WESTMINSTER, Md. – The true definition of a rebuilding year is when a team has to replace its leading scorer and an all-conference goalkeeper.
That's exactly what's facing McDaniel when the squad opens the 2011 women's lacrosse season. The Green Terror will have to replace All-American and the program's all-time career goal-scoring leader in Brittany Baer on attack as well as finding an adequate replacement for All-Centennial Conference (CC) and all-region goalkeeper Leanne Hollinger.
Head coach Muffie Bliss is confident, though, that she has some of the pieces returning to fill at least some of the void lost to last year's senior class. She also has an 11-member freshman class looking to come in and make an immediate impact.
The replacement for Hollinger in net could come from any of three places. Sophomore Katherine Herzog (Alamo, Calif./San Ramon Valley) saw action in four games last year as Hollinger's backup while rookies Aimee Semler (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) and Kate Goldstein (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional) are also options for the starting nod.
The defensive prowess of Steph Nichols (Wilmington, Del./St. Mark's) and Erin McDonnell (Cockeysville, Md./Maryvale Prep) will be of key assistance in front of the new keeper. McDonnell led the team with 36 ground balls and added 19 caused turnovers while Nichols, an All-CC and all-region performer, had 33 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers.
Not only did the Green Terror lose Baer's 55 goals and 64 points from last year but the team also needs to replace Sarah Mintz, who finished second on the team with 41 points last season, including a team-best 30 assists.
Brittany Lines (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) and Paige Messersmith (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) appear to be the top options on offense as the two leading returning scorers from 2010. Lines finished last year with 24 goals and four assists while Messersmith, an all-conference performer, had 20 tallies and six helpers. Messersmith also led the way with 48 draw controls.
Click play below to watch and listen to Coach Bliss preview the upcoming season.