The 2013 spring season was the first ever for the Hiram College women’s lacrosse program. In its “sophomore” year of existence, the Terriers will look to build upon their year of “firsts” in 2014.
Hiram finished its innaugural season with three victories including winning its first game of the season against Baldwin Wallace University.
“Last year was exciting because it was a year of ‘firsts,’ said second-year head coach Erika Blozie. “We had our first game, first win, first goal scored… which was great for the lacrosse program. We play in a competitive, well established lacrosse conference, which posed its challenges, but throughout the season we continued to improve and could see results in how we competed.”
Hiram will welcome back the majority of its roster from last season, including three of its top scorers in sophomores Hannah Schaefer (Kent/Roosevelt), JoLyn Grover (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) and Rebecca Goetz (Buffalo, N.Y./Frontier). Schaefer was tied for the team-lead in goals scored (12) and overall points (14) last spring. She was also tied for the team-lead in assists with two. Schaefer took 29 shots for a .414 shot percentage. She led the team in free-position goals with three as was second in ground balls (32), draw controls (21) and caused turnovers (18). Grover scored all her points last year with 10 goals in 18 shots for a .556 shot percentage. She led the team in “man-up” goals with a pair and also scored two goals on free-position shots. In addition, Grover ranked amongst the team leaders in ground balls (17), draw controls (11) and caused turnovers (nine). Goetz was fourth in scoring with eight goals and one assist for nine points. She took 12 shots during the season and had a team-best .667 shot percentage. Goetz led the team in caused turnovers with 20 and was third in both ground balls (26) and draw controls (13).
Even though the majority of the roster is back in 2014, the Terriers will still sport a young team as Hiram will have just one senior and four juniors on the squad. Michelle Bezek (Parma/Padua Franciscan) is the lone senior. Last year, she played in 13 games and started six on attack. She tallied two shots, both on net, and had two ground balls for the season. Joining Bezek are juniors LeAunna Martin (Akron/Ellet), Jzayla Jackson (Lorain), Jocelyn Schmidt (Kent/Roosevelt) and Devonique Henderson (Streetsboro). Martin started all 14 games she played in and tallied eight ground balls, five caused turnovers and had a draw control. Schmidt was one of two players to play in all 15 games last year and also started 14. She was amongst the team leaders in ground balls (16) as a defender/midfielder and also caused five turnovers. Jackson saw playing time in 11 games, including three starts, and had two ground balls, two caused turnovers and a draw control. Henderson started four of her 12 games played and took one shot in addition to one draw control.
Also back, is sophomore Rebecca Greenhouse (Pittsburgh, Pa./Winchester Thurston) who was the team’s primary goalkeeper last season and should be again this year. She started all 14 games she played in as a freshman and was amongst the North Coast Athletic Conference leaders in saves with 126. She ended the season with three wins, a 15.50 goals against average and had a .367 save percentage. In addition, Greenhouse led the team team ground balls with 39 and had nine cause turnovers.
Other returning players this season include junior Morgan Rahman (Westlake/St. Joseph Academy) and sophomores Paige McLain (Beaver Falls, Pa./Blackhawk) and Chanda Woodall (Akron/Akron North). Rahman played in 13 games, with nine starts, and scored a goal for one point offensively. She also had four ground balls and one draw control. McLain was a mainstay on defense starting all 14 games she played and tallying five ground balls and causing five turnovers. Woodall saw significant playing time in 13 games respectively. Woodall had four ground balls and four caused turnovers.
“This year we need to build of the excitement and improvements we made last year,” stated Blozie. “We need to challenge ourselves to not look at ourselves as a new team anymore, but take the team to a new level and show we can compete with any team on our schedule. Whether that is winning more games or showing the development of our skills and lacrosse knowledge…. I would consider both successes. We will look to our captains, Rebecca Goetz, Hannah Schaefer and Jocelyn Schmidt to lead the team this spring.”
The 2014 schedule will feature three new opponents for the Terriers in Olivet (Mich.) College, Hilbert (N.Y.) College and Walsh University. The Terriers are scheduled to begin the season on Tuesday, Feb. 27 against the University of Mount Union in the home opener at Charles A. Henry Field at 4 p.m. Hiram will begin NCAC play on Mar. 29 when the Terriers host DePauw (Ind.) University at 4 p.m.
“This year our team has grown in skill level,” added Blozie. “We added some new players with experience and the returners have improved and are working as a more cohesive unit. The team has been working hard in preseason and is ready to get the competitive season underway.”