Holy Cross Women’s Lacrosse Looks To Start 2023 Off Right

Ben Lepper ’25

Sports Editor

Lacrosse is back. After a 2022 season where they finished 6-10, Holy Cross Women’s LAX is looking to come back stronger. Led by eighth year head coach Amanda Belicheck, the team is primed for a breakout year.

This year, the Crusaders are bringing back a strong foundation of players who all served in starting roles last season. These players include senior Jenna Giardina, who started all sixteen games in 2022 and finished fourth on the team in scoring. Other players who should have more starts this season include sophomores Olivia Kaval and Lindsay Hult and senior Kara Metzler, as well as some players who haven’t previously started but played important roles off the bench in 2022, such as seniors Hanna Brennan and Sara McKenna. 

Seniors Christine Fabrizi and Charlotte Wittstock will be this season’s captains. Last season, Fabrizi recorded nine starts and eleven points, averaging just over a point per game. Wittstock averaged exactly one point per game with nine goals and one assist in her ten appearances. Both players have been regulars on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, and they both have also achieved national recognition, being named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Academic Honor Roll in 2022.

One of the most intriguing storylines to follow in 2023 will be the emergence of Isabela Miller, who made a huge mark on the team as a freshman last season. Starting every game of the season, she netted twenty eight goals and seven assists. In half of her games, she scored multiple goals. Miller will certainly be an important part of the team this season, and nobody will be surprised if she ends up taking the team’s scoring title this year. 

Another storyline regarding this team is the significant amount of new players. This year, the Crusaders will feature nine freshmen, including midfielder Emily Smith, attacker Jordyn Bloom, and goaltender Mackenzie Creagh. Creagh, in particular, will likely play a valuable role on the team: she is one of only two goaltenders the Crusaders are carrying this season. The other goaltender is junior Tori Cini, who saw action in four games off the bench last season. The graduation of Grace Flink leaves a considerable void in net, but Cini and Creagh will certainly be up for the task.

Like most players on the team, junior defenseman Lauren Wildgoose is excited about the upcoming season and the strides she thinks the team will make. “This year, we had a fairly short preseason compared to previous years where we really focused on the fundamentals of our defense and offense so that we can be ready for whatever teams may throw at us,” Wildgoose tells The Spire. She continues, “We’ve put in work day and night, both in the fall and in the few weeks we’ve had after winter break. Continuing to grow as a team, we are ready to put our hard work to use this season.”

The Crusaders opened their season on February 11th at Merrimack, dropping the contest 13-10. It was not a bad loss, though; Cini made eleven saves, Fabrizi scored three goals, and Miller had two goals and an assist on the day. Sophomore Ella Kittredge scored the first goal for the Crusaders, and would end the day with three. Holy Cross’ other two goals were scored by sophomore Sally Zinsner and junior Lauren Drillock. But, after falling behind in the first quarter, the Crusaders were never able to regain control of the match. There is much to build on, though, so they absolutely shouldn’t be written off. They’ll be back.

Holy Cross’ next matchup will have already been decided by the publication of this article, as they will travel to Bryant for an afternoon matchup on February 15th. After that, they’ll take on UMass Lowell on the 19th before their home opener against Stonehill on the 24th, where they will begin a month-long homestand. Make sure to support the Crusaders at Kuzniewski Field whenever you get the chance!

Photo courtesy of Holy Cross Athletics

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