012 US Lacrosse Champion All-America Showcase.

Another sophomore who is expected make a significant impact is sophomore Zoe Boger. The Atlanta, Ga., native garnered CAA All-Rookie Team honors last season after totaling 14 points (9g, 4a) and 20 draw controls while earning four starts. Boger, who will also see action in the midfield, is a powerful player with a good shot and will once again be one of the Tribe's top options on the draw.

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