Head coach Carly Ritchlin (Cortland '01) enters her ninth season as the coach of the Knights squad with a career record of 88-38 after going 12-4 in 2011. The Blue Knights finished fourth during the regular season with a 5-3 record in SUNYAC, before losing to top-seeded and #4 nationally ranked Cortland in the semifinals of the conference tournament. The Blue Knight losses included two to the nationally ranked Red Dragons and a pair of close conference defeats, 12-9 to Brockport and 12-11 to Buffalo State.
Sophomore Caroline Buonocore (Syracuse/Westhill) returns to lead the Geneseo attack after shattering the single season school mark for goals with 73 in her rookie campaign. Buonocore finished the season with 78 points, second best all-time, first team All-Empire Region, first team All-SUNYAC and SUNYAC Rookie of the Year honors.
Sophomore Meredith Weber (Bellport) and first year Katey Hart (Syracuse/West Genesee) join Buonocore on the starting attack. Weber moves into the starting group after scoring 10 goals and three assists off the bench last season, while Hart earned several accolades last season, including first team All-Central New York. Ritchlin is enthusiastic about Hart's speed, stick skills and shot and plans to use the rookie as a feeder from behind the cage. Sophomore Caitlin King (Wading River/Shoreham-Wading River), who had a goal and three assists in five games last year, is waiting in the wings and should see significant playing time.
In the midfield, Ritchlin's first order of business will be to replace the graduated Anna Hutchings, a two-time All-SUNYAC selection who finished her career seventh in points (137) and was the all-time leader in draw controls (233). Sophomore Emily Haggerty (Syracuse/Westhill) replaces Hutchings on the draws and is a dangerous offensive player after finishing her rookie year third on the team in scoring with 44 points on 30 goals and 14 helpers. Juniors Rachel Petrone (Rochester/Penfield) and Lea Paris (Henrietta/Rush Henrietta) return to the starting offensive midfield after collecting 33 points (22g-11a) and 29 points (22g-7a), respectively, in 2011.
On the defensive side of the midfield, the Blue Knights return seniors Johanna Trupp (Brightwaters/Bay Shore) and Kim Magee (Fairport). Trupp claimed second team All-SUNYAC in 2011, while Magee begins her third year in the starting lineup after scoring eight goals and three assists in 2011.
Ritchlin calls sophomore Kylie Caesar (Delmar/Bethlehem) a "13th starter" in the midfield, while first year Aileen Kurpis (Yorktown Heights/Yorktown), a All-League and All-Section performer, should see plenty of time on the offensive side, while sophomore Helen Fields (Oceanside) will spell Trupp and Magee on the defensive side.
Senior Christine Morra (Baldwinsville/C.W Baker), junior Jenna Theofield (East Northport/Northport) and sophomore Bridget McGovern (Yorktown Heights/Lakeland) return to form a stout defensive unit. The trio helped Geneseo hold opponents to just 9.30 goals per game last season and McGovern draws on a field hockey season that saw her earn SUNYAC Player of the Year recognition.
In the net, junior Julie Bernatzky (Mt. Sinai) inherits the starting job from the graduated Annie Smith. Bernatzky posted a miniscule 5.83 goals against average and a .600 save percentage in 164 minutes. First year Laura Passamonte (Baldwinsville/C.W. Baker) serves as the backup.
Junior Jen Costanza (Webster/Schroeder) and sophomores Caitlin Lally (Clarence) and Deanna Ingrassia (Deer Park) support the attack. First year Samantha Grabher (Glen Head/North Shore) provides depth in the midfield and seniors Michelle Donovan (Hauppauge) and Cristina Bisono (Hauppauge) offer leadership on the defensive end. First year defenders Alexis Pelowski (West Seneca/West Seneca East) and Jess Kaczor (Lancaster) round out the roster.
The Knights open up their season at Rowan University on Tuesday, March 6 and have their home opener on Tuesday, April 3 versus Fredonia.