CANTON -- The St. Lawrence University field hockey team, which finished 12-5 last season, will once again be in the chase for a Liberty League championship in 2010 thanks to an experienced and talented roster.
The Saints, who open the season with three consecutive home games, will rely on their upperclassmen for leadership and poise. St. Lawrence will open the 2010 season on Saturday, Sept. 4 against Oneonta State at 2:30 p.m.
"Our veterans have experience playing some of the best teams in the country, and we will need them to contribute all season," said St. Lawrence head coach Fran Grembowicz, who enters her 13th season with a career record of 133-73. "Most of our returners are significant contributors, and have been since their arrival on campus."
Coach Grembowicz continued, "Our sophomore group will continue to see a rise in playing time, as they've transitioned to the college game effectively. Finally, we added a group of five first-year students who will add quality depth to our team at each position."
St. Lawrence's offensive attack will come from a solid group of forwards anchored by senior Brooke Maloney and junior Taylor Vogt.
Maloney had a 16-point season in 2009, and behind excellent speed, will play a major role in the transition game in the middle of the forward line.
Vogt has a knack for finding the net and opening up the field, as she had six tallies in her sophomore season.
Senior Kelsey Berry adds an explosive offensive presence on the wing, and her ability to cross the ball makes her dangerous on the attack. Junior Erika Swits, who rejoins the team after a year away, is another threatening player who has solid elimination skills.
Others forwards who the Saints will look to contribute offensively include Ashley Ferenczy, Chelsea Priebe, Haley Preston, Grace O'Neil, Emma Meyer and Jennifer Hand.
The Scarlet and Brown may find their strongest unit in the midfield, as the experience and talent in that corps is outstanding.
Seniors Michelle Laframboise and Caitlin Estes anchor the group, as Laframboise has great speed and athleticism and will be crucial to the team's corner defense and Estes is a tenacious playmaker on both ends of the turf.
Emily Riley, who earned Regional All-America honors, returns for her junior season after a 12-point campaign.
The Saratoga Springs native has fantastic stick skills that will help in the team's transition game.
Classmate Brittany Clark, who will bolster the team's midfield and deep defense, rounds out the midfield unit with first-year students Emma Meyer and Kate Higgins.
St. Lawrence will look to junior Julia Croyle to direct the squad's defense from the sweeper position in 2010.
Her ability to shut down opposing forwards makes her a valuable asset to the team.
First-year student Emma Berry joins the mix in the backfield and will complement Croyle, as she steps to ball well and has excellent anticipation.
Clark is also likely to see time at defense as is sophomore Emily Viani.
The least experienced group on the Saints' field hockey roster this season is at the goalkeeper position, as Emilie Lannamann graduated last spring after starting in net for four seasons.
Sophomore Maureen McCoy is the lone returning goalie from 2009, and will compete with first-year student Nicole Matos and sophomore-newcomer Kelly Brennan for the starting job.
The Scarlet and Brown will host Oneonta, Utica and Thomas College in this weekend's "Fall Field Hockey Fest" in Canton.
The team will also see a tough non-conference schedule that includes nationally-ranked Middlebury and Cortland along with Hartwick, Franklin & Marshall, Manhattanville, Nazareth, and Geneseo State.
The Scarlet and Brown will also see their rigorous annual Liberty League schedule that includes nationally-ranked Skidmore and perennial powerhouse William Smith.