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The Kent Island Bay Times - - Sports -

Bay­side Con­fer­ence ti­tle in seven sea­sons — re­main the class of the Mid-Shore, un­til fur­ther no­tice.

Queen Anne’s grad­u­ated 12 se­niors in the off­sea­son, and there were plenty of key roles up for grabs.

The mid­field will be headed up by Maken­zie De­moss (Jr., Old Do­min­ion Univer­sity), Shan­non Dono­van (Jr., Queens Univer­sity), Cal­lie Craw­ford (Sr., Haver­ford Col­lege) and Sarah Bowyer (So.).

“Ba­si­cally, we’re bring­ing back all the play­ers we had when we ended the sea­son last year,” San­tos Bates said. “We’re just con­tin­u­ing on where we left off.”

The at­tack­ing corps will fea­ture ju­nior Ha­ley Stallings, sopho­more Kylie Tu­low­itzky and fresh­man Bella Ru­la­paugh.

Bowyer and Tu­low­itzky re­placed As­cione and Folker af­ter their in­juries, and their ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing another state play­off run will be in­valu­able once the games start count­ing.

“Last year, we passed the torch mid­sea­son with those in­juries,” San­tos Bates said. “The torch was also passed this pre­sea­son, be­cause I be­lieve we have six fresh­men who have made var­sity who will be play­ing.”

The de­fense will be led by Grace Swee­tak (Jr., Rollins Col­lege), Emma Caulk (Jr., Univer­sity of Cincin­nati), Cara Brown (So.) and Bella Ash­ley (Fr.), with se­nior Syd­ney Fenex man­ning the goal.

Queen Anne’s back­field boasts a nice mix of ex­pe­ri­ence and youth, and San­tos Bates said it will once again be the back­bone of her team.

“We def­i­nitely have holes at (mid­field and de­fense), but we have had peo­ple step into those po­si­tions, and I feel that we haven’t missed a beat,” San­tos Bates said. “Our de­fense this year is bet­ter than we had last year, so we’re pleas­antly sur­prised and very ex­cited to see what hap­pens.”

The pass­ing of the torch ar­rived in un­ex­pected fash­ion this time around, but it did lit­tle to tem­per any ex­pec­ta­tions for the premier girls’ lacrosse pro­gram of the East­ern Shore, and con­sis­tently among the very best in the state.

“We have the small­est team that we’ve ever had un­der my ten­ure there,” said San­tos Bates, en­ter­ing her 10th sea­son with the pro­gram. “So pretty much every­body is see­ing play­ing time, sig­nif­i­cant amount.

“I think it’s just part of the cy­cle,” San­tos Bates added of the lower than usual turnout. “It’s ex­cit­ing to have that pres­sure on you ev­ery year, be­cause it makes you work harder.

“We know that teams around us have got­ten sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter,” San­tos Bates con­tin­ued. “That’s a great thing, be­cause it cre­ates com­pe­ti­tion, and it re­ally shows you what you have.”

Here is a look at this year’s teams:

Kent Is­land Head coach: Holtzner, 1st year

Out­look: It won’t be a stretch to say that the Buc­ca­neers will pose the big­gest threat to the Li­ons this sea­son.

The loaded Kent Is­land squad that went 10-4 last sea­son fea­tures a host of col­lege lacrosse hope­fuls, and Holtzner has the op­por­tu­nity to im­me­di­ately make his mark as the head coach af­ter four years lead­ing the ju­nior var­sity pro­gram, this on top of over 10 years ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with club teams.

Team cap­tains Syd­ney Holtzner (Sr., D, Florida South­ern) and Caro­line Bland­ford (Sr., M, Mar­quette) will set the tempo, while Kelly Poole (Sr., Michi­gan), Kaylen Karnes (Jr., Long­wood), Cas­sidy Creighton (Sr., Elon), and Rachel Ruf­fen­nach (Sr., Whit­man) also star in the mid­field.

“Hav­ing ath­letic play­ers and a deep ros­ter pro­vides very com­pet­i­tive prac­tices,” Coach Holtzner said. “All of our play­ers know each and very week is a try­out for the start­ing po­si­tions, there­fore our high­en­ergy, in­tense work dur­ing the week will pay div­i­dends later in the sea­son.”

The at­tack will fea­ture Gabby Beach (Sr., Mon­mouth), Mor­gan Gunn (Sr., A, Ge­orge Ma­son), Grace Boyer (Sr., Sa­van­nah Col­lege

Todd of Art and De­sign) and Ally Heath (Sr., Camp­bell). Kyleigh Hes­sion (Sr., Se­ton Hall) will be start­ing be­tween the pipes, and Keelyn Haarhoff (Sr., Long­wood) was listed as a key de­fender.

“Re­turn­ing a large group of vet­er­ans should pro­vide the team with lead­er­ship and ex­pe­ri­ence on both ends of the field,” Coach Holtz­man said. “We will rely on depth from our re­turn­ing play­ers, and are con­fi­dent our new team mem­bers will em­brace the at­mos­phere and team’s ex­pec­ta­tions as we forge through the sea­son.”

Cam­bridge-SD Head coach: Shan­non Bone, 4th year

Out­look: An ex­pe­ri­enced group of se­niors — Micah Slacum (M, Lynch­burg), Emily Bro­hawn (D), Al­li­son Lo­ef­fler (A) and Jor­dan LeCompte (A) — af­ford the Vik­ings con­ti­nu­ity com­ing off a 5-9 cam­paign, which fea­tured more than a few nar­row losses.

“This sea­son we are look­ing to main­tain con­sis­tency and to con­tinue the growth of the pro­gram,” Bone said. “We are look­ing to ex­pand our depth on the team and have high hopes for a great sea­son.”

Cam­bridge-SD grad­u­ated only four play­ers from last sea­son. El­iz­a­beth Dodge (D), Jenna Rue (G), Kar­lie Hughes (M) head up the ju­nior class, while the sopho­more group will fea­ture Bay­ley Tracy (last sea­son’s lead­ing scorer), Mor­gan Tracy (M) and Sarah Lewis (D).

Sa­milia Bry­den-Clarke (Jr., A/M), Mad­die Flem­ing (Jr., A/M), Alyssa Diaz (Jr., A) and Ha­ley Pi­etras (Jr., D, re­turn­ing from el­bow in­jury) round out those look­ing to jockey for play­ing time.

“Our fresh­men class of seven have been a great ad­di­tion to the team and we look for­ward to their growth through­out the sea­son,” Bone said. “As for col­lege prospects, we have mul­ti­ple play­ers cur­rently in the re­cruit­ing process.”

Eas­ton Head coach: Smith, 2nd year

Out­look: El­iz­a­beth Con­nelly (So.), Macy Sch­midt (So.), Kath­leen Crouch (Jr.) and Anna Roser (Fr.) will be start­ing on at­tack, while se­niors El­lie Roser (Fur­man) and Lexi McDaniel (Camp­bell) and sopho­more Myia Jeter head up the mid­field for the War­riors, who posted a 7-6 mark in 2017, in­clud­ing a 14-7 win over Saints Peter and Paul in the Tal­bot Lacrosse As­so­ci­a­tion Bull Roast.

Eas­ton will have to go with­out the ser­vices of se­nior stand­out Ta­tum Crouch (Sa­van­nah Col­lege of Art and De­sign), who has an ACL in­jury.

“Los­ing a great player and se­nior leader in Ta­tum Crouch a cou­ple of weeks be­fore the start of the sea­son (is go­ing to be a chal­lenge),” Smith said. “We’re build­ing an of­fense where all seven play­ers are a threat to score.”

Erin McDon­ald (Sr.), Jaylen Howie (Sr.), Abi Det­rich Robert (So) and Lily Os­borne (Fr.) will spear­head the de­fense along with goalie Emily Grif­fith (So.).

Smith listed the team’s lead­er­ship and de­fense as strengths, while not­ing depth at mid­field will be a hur­dle.

“Should be an ex­cit­ing year,” Smith said. “The Bay­side Con­fer­ence will again run through the tra­di­tional pow­ers of Queen Anne’s, Stephen De­catur and Kent Is­land. Eas­ton hopes to be in­cluded in that dis­cus­sion if ev­ery­thing falls into place.”

Kent County Head coach: John An­drew McCown, 1st year

Out­look: First-year head coach McCown, who was the as­sis­tant with the pro­gram last sea­son dur­ing a 5-8 run, will lean on Caro­line MacLeod (Sr. M), Ha­ley Wil­liams (Sr., A), Ali­son Rameika (Sr., G) and Taiyana Golds­bor­ough (Jr., M/D).

Kate Ervin (Fr., M), Olivia Jones-Barst (Fr., D), Mal­lory Helfen­bein (So., M) and Lisa Robin­son (So., D) will pace the un­der­class­men in play­ing time.

“We have a full team and 13 fresh­men this year,” McCown said. “We have a skilled team that can take us into post­sea­son suc­cess this year.”

North Caro­line Head coach: Katie Low­man, 1st year

Out­look: Low­man, who pre­vi­ously was the head coach at Saints Peter and Paul (2014 and 2015) and also served as an as­sis­tant with the Sabres along with Eas­ton, in­her­its a pro­gram that has been on the rise in re­cent years, in­clud­ing a 9-5 show­ing in 2017.

Caro­line also won its firstever play­off game (17-8 over Kent County) last sea­son, and broke into the top 100 in the state rank­ings for the first time.

“We are a young but tal­ented team with most of our start­ing lineup re­turn­ing,” Low­man said. “And with the ad­di­tion of some tal­ented fresh­men, this looks to be a strong sea­son with the prom­ise of im­prov­ing on the 2017 record.”

Natalie Cal­loway (Jr., cap­tain), Kaylee Jester (Jr., Slip­pery Rock), Madi Beatty (So.) and Cam­ryn Pepper (So.) head up the of­fense, while Kylie Phillips (Jr., cap­tain, Mered­ith), Pearl Sut­ton (So.) and Corinne Webb (Fr.) will start in the mid­field.

“Com­ing in as a new coach to a de­vel­op­ing pro­gram, it’s good to see some of the non-tra­di­tional teams

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