2012 Women's Lacrosse Senior Class Profile

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Jan. 16, 2012

By Cassie Speno, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- The Nittany Lion women's lacrosse team has returned to Happy Valley and is set to begin pre-season practice this week. Along with the leadership of co-captains Dana Cahill and Theresa Zichelli, four other seniors, Aly Adams, Brittaney Chamberlain, Kelsey Hughes and Elaine Welch, help lead this talented squad.

These six seniors are ready to build off of last season's 10-8 record and hope to make their first NCAA appearance. These long time teammates and friends reflected on why they chose Penn State, their favorite memories as student athletes and their goals for this season.

Senior, Aly Adams a native of Springfield Pa. is coming off of her best season as a Nittany Lion. As a junior she set career highs in all six major statistical categories while starting in all 18 games. Scoring 14 goals, with a team-high six off free position opportunities. Adams finished fifth on the team in ground balls with 22 and collected 16 total draw controls.

Adams says ever since she was a little girl her dream was to attend Penn State.

"I am so happy and honored to be a Nittany Lion," said Adams. "In my last three years I have had so many great memories and most of them surround this team and lacrosse. So I hope to make this last year and season even more memorable."

Goalie and captain Dana Cahill has established herself as one of the nation's top goalkeepers. Earning First Team All-West/Midwest Region and All-ALC honors in addition to being named ALC Goalkeeper of the Year. Cahill finished the 2011 season with a 9.95 goals against average, a .466 save percentage, 150 saves, and a team-high 47 ground balls.

 

 

Cahill's goal this season is to bring the team chemistry the squad developed during the fall into the season this spring.

"Our team is ready to surprise some people and beat some of the top teams in the country," said Cahill. "We have pushed each other hard in practice everyday and when the season comes that is when it is going to show. Ever since I came to Penn State one of my goals has been to make it to the NCAA Tournament and I think we have the ability to do that this season."

Brittaney Chamberlain, a defender from Finksburg, Md., made appearances in 11 games in the 2011 season and set career highs in caused turnovers and ground balls. A natural leader, Chamberlain says she hopes to really make an impact this season both in her play and leadership.

"I hope to be very vocal to help make the defense a tight unit," said Chamberlain. "Not only to make myself better, but also those around me."

Kelsey Hughes a Severna Park, Md. native is looking forward to making an impact on the field this season, working with Chamberlain to provide a solid effort in the defensive end. Hughes transferred from The University of Denver to Penn State her sophomore year. She enjoys attending a university that has so much spirit and pride.

"When I visited, the idea of Success with Honor really stuck with me," said Hughes. "Playing for your school and teammates over just playing for yourself. Penn State takes a lot of pride in their athletic teams and I just really wanted to be a part of a program that would not only make me a better athlete, but also a better person."

Elaine Welch a New Jersey native saw action in 17 contests, earning four starts. Welch had her best offensive season as a Nittany Lion, posting career high in goals (9) and assists (3). Welch like many Penn Staters recounted the first time she laid eyes on Beaver Stadium.

"My very first visit to Penn State I was driving with my Dad and we could see Beaver Stadium in the distance," said Welch. "As soon as I saw it I knew this is where I wanted to be. The combination of academics, athletics and tradition this university offers is amazing."

Welch's favorite Penn State lacrosse tradition is riding over to Jeffrey field on a bus the team calls the "Blue Banana". "We chant, listen to music and get pumped up for the game as we ride over," said Welch.

Theresa Zichelli, a three-year starter in the midfield and captain brings a tremendous amount of experience and versatility. Last season, she took on more of a defensive role, but still totaled 11 goals and a career-high 6 assists. She ended the year ranked second in the team in draw controls (27) and caused turnovers (18) and third in ground balls (34), all single season personal bests.

Zichelli's personal goal this season is to be a larger threat on offense.

"I am ready to make a big impact on the attacking side," said Zichelli. "As a team I know our largest goal is to make it to the finals of our conference tournament and then onto the NCAA tournament. We know that it is not going to be an easy task but we have really pushed ourselves to make these goals possible. Making the NCAA tournament would be a great way to take our lacrosse program to the next level. "

The seniors are excited about the journey ahead and have high expectations for the team and their success this season. Follow the squad as they begin action on the road with an exhibition game against Cornell on Feb. 12.

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