Feb 22, 2019

2019 Women's Lacrosse Season Preview

A Winning Tradition

  • One NCAA Tournament Appearance (Second Round - 2019)
  • Four Northwest Conference Championships (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Three IWLCA All-Region Athletes (Jess Hanson, 2018; Lois Ray, 2019; Jennifer Burke, 2019)
  • Three Northwest Conference Players of the Year (Alexa Nakashimada, 2016; Jess Hanson, 2018; Lois Ray, 2019)
  • Two NWC Coach of the Year Awards (Katie Mastropaolo, 2018; Katie Mastropaolo, 2019)
  • 44 All-Northwest Conference Athletes  
  • Six straight winning seasons (2014-19)

NEWBERG – The 2019 George Fox women's lacrosse roster is loaded with returning veteran talent and is well-built to continue its run of success in the Northwest Conference this season.

Full Roster | Full Schedule

The Bruins finished 11-2 overall in 2018 and went undefeated in Northwest Conference play (8-0). They were honored with eight All-NWC selections, including six first-team honorees, and Jess Hanson was named Conference Player of the Year. Katie Mastropaolo was selected Coach of the Year after leading the team to its second consecutive undefeated conference season.

Hanson and Mikaela Easterlin, two All-NWC seniors, were among a five-player senior class that graduated, leaving Mastropaolo some key players to replace. She does return four All-NWC athletes in Lois Ray, Jennifer Burke, Madison Strickland, and Bailey Faust. Burke led the conference in draw controls, while Ray and Burke finished second and third in assists, respectively.

Mastropaolo plans to build team culture around a verse from 2 Timothy, which focuses on courage, self-discipline, and giving your attention and focus to each moment. "We should live that on and off the field, always give everything we have, and that will make us into who we want to be," she said.

When asked about what the team will look like on the field, and how she plans to replace some of the 2018 production from that senior class, Mastropaolo remarked, "I'm really excited. We'll have different girls step up and fill those holes – maybe not one specific person, probably a combo. It should look a little different, but I like our group."

Part of that new-look team features a blend of returners and up-and-coming freshmen. "We have a good group of returners," Mastropaolo pointed out. "Our captains [Faust, Burke, and Ray] have done a great job setting the standard and leading the team. Our other seniors, Grace Matteson, and Emma Fanger will do some great things as well, and our two new freshmen attackers, Bella Alfaro, and Andrea Garcia-Milla should really give us a spark. We're excited to see them at the college level."

Fanger and Faust should provide support on defense, and Madison Strickland should be able to keep the Bruins on the attack with her knack for assists and scoring.

Mastropaolo said the team plans to take every game seriously with a systematic approach. "We like to think that we are always playing with a target on our back; we'll get everyone's best shot and we have everything to lose in each game. That helps us set the standard."

Mastropaolo also has an eye on a deeper postseason run in 2019, commenting, "We added two new teams this year and both have great coaches. We want to grow with our conference, never be stagnant, and we want to grab the automatic qualifier with that conference championship. Knowing that is on the line is extra motivation. They really want to represent the NWC well and earn that spot in the NCAA Championship Tournament."

The Bruins open the season at home on March 2, with a tilt against Johnson & Wales (Colo.) at Austin Sports Complex. The game is scheduled for a noon start.