Season Preview (WD1): No. 8 Boston College
by J. Jude Hazard | LaxMagazine.com
Brittany Wilton had 58 points last season, second on the
team behing Kristin Igoe.
Fresh off its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, Boston College will not rest on its laurels. Bowen Holden won't allow it.
Entering her sixth season as the Eagles' head coach, Holden said her team is better now than it was at its peak last season. Despite a 1-4 conference record in the rugged ACC, Boston College received an at-large bid to last year's NCAA tournament and nearly upset eventual national champion Northwestern in the first round. The Eagles lost 11-8. It was the Wildcats' closest first-round game since a 10-8 win over Notre Dame in 2004.
"These kids, particularly the senior class, barely had a .500 season freshman year, and now look at where they've brought this team," Holden said. "To finally break in gives you that confidence and gives you that taste for wanting even more. That's really what last season has done for this team."
Banking on an influx of talent and the development of young players, Holden plans to move senior attacker Brittany Wilton to midfield this season. Wilton had 42 goals and 16 assists last year, second on the team in points behind Kristin Igoe, and was third nationally in draw controls last year.
"Brittany is an impressive athlete and she's got a lot of speed," Holden said. "She has the ability to play both ends of the field, and we felt that we would only be stronger in all areas, offensively, in the midfield and on defense if we made that move."
Junior Caroline Martignetti will also move from attack to midfield. Holden hasn't yet decided how she'll pair up the women on various lines throughout the season.
"We feel so good about six to seven [midfielders] that really have a potential to make a huge impact. That's the first time that we've really been in that situation," Holden said. "We make a big emphasis that our midfielders need to play defense first and foremost."
Igoe, a native of nearby Framingham, Mass., became the first player in Boston College women's lacrosse history to be named to the IWLCA All-American first team in 2011. Junior Brooke Blue, who finished third on the team in points last year, will help shore up the attack. Wilton was named to the All-American third team in 2011, marking the first time that two Eagles earned All-American nods in the same year.
Boston College has a demanding schedule in 2012. The Eagles face seven teams among Lacrosse Magazine's preseason top 20, including ACC foes Maryland, North Carolina, Duke and Virginia and non-conference games Syracuse, Albany and Harvard.
"The seniors in particular are very experienced on the field and have a significant amount of talent," Holden said. "We're going to use the success of last year as a starting point, but we also are moving forward. There's no question that it was another stepping stone for us."
This article appears in the February issue of Lacrosse Magazine, the flagship publication of US Lacrosse. Join US Lacrosse and its 400,000-plus members today to start your subscription to LM. Follow LaxMagazine.com all season long, and check out the Eagles' team page.
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