Opportunity Knocks for Bullets Lacrosse in 2014

GETTYSBURG, Pa. Gettysburg College will aim to seize every opportunity as it begins its journey to win another national championship this spring.

Like most seasons, Gettysburg will feel the sting of a number of key losses from a year ago. Gone are the team's top point producer, draw control specialist, ground ball collector, turnover causer, and goal stopper. In all, six starters, including a pair of All-Americans, left the team to investigate pursuits away from Gettysburg.

"While they're not on the field anymore, their legacy is still here," said head coach Carol Cantele '83. "They left a very lengthy and a very impressionable legacy that is easy to follow."

Over the last four seasons, Gettysburg posted a record of 75-12, including 35-1 in Centennial Conference play. The team won back-to-back conference titles (2012-13), qualified for the national tournament four times, and won a national title in 2011.

That legacy will be shouldered quickly by a plethora of skilled returners and talented newcomers this spring. Twenty letterwinners and nine first-years will don the orange and blue for Cantele's 22nd season at the helm.

"I think the energy of this group is like nothing I've ever seen," said Cantele, who is 305-92 in her career at Gettysburg. "So many kids see an opportunity that wasn't available because of the two- or three-year starters from the previous class. There's a real heightened sense of competitiveness out there."

The attack will miss the talents of Lindsey Robinson '13, who was a two-time All-American and finished second in program history with 284 career points. But there are plenty of offensive weapons to look to among the returning group, including co-captains Katie Blumenthal (Malvern, Pa./Academy of Notre Dame), Kelsey Markiewicz (Taconic, Conn./Berkshire School (Mass.)), and Loren Pruitt (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown).

Each of those three players has accumulated over 100 points in their respective careers. Markiewicz is the team's top returning point scorer, totaling 66 points a year ago, while Pruitt tossed in a team-high 52 goals. Blumenthal was third on the team with 63 points in 2012. Markiewicz (second team) and Pruitt (first team) were each named to the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-Metro Region Team last season.

Those three players are among eight Bullets that posted 20 or more points a year ago. Included in that list are junior Bridget Kenny (Gladstone, N.J./Bernards), junior Mandy Buell (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill), and Amanda Borucki (Westminster, Md./North Carroll). Kenny was tabbed All-CC Honorable Mention after tossing in 40 goals, while Buell tripled her previous season best with 30 goals a year ago. Borucki was named CC Rookie of the Year after leading Gettysburg's newcomers with 35 points.

Junior Liz Cocchiola (Lebanon, N.J./North Hunterdon) and sophomore Abby Baigelman (Larchmont, N.Y./Mamroneck), who combined for 30 points off the bench last spring, should also see increased roles on the attack this season.

Cantele has no intention of slowing the team's pace on offense and she has the depth to maintain that frenetic pace for an entire game. Gettysburg scored 310 goals last season, marking the fifth time in the last six years the squad has eclipsed 300 goals.

"There's a lot of firepower out there," said Cantele. "We really want to play a high-paced game. I think this group not only goes deep in numbers, but they are consistently quick and super-fast."

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