BW Women's Lacrosse Team Looks for OAC Title in 2014

BEREA, Ohio -- The 2014 Baldwin Wallace University women's lacrosse team will compete in its second season, including the first-ever Ohio Athletic Conference campaign, and hopes to capture its first OAC title this spring.

BW opens the season on Saturday, March 1 at 1:00 p.m. against Lourdes University in the first game of a women's and men's doubleheader at The George Finnie Stadium in Berea. In the nightcap, the Yellow Jacket men face Alfred State (N.Y.) University at 4:00 p.m.

Second-year head coach Kim Russell will return 11 letterwinners, including eight starters, from last season's squad that finished 4-6 overall in its inaugural season. She also has a bevy of newcomers who have the talent and ability to help this spring.

Leading the way offensively are junior Victoria Budzyn (East Aurora, N.Y./ East Aurora) and seniors Ellen Fedick (Rochester, N.Y./ Our Lady of Mercy) and Colleen Bodkin (East Aurora, N.Y./ East Aurora).

Budzyn paced the team with 23 goals and 23 points last season. She netted the program's first goal against Hiram College on March 2, 2013. Fedick was one of seven players to start all 10 games, and was fourth on the team with eight goals, registered a team-high three assists and finished second with 11 points. She also led the team with 38 ground balls and a .839 shots-on-goal percentage. Bodkin was tied for the second with nine goals, registered one assist and had 10 points. She also led the team with 46 ground balls.

Russell also will look to senior attacks Carmen Rush (Lakewood/ Bay Village) and Becky Russell (Glenshaw, Pa./ Shaler Area) as well as senior defenseman Katy Johnson (Coshocton) and senior goalie Bridget Walsh (Elyria/Elyria Catholic) for leadership.

Rush led the defense with 14 ground balls and caused five turnovers. Russell scored one goal and had one assist for two points. Johnson collected four ground balls and caused six turnovers. Walsh faced 241 shots, made 68 saves for a .395 save percentage, collected 19 ground balls and caused four turnovers.

Rounding out the returnees are junior of Nikki Bowman (Ashland/ Hillsdale) and sophomores Tia Esbenshade (Wooster/ Senior), Emily Tallmadge (Fairview Pa./Fairview) and Alicia Dawson (Wooster). Bowman scored two goals and had one assist for three points. Esbenshade scored three goals and had two assists for five points. Despite only playing in three games, Tallmadge finished tied for second on the team with nine goals and had a team-high .474 shot percentage and .789 shots-on-goal percentage. Dawson scored one goal and had one assist for two points.

Russell will welcome two new upperclassmen to the team, junior Cara Wood (Shaker Heights/ Laurel) and sophomore basketball player Sam Hamar (Galion), who will look to gain experience and add depth and strength.

In addition, look for freshmen Jenna Turner (Carmel, Ind./ Carmel), Emily Pechaitis (Avon Lake), Cassie Rinkus (Cleveland/ Beaumont), Mandie Russell (Lakewood/ Rocky River), Sierra Thomas (Medina/ Senior), Katie Kocher (Rocky River), Kelsey Johnson (Carmel, Ind./ Park Tudor) and Gabrielle Nondorf (Indianapolis, Ind./ Bishop Chatard) to all push for playing time.

Following three northern matches, Lourdes, versus NCAA Division II Ursuline University (March 5) and Ohio Wesleyan University, the Yellow Jackets travel to West Palm Beach, Florida for Spring Break (March 9-16). The OAC opener is April 12 when BW hosts Wilmington College at Finnie Stadium at 1:00 p.m.


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