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Women's Lax Returning Five All-ODAC Selections, Top Five Scorers From 11-Win Team

jodie welsh and dwyer neal take the draw

BRIDGEWATER, Va. – The Bridgewater College women's lacrosse team enters 2019 returning its five leading scorers from one of the winningest seasons in program history.

The Eagles achieved a number of milestones last season, winning 11 games for the first time since 1998, making a third straight ODAC playoff appearance, beating Christopher Newport for the first time ever, and defeating Roanoke for the first time since 1985.

Following a 5-0 start that included that 14-13 overtime upset of CNU, Bridgewater was also ranked #19 nationally in the Nike/US Lacrosse Magazine poll.

"Our goal for the season is to continue to improve on where we left off from years past," said head coach Rachael Bragg. "Making it to the playoffs was an accomplishment for our program, but at the same time an expectation. The 2018 team worked extremely hard to make it to our third straight ODAC playoff and we knew that the team's goal was to just continue to improve our placement in the tournament every year."

"Each team is different every year, so each player- whether a returner or freshman- has to learn how their teammates work best in order for our team to be at its best," she continued.

The Eagles return five All-ODAC players this spring, including three seniors who all reached 100 career points in 2018 as juniors. Attack Anna O'Hara (50g, 10a) has made the All-Conference team in every season, while midfielder Kristen Stark (47g, 24a) was second team All-ODAC and ranked third in the conference in scoring. Midfielder Sarah Yashinskie (38g, 9a) was also a second team choice.

Sophomore goalie Mikaela Brooks (8-4, 9.36 GAA, 133 saves) was second team All-ODAC in her rookie season (the fifth straight year the Eagles had an All-Conference goaltender), and junior defender Mackenzie Parcell (32 CT, 36 GB) was a third team selection.

Bridgewater will return its top five scorers from last year, with its senior trio joined by Dwyer Neal (45g, 7a) and Shannon Rogers (15g, 21a). 

Attack Jacqueline DiFulvio, defender Tori Hudson and midfielder Jodie Welsh were also starters for the majority of last season.

"We have five All-ODAC players returning for us this season and have a number of returners that have the potential to really come into their own," said Bragg. "As far as our freshman class, we have five eager and enthusiastic players that fit in well with our team and bring a lot to the field."

BC's non-conference schedule before ODAC play will include challenging opponents like Ohio River champion Transylvania and Centennial Conference semifinalist Dickinson. The Eagles open conference play vs. Ferrum on March 23, before a tough April that will see them face the top five teams in the ODAC preseason poll over the year's final six contests.

"I'm looking forward to this season because I think it will be a challenging yet rewarding experience, and will allow our players to grow on and off the field," said Bragg.