COLUMBUS, Ohio – Intensity and excitement are high out of the Capital University women's lacrosse camp. With the season beginning this weekend, the Crusaders are preparing a heavy-hitting stint of three games to be played in five days to open their 2016 campaign. Its cast of characters will help not only launch a successful start to the season, but help keep spirits and play at a high level with a 15-match schedule looming.
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With such a young roster, despite having 15 returners back for 2016, consistency will be a key emphasis for the Crusaders. Capital possesses its first seniors as a third-year program, five juniors and eight sophomores to help lead a class of nine freshmen adjust to their first season.
The two seniors on this year's team are Kim Hoerauf (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) and Julie Duren (Union, Ohio), who will share captain duties. In two seasons, Hoerauf has recorded 38 goals and three assists for a total of 41 points. She has also recovered 31 groundballs, caused 32 turnovers and has 31 draw controls. Duren is a constant anchor for the defense. In two seasons, Duren has tallied 44 groundballs and forced 24 turnovers. Adding to the stout defense that surrendered just fewer than six goals per game is junior Alexis Juergensen (Canton, Ohio).
Junior goalkeeper Maddie Wilson (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) "the best goalie in the league" said Head Coach Stacey Wood. Wilson has 227 saves in her career and has a record of 20-9 overall. In 2014, she was named OAC Defensive Player of the Year as a freshman. Last year, Wilson made 77 stops and had one of the top goals-against averages in the OAC at 5.86.
Sophomore standout Kara Hines (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) returns as well. Hines was last season's OAC Offensive Player of the Year and named Second Team IWLCA All-Great Lakes Region. In just one season with Capital, she has recorded 62 goals, has 73 draw controls, recovered 38 ground balls, caused 13 turnovers, and assisted on four goals.
Helping on the scoring end will be four different players who last year scored at least 20 goals each. Junior Korri Titus (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) has been all over the field in each of her two years with the program. A true two-way player, Titus brings a defensive mindset, physical nature, and nose for scoring after posting 25 goals and 23 assists last year. All-OAC selection Regan Hanood (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) scored the second-most goals (29) for Capital last year and will also be complimented by fellow sophomores Taylor Thomas (Canton, Ohio) and Victoria Husain (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville South). That duo combined for 47 goals and 21 assists.
The Crusaders have four incoming freshman that are looking to compete for starting spots. Emma Trefney (Cleveland, Ohio) will see time on the defensive end be it on the back line or in the midfield, as will MaKenna Ozenghar (Boardman, Ohio). Katie Enot (Uniontown, Ohio) will bring a new level of physical play to the back line and will likely see a high number of minutes. For the first time since the program's inception, the Crusaders will have a backup goaltender, which will serve well both in games and practices. Lisa Lotz (Forest, Va.) is a solid option with a quick stick that can learn from Wilson, or play when called upon.
Further down the roster may be one of the most important numbers to the team. The roster has grown from 18 players in 2015 to 24 this season, which will provide much more depth as Capital gets deeper into its long season.
Capital opens its 2016 slate at Transylvania University (Ky.) this weekend and then will play a pair of games at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla. to open the month of March.