2014 Season Preview: Experienced Warriors Ready to Go

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. In her first season on the sidelines, head coach Lindsay Reese focused on helping Lycoming compete. Now in her second year, with a squad packed with eight starters returning, Reese will look for the team to turn competing in games into victories, as she tries to lead the Warriors back to the conference playoffs since 2010.

The Warriors finished 4-12 in 2013, but lost five games by four or fewer goals, and it's in those close games that Reese thinks the team is prepared to pull out wins this year. However, the Warriors will have to look for some immediate contributions from freshmen after the loss of the team's starting keeper and two all-conference players in Brooke Strausser and Lindsay Schilling.

"The team is working really hard," Reese said. "We lost a lot of close games last year and our returners are itching to get some 'W's. I think that's driven the players in hopes of coming out on the other side of the close games."

With four returning players who have seen significant time on the attack during their careers, the Warriors will look to continue to improve on an offense that scored 174 goals in 2013, the most for the team since 2010.

"They are really seeing each other a lot better this year," Reese said. "They know what each other's moves are, their weaknesses and strengths, and they are good at using their strengths. The experience the group has is important they know what I expect of them. They know our transition and our plays. We get to build on specific skills instead of starting from scratch. They are able to execute a little bit better this year thanks to that familiarity."

Seniors Maureen Heagy (Drexel Hill, Pa./Upper Darby) and Amber Graybill (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) will once again look to lead the way, as both three-year starters have posted back-to-back 20-point seasons.

Heagy has been a significant contributor on attack for the Warriors during her first three years on the squad, developing into the team's top returning scorer after posting 28 goals and 10 assists in 2013. Entering her senior year, Heagy has notched 55 goals and 15 assists in her career, as she offers great footwork and stickwork around the goal.

Graybill also offers the Warrior attack an experienced veteran to help run the offense, as she finished 2013 with 19 goals and 19 assists, which was good for 10th in the league in helpers. One of the team's best passers, Graybill also has the ability to drive and slash inside the arc.

Junior Casey Maguire (Egg Harbor, N.J./Egg Harbor Township) and sophomore Savannah Fox (Port Deposit, Md./Perryville) also give the team two more solid attackmen. Maguire has been one of the team's top scorers since joining the squad, as she finished fourth on the squad with 35 points, third with 21 goals and second with 14 assists. A shifty player, Maguire has great ability around the cage. Fox is one of the team's fastest players and should continue to develop after posting 13 goals and two assists as a rookie.

"With Savannah being healthier this year, I think she is going to be a nice weapon," Reese said.

While only two starters return in the midfield, the team will enjoy a bit more depth in the middle of the field thanks to the emergence of two freshmen two-sport athletes.

"It's exciting because we have a mix of experience and newcomers in the midfield," Reese said. "The freshmen are really going to make an impact."

Junior Erin Cieniewicz (Shillington, Pa./Governor Mifflin) will again be a central figure for the Warriors as a central midfielder and on draw controls. She posted 47 draw controls as a sophomore and added 11 points. One of the most aggressive players on the team, Cieniewicz also picked up 24 ground balls.

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