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The Hollins lacrosse team embarks on a new era this spring with the hiring of new head coach Danielle O’Leary. O’Leary comes to Hollins after a playing and coaching career at New England College and takes over a program that ranked near the bottom in almost all statistical categories in the ultra-competitive Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
Hollins enters the 2013 season with a roster that lost their two leading scorers from a season ago. Meg O’Brien ‘15 and Brandi Chesne ‘14 return on the offensive end as Hollins will have to find a way to replace 80% of the team’s scoring from last year.
Chanci Wright ‘14, the only other veteran player on the roster with a goal, returns after a stellar defensive season. In her first year of lacrosse at any level, Wright led the team in ground balls and caused turnovers. Her 50 ground balls ranked her fourth in the ODAC, and she led the conference with 43 caused turnovers. Wright also found herself near the top of all NCAA Division III in caused turnovers per game. Corrine Nicholson ’14 returns in goal for Hollins after recording 124 saves, which ranked her fifth in the ODAC.
Hollins is picked to finish 11th in the ODAC Preseason Poll, as voted on by the league’s coaches. Hollins will find out where they stand early on as the team’s first two conference games are against #1 Washington and Lee and #3 Lynchburg.
After posting a 4-12 record last year, their best in several years, and falling just one victory short of qualifying for the ODAC tournament, the Hollins University lacrosse team entered the 2012 season with high hopes. Hollins sought to complement an improved defense with a stronger offensive effort in order to continue the rebuilding process. Despite finishing with a 1-14 record in 2012, the team boasted several outstanding individual performances.
Erica LaWall '12 helped fill the void left when the team lost its two leading scorers from the previous season, leading Hollins with 18 goals. Last season’s goalkeeper Jacqui Sommerman '13 turned in her gear for a field position and was second on the team with eight goals.
On the defensive side, goalkeeper Corinne Nicholson '14 made 124 saves, fifth-best in the ODAC. Chanci Wright '14, playing lacrosse for the first time, ranked third in the ODAC with 50 ground balls while leading the conference with 43 caused turnovers. She finished the season ranked second in the nation in caused turnovers with 2.87 per game.
Most of Hollins' defensive players will be returning next season, and with further progress on the offensive side, the team can contend for a slot in the ODAC tournament.