2013 Girls Lacrosse Preview: On the Rise

JOHNSTOWN – The outlook is bright for the Johnstown girls lacrosse team as it prepares for the upcoming season.

The Lady Bills return a strong group of players to the field this season, which should help the team improve on its 3-12 overall record and make a return to postseason play.

“We have a group of 10 players that accounted for 76 of the 121 goals we scored last year, and 99 of the total 158 overall points we scored,” Coach Denise Benton said. “Of our returners, four starting players from last year finished with double-digit goals.”

Kendra McCoy (19 goals, 9 assists), Emma Heroth (15 goals, 5 assists), Skylar Swatt (16 goals, 3 assistss) and Sara Kosowicz (13 goals, 1 assist) will spearhead the Lady Bills’ attack.

Swatt was a second-team all-star selection in 2012, while Heroth received honorable mention.

The Lady Bills lost their leading scorer, first-team all-star Mallory Hansen (22 goals, 12 assists) to graduation, as well as starting goalkeeper Courtney Ponte (honorable mention all-star). Also lost to graduation were Amanda Cline, Catarina Kumpitsch and Adrianna Randolph.

Coach Benton said she is confident in the players stepping up to fill the positions.

“Our starting goalie, Alexis Livingston, amassed an impressive save percentage of 76 percent in the several varsity games she played in,” she said. “We will be expecting big things from her, as well as newcomer to the cage Alyssa Nellis.”

Also returning to the Johnstown lineup are Megan Anagnostopulos (6 goals, 2 assists), Emily Smrtic (3 goals, 1 assist), Mikaela Etherton (2 goals), Bridgia Valk (1 goal, 1 assist), Emily Havlicek (1 goal) and Nakia Sweetman (1 assist).

Newcomers vying for playing time for the Lady Bills include Livingstone, Nellis, Alexis Randolph, Morgan Dick, Rachel Garber, Audra Gerlach, Diana Horning, Madison Frasier, Kaitlyn Bewely, Hannah Chamberlain, Morgan Coons, Hailey Mellis, Tatum Sardella, Madison Smrtic, Hunter Duesler, Ashlin Cosselman, Kalia Fisher, Molly Morrison, Kassidy Palmateer, Alex VanAernam and Sabrina Krutz.

Johnstown is scheduled to open its season April 8 with a home match against Greenwich at Knox Field.

“We are slated to have 16 regular-season games and we fully intend to be in the sectional playoffs this year,” Benton said. “We can only get better from here. Although we are missing Mallory Hansen, a key component of our midfield and two additional big-point playmakers whose presence on the field was valuable last year, we feel that we have the makings for an even better season this year with the quality of exceptional athletes playing lacrosse for Johnstown.”