Robert Morris Welcome 10 Freshman Recruits for 2014-2015

Moon Township, Pa. As Robert Morris University women's lacrosse prepares for an active fall season, it is pleased to announce the addition of nine freshmen to the team.

The latest class of Colonials features considerable talent at every position, and all are on track to aid the program as it enters its second decade of NCAA Division I competition.

"Our staff is very excited to welcome these nine new Colonials to our program," said head coach Katy Phillips. "They are an incredibly gifted group, bringing talent and creativity to our team. I'm confident they'll be outstanding additions."

The new Colonials are as follows, in alphabetical order: midfielder Bridgette Champane, midfielder Dana Davis, goalie Mackenzie Duffy, defender Amanda Gennaro, attacker Niki Grillon, midfielder Taylor Lewand, midfielder/attacker Kendall Noel, midfielder Alexis Rusnak and attacker Dominique Zigo.

Three of the freshman Davis, Gennaro and Lewand are from Pennsylvania. Davis was a first-team all-American at Garnet Valley High School, where she helped the Jaguars to state titles in three of her four years there. Gennaro, a Greensburg native, excelled on the defensive side of the game while leading Hempfield Area as a two-time all-section honoree. Lewand controlled the midfield for four years at Oakland Catholic, including a 32-goal output as a senior.

Both Champane and Zigo hail from the burgeoning lacrosse state of Michigan. Champane, the 2014 player of the year for the state of Michigan, holds Grosse Pointe South High School career goal and assist records. Zigo made a similar impact on Lakeland's lacrosse record books, claiming all-state, all-area and all-conference recognition multiple times while also starring for the basketball team.

Of course, the traditional lacrosse havens of Maryland and New England are well-represented among the freshman class.

Grillon (Taneytown, Md.) netted all-county honors for Francis Scott Key, as did Noel (Mount Airy, Md.) for South Carroll, where she was an all-conference performer in her final three high school seasons. Rusnak (Germantown, Md.) established a Watkins Mill program record with 204 goals, helping her make all-county and all-district lists twice each.

Duffy was a second-team all-state goalie in her senior season at La Salle (R.I.) Academy, capping a varsity career that featured all-division honors in all four years she played. She also suited up for the field hockey team as a senior, making second team all-division in the process.

All nine freshmen also competed for club programs during their high school years, but that doesn't mean they neglected their studies. Academic accomplishment is the norm with this group, ranging from all-American recognition to inclusion in the National Honor Society and various school honor rolls.

They come to a Colonials program that has established a reputation for excellent grades. Under Phillips, RMU has made the national Academic Honor Squad list for eight seasons running, meaning that its cumulative GPA is at 3.0 or above.

"Throughout the recruiting process, we not only look for skill, but also student-athletes who buy into our team philosophy of excellence on the field and in the classroom," Phillips said. "This group has tremendous drive and character. They'll fit well into our system."

After finishing 11-6 in the spring and advancing to the Northeast Conference (NEC) semifinals, the Colonials will be active this fall.

On Sunday, Sept. 28, RMU hosts the Pittsburgh Lacrosse 4 Hope event, as several Division I and II teams come to Moon Township to compete while raising money for Huntington's Disease research. In October, there will be an alumni game on the 4th and the Colonial Classic 7 v 7 tournament on the 26th.

Additionally, the Colonials are conducting three Fall Clinic Days in the upcoming weeks, set for Sept. 14, Sept. 27 and Oct. 25.

2014-08-29



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