Seventeen rookies will be on the field this season. They join a roster that includes top 2022 finishers Taylor Moreno, Sam Apuzzo and Ally Mastroianni.
Here is a look at the 17 newcomers.
Abby Bosco, Defender
The fourth selection in the 2023 Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse College Draft, Abby Bosco started two years at Maryland after transferring from Penn. It did not take her long to adapt as she earned Big Ten Defender of the Year in her first season at Maryland. Tenacity was Bosco’s stock in trade during her entire collegiate career. She collected 106 ground balls and had 73 caused turnovers for Maryland. She won praise for quickly adapting to Maryland’s defensive system after her transfer. She has been lauded throughout her career for making every ground ball hers.
Bosco finished the 2023 season fifth in the nation and second in the Big Ten with 47 caused turnovers, third most in school history. She led the team with 43 ground balls and was second with 98 draw controls.
Kat Buchanan, Goalkeeper
Patience and perseverance are the calling cards of goalkeeper Kat Buchanan. She played sparingly in her college career at James Madison University until she starred as a redshirt senior, going 19-3 in her final season to set a school record for victories by a goalkeeper. If anyone can understand the hearts and minds of opposing attackers, it’s Buchanan – she is a former forward in hockey.
Buchanan’s 8.08 goals against average during the 2023 season was fourth in NCAA Division I.
Katie Detwiler, Defender
The second overall selection in the 2023 Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse College Draft, Katie Detwiler was a five-year letter winner at Loyola Maryland, starting all 85 games of her collegiate career. Detwiler’s statistics are impressive enough – 80 draw controls and 17 caused turnovers in 2023 – but they’re more impressive because Detwiler almost always drew the tough assignment of shadowing opponents’ top offensive players. It’s a role she said she gladly embraced and will be something to watch for in her first season of Athletes Unlimited play.
Detwiler is familiar with all facets of playing, having made the switch from midfield to defense at the start of her college career. She was a two-time Tewaaraton Award nominee and was one of only three sophomores named to the 2020 Tewaaraton Award Watch List.
Marge Donovan, Defender
Lacrosse may not be rocket science, but having a player of Marge Donovan’s intellect certainly won’t hurt Athletes Unlimited. Donovan, selected in the Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse College Draft, is the proud owner of a degree in aerospace engineering. She was a four-year letter winner at Princeton before finishing her college career at Maryland. Donovan also possesses significant international experience, having helped Team USA win the silver medal at the 2022 World Games.
During her four years at Princeton, she finished as the school’s single-game, single-season and career leader in draw controls. She helped the Tigers to an Ivy League championship and a berth in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. That kind of play continued at Maryland, where she was second on the team with 19 caused turnovers, third with 24 ground balls while piling up 10 draw controls.
Hannah Dorney, Midfielder
Hannah Dorney was a five-year letter winner at Notre Dame, with 45 goals and 15 assists during her career. She also collected 119 ground balls with 73 caused turnovers. Dorney’s defensive work in the midfield set the tone for the Fighting Irish all season long, and she showed she could be a multidimensional player by scoring the timely goal.
Her leadership ability earned her the captain’s role in each of her final two seasons at Notre Dame as the Irish gained an NCAA quarterfinal appearance. Look for her to take charge on the field as she gains professional experience.
Mairead Durkin, Defender
Lacrosse requires a large measure of toughness as it is, but if you’re looking to go beyond, look no further than Mairead Durkin, a selection in the 2023 Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse College Draft. In addition to starring at lacrosse, Durkin’s best sport was Gaelic football, a sport popular in Ireland and one that combines the skill and physical requirements of soccer, basketball, and rugby. From Gaelic football, Durkin developed some of the trademark characteristics that made her a five-year letter winner at James Madison University, where she caused the most turnovers all-time (135) in school history.
Durkin can play it anyway a team likes it: She’s adept in a zone defense, or she can take out an opponent’s top attacker in man-to-man coverage. She attributes much of her physicality on defense to having played Gaelic football. Opposing forwards are duly forewarned.
Erica Evans, Midfielder
Erica Evans helped to lead Maryland to an NCAA national championship in 2019 after transferring from Canisius, and she has played for Team Canada in the 2019 and 2021 World Championships. She is one of the most decorated players in Canadian lacrosse history.
A midfielder with a knack for scoring, she netted six goals in games twice, once for Canisius and once for Maryland. At Canisius, she scored a school record 186 goals. In her one season at Maryland, she started all 23 games and scored 59 goals, tying for the team lead.
Evans is a good playmaker who can create space for herself and for teammates. She has credited her experience in box lacrosse with helping her on the field, with aggressiveness and being able to score from tight spaces and shoot with accuracy. She also has hockey-playing experience in her background, which no doubt adds to her tenacity on the lacrosse field.
Sam Fiedler, Midfielder
Described over and over as a leader by example, Sam Fiedler was a five-year letter winner at Loyola Maryland. She started 57 of 78 games from 2018-22, scoring 174 goals and adding 87 assists. Her offensive prowess led to her becoming the only midfielder in program history to be ranked in the top 10 in career goals, assists, and points.
Fiedler fought back from an Achilles tendon injury while in college. She uses her ability to cut, find openings and feed open teammates. Her college coach called her the “glue piece” to the team because of her work ethic and ability to be in the right place at the right time.
Bri Gross, Midfielder
Bri Gross brings both skill and an element of daring to the midfield, making her an interesting pick for captains. The five-year letter winner at Vanderbilt also has international experience on her resume as a member of the 2019 United States U-19 National Team, which went 7-0 at the National Championships during a gold-medal run. A solid two-way threat, Gross posted 118 goals with 49 assists with 118 ground balls and 62 caused turnovers at Vanderbilt.
Gross has been an underrated player, having grown up in California, where lacrosse isn’t as established as it is on the other side of the country. But ignore her at your own risk. She is known for her ability to be around the ball and to think one step ahead.
Melissa Hawkins, Defender
A relative latecomer to lacrosse, Melissa Hawkins worked hard at the sport, and that hard work made her a five-year letter winner at Vanderbilt, where she set a school record by playing in 79 games. Perhaps the most notable improvement in Hawkins’ game was her stickwork. She finished her college career ranked second in school history with 131 caused turnovers. Her 145 groundballs placed her fifth on the school’s all-time list. Coaches have lauded her for her work ethic.
Hawkins is known as “Hawk,” the same as her father, a former college baseball player who passed away in 2013. Melissa has worn her dad’s No. 13 in his honor.
Amy Moreau, Midfielder
Amy Moreau is another versatile player, having moved from defender to midfielder for her final two years at the University of Massachusetts, where she was a five-year letter winner. UMASS coach Angela McMahon described Moreau as one of the most athletic players on the team and one with speed and an explosive step. All of this makes Moreau an exciting playmaker who can make a difference at both ends.
At UMASS, Moreau started 71 of 79 games from 2019-23. She received honors as the Atlantic 10 Conference Midfielder of the Year in 2023 to go along with being a First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection. She scored 35 goals with 15 assists for 50 points, all career highs.
Taralyn Naslonski, Attacker
Captains looking for instant offense will be enticed by the scoring skills of Taralyn “TT” Naslonski, who ended her college career as the leading goal scorer (187) and points scorer (266) in Rutgers history. The two-time captain played in the most games (79) in school history.
In her final collegiate season, Naslonski set the Rutgers record for points in a single season (90) while her 22 points in four career NCAA Tournament games made her the top postseason scorer in Rutgers history. She helped the Scarlet Knights to their best season in program history.
Naslonski is well regarded for her fierce competitiveness and leadership as well as her prolific goal scoring.
She received the Big Ten Medal of Honor, awarded annually to one male and one female student-athlete from the graduating class of each member institution who have demonstrated excellence on and off the field throughout their college career.
Katie Ramsay, Midfielder
Durability and dependability are the hallmarks of Katie Ramsay’s play. From 2019-23, she did not miss a game at USC, having made 51 starts in 80 contests, including all 38 starts over her final two seasons. If you’re looking for a midfielder who can drive, take control of the game and score, Ramsay is your player.
She finished her college career with 73 goals and 13 assists to go along with 184 draw controls, 75 ground balls and 49 caused turnovers. Her scoring ability showed up in four multi-goal games during her final campaign at USC.
Sarah Reznick, Goalkeeper
After playing 72 games and becoming a five-year letter winner at the University of Florida, goalkeeper Sarah Reznick was one of 11 players selected in the 2023 Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse College Draft. She played 72 games during her collegiate career, finishing with an 8.78 goals against average and a .519 save percentage.
Reznick’s strengths include seeing the entire field well and being able to position her teammates, even keeping an eye on them when they’re in the attacking zone. Fans may hear her from the top row of the stands. In the first round of this year’s NCAA Tournament, she broke the Florida single-game saves record (17). She broke another program record with 71-straight games with a recorded save. She was the first goalkeeper in program history to record 200 or more saves in a single season, with 202 in 2023.
Hailey Rhatigan, Attacker
A prolific scorer, Hailey Rhatigan was the fifth pick in Athletes Unlimited’s 2023 Lacrosse College Draft. Rhatigan helped lead Northwestern to its first NCAA championship since 2012 as a graduate student following her transfer from Mercer. She scored 62 goals, second for Northwestern, totaling 73 points in 2023. She is Mercer’s all-time leader with 298 career points.
Rhatigan possesses a quick sidearm shot, and her speed on the field gives defenders something to think about all game long. She scored twice in Northwestern’s title-game victory over Boston College.
Emma Wightman, defense
Emma Wightman was a four-year letter winner at Florida before she transferred to USC for her final season. Between play at the two schools, she secured 129 ground balls with 114 caused turnovers. She earned Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year for 2023.
Wightman is said to have an “uncanny” ability to stop offenses, and she brings a dose of physicality to her play. During one weekend this past season, Wightman spearheaded a defense that limited two different USC opponents to a total of eight goals in one weekend. It was also during that weekend that she reached the career milestone of 100 forced turnovers. She ranks fourth on Florida’s career caused turnovers list.
With a rookie scouting report in hand, fans are equipped to participate in the Athletes Unlimited Fantasy Pick’Em Game.
Fans can play for free and compete with friends and fans of the league by picking the four lacrosse players each week who earn the most points in the 2023 Lacrosse season. Each week, fans will select the athletes they think will climb to the top of the leaderboard on a weekly basis.
Season 3 of Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse begins on Thursday, July 20 at 5 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Tickets are available now.
Bruce Miles has covered sports in the Chicago area for more than 40 years, covering baseball, hockey, football, college and high school sports, and Athletes Unlimited Softball. You can follow him on Twitter @BruceMiles2112.
Rhatigan, Medjid among draftees signed for 2023 Lacrosse season
Image Courtesy of Northwestern
4 Tarheel defenders re-sign for 2023 Lacrosse season
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Kait Devir
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