ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s lacrosse team begins its second year of competition when it opens the 2015 season against Kennesaw State on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 1 p.m. at Rudd Field. The game is also the first game of the NCAA DI season.
The Phoenix played its first competitive season in 2014 after Elon added the sport in 2012. The maroon and gold finished the season with an 8-9 overall record, a 4-1 mark in Atlantic Sun Conference play and a second-place finish during the conference regular season. Elon also went a perfect 5-0 at home, including the program’s first win on March 1, 2014, against St. Francis.
Kennesaw State is a familiar opponent for the Phoenix. The two programs met last season as members of the Atlantic Sun Conference. Elon claimed an 18-7 victory over the Owls in Rhodes Stadium on April 13, 2014, in the last home game of the season. Molly Garrigan led the maroon and gold that day with six goals, while Sloane Kessler finished with two goals and three assists.
The 2015 Phoenix
Elon returns 19 players, including 11 starters, from last year’s team. The Phoenix also welcomes 12 freshmen to round out the 2015 squad. Eleven states are represented on the roster with nine players hailing from Maryland, seven from New Jersey, three from New York, two from each Massachusetts, Florida, North Carolina and Georgia and one from each Connecticut, New Hampshire, Colorado and Pennsylvania.
Josh Hexter is in his second season as the Phoenix head coach after being hired to build the program in 2012. Hexter was honored as the Atlantic Sun Women’s Lacrosse Coach of the Year in 2014 after guiding the team to a 8-9 record in its first competitive year. This season, Elon welcomes first year assistant coach Brittany Dipper after serving in the same role at Stetson last year. Dipper played collegiately at Maryland where she helped the Terrapins to a national championship in 2010. Maddy Morrissey and Taylor Virden also join the Phoenix this season as volunteer assistant coaches after graduating from Duke last spring. Both Morrissey and Virden played under Hexter while he was an associate head coach for the Blue Devils.
The 2015 Elon women’s lacrosse viewbook is now available online. This book brings an interactive experience to the fans and incorporates full-color graphics, as well as video content. Check it out here.
The Phoenix returns six players that earned all-conference honors in the Atlantic Sun last season. Both Sloane Kessler and Rachel Ramirez were honored as First Team All-Atlantic Sun and were the only freshmen on the 12-member team. Kessler was also named the A-Sun Freshman of the Year. Rowan Drake and Erin Murnane were named Second Team All-Atlantic Sum, while Olivia Fernandez and Anna Vitton joined Kessler, Murnane and Ramirez on the Atlantic Sun Freshman Team.
New Year, New Conference
After playing its first season in the Atlantic Sun Conference (A-Sun), the Phoenix moves to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) this year. Elon will compete against the six other teams that make up the CAA women’s lacrosse league – Delaware, Drexel, James Madison, Hofstra, Towson and William & Mary.
The Phoenix remains home at Rudd Field for its next game when it hosts Atlantic Coast Conference power Duke on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 1 p.m. Elon played its program opener against the Blue Devils on the exact same date last season in Durham, N.C.