New year, now coach and the wins keep piling up
by Nelson Coffin
COACH: NANCY LOVE, 3-0.
TOP RETURNERS: Maddie Jenner (Sr., M Duke), Julia Hoffman (Sr., A, Maryland); Julia Cooper (Sr., G Stanford); Emma Schettig (Jr., M, Maryland).
KEY LOSSES: Andie Aldavie (Notre Dame), Margaret Donovan (Princeton), Katie May (Maryland).
TOP NEWCOMERS: Izzy Marsh, Soph., A; Sam Thacker, Jr., D.
OUTLOOK: After earning 177 consecutive wins and nine consecutive IAAM A Conference crowns entering the 2018 campaign, no team in the nation has a bigger target on its back.
Throw in the fact the Chris Robinson is no longer the coach and it’s easy to see why some opponents might feel why this will be the year to knock off the Eagles.
Yet former assistant Love knows her stuff, too, so count on McDonogh still being the team to beat until some opponent proves otherwise.
With Jenner taking the draws and Hoffman and fellow seniors Rachel Anderson, Anna Robinson and Megan Mix and junior Emma Tilson leading an experienced attack with Marsh injecting new blood to the unit, McDonogh has the talent to get the job done even though it will be missing star defensive middle Julia Dorsey due to an injury.
That group, without Doresy, still boasts senior Hannah Rothe, junior Abbie Wilhelm and sophomore Eva Class as the most seasoned defenders who will be stationed in front of Cooper. Look for Thacker to round out the group.
“Our team has the challenge to step up and fill some big shoes of some our 2017 graduated players,” Love said. “Plagued by some injuries in the past year, the Eagles are working their way back to recover and build from these setbacks, mainly recovering from the loss of Dorsey, a two-sport athlete committed to playing soccer and lacrosse at UNC. As always, we expect lots of strong competition.”
Although the coaching staff has changed, its determination to win yet another title remains firmly intact.
“Our all-female coaching staff of four consists of three McDonogh alumnae, including Mary Beth Todd and three-time Tewaaraton winner Taylor Cummings, who will return to her alma mater,” Love said. “We also welcome Eva Winiarski, who competed at the D-1 level after graduating last year from Drexel University.”