Yeowomen Seek Redemption After 2017 NCAC Championship Loss

The women’s lacrosse team had one of their most successful seasons in school history last spring. After starting off strong with an eight-game winning streak, the Yeowomen earned a 14–2 record and made it to the North Coast Athletic Conference championship, in which they lost to Denison University 10–15.

Under the leadership of senior captains and midfielders Natalie Rauchle and Sydney Garvis, the 2018 squad — which added on six first-years and two walk-on sophomores — are gearing up to take on the challenge of not just matching, but exceeding last year’s success.

In 2017, three All-Great Lakes Region honorees — goalie Alexa L’Insalata, midfielder Sloane Garelick, and attack Sara Phister — graduated. The trio accomplished a record of 43–20 over their four years in the program, making them the second winningest class in the program’s history. However, Head Coach and 2017 Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year Lynda McCandlish said she has moved on from last spring’s successes and is excited to see what her new squad is capable of.

“We have a very different team than we had last year, with a lot of young talent, but our potential is as great as it ever has been,” McCandlish said. “I’m excited to see our team develop and grow this season. It should be fun to watch.”

Rauchle has proven herself one of the best sharp-shooters — if not the best — in the conference over the course of her career. As a sophomore, she was an All-NCAC Second Team selection after finishing second in the conference with 62 goals. Last spring, she was a Great Lakes All-Region First Team selection and All-NCAC First Team selection after finishing as the conference’s goals per game leader, scoring 62 times in 16 contests. She also collected 19 ground balls and 46 draw controls.

After missing the entire 2016 season due to injury, Garvis had herself a successful junior campaign. The midfielder started all 16 games and collected 10 assists, 26 ground balls, and seven caused turnovers.

She will work alongside junior midfielder Haley Drapkin, who started in 12 games last spring before being sidelined due to an injury. Despite missing four contests, she finished fourth on the team with 42 points, scored 20 goals, and collected a team-best 22 assists. Drapkin also had 32 ground balls, 13 caused turnovers, and 11 draw controls. In addition to the assets she and the rest of the returners bring, Drapkin said she is excited to see what the newcomers will offer.

“We have a lot of really amazing freshmen coming onto the team,” Drapkin said. “We are ready to step up our game and take it to the next level this season. We are looking to make a run in the NCAA tournament.”

Sophomore midfielder Eliza Amber was an All-NCAC Second Team selection and the NCAC Newcomer of the Year last spring, starting all 16 games and scoring 24 goals. She also had six assists and led the team with a shot-on-goal percentage of .861. She was second on the team with 20 caused turnovers, tied for team-best with 46 draw controls, and third on the squad with 38 draws.

Junior midfielders Sabrina DeLeonibus and Jenna Butler will see time as well. DeLeonibus played in 14 games last year, scoring five times and collecting eight ground balls. Butler was featured in 13 games, scoring eight goals, collecting 30 ground balls, and causing 14 turnovers.

The defense will be led by sophomore Emily Berner, who was an All-NCAC Second Team selection last spring, and junior Sydney Allen. Berner started in all 16 games and collected 39 ground balls, the second highest on the team. As a sophomore, Allen made 10 starts, scored four goals, and added 13 ground balls, four draws, and eight caused turnovers.

Perhaps the biggest change will come from the net-minder, as replacing All-American L’Insalata between the pipes will be a tough task. However — from what they’ve shown thus far — junior Siena Marcelle and first-year Maranda Phillips seem to be up for the challenge. Last spring, Marcelle played in nine games, making six starts in the net. She made 19 saves with a goals against average of 3.90 and a save percentage of .487.

The Yeowomen will look to begin the 2018 campaign on a positive note as they take on the Baldwin Wallace University Yellow Jackets at home Wednesday at 6 p.m.