Expanding the program
Mesa women's lacrosse team adding more out-of-state players
The recruiting footprint of the Colorado Mesa University women’s lacrosse team is slowly expanding.
Coach Abigail Simpson, during her first two years, signed mostly Colorado recruits. For the 2013 season, Simpson signed big-name players out of Oregon and California. As the buzz builds, Simpson signed more out-of-state recruits for the 2014 season.
“I’m definitely looking to move recruiting east,” Simpson said. “To be honest with you, I only have one Colorado kid signed so far. We have kids from Utah, California, Oregon, and I just had a kid sign from New York. We have a girl from Rhode Island coming in next year. Just today I got a recruiting questionnaire from a kid in Long Island.
“I’m from there, and when I was visiting family I had a camp out there. It only takes signing one kid out there before people start hearing about Colorado Mesa.”
Although CMU was tabbed to finish fourth in the Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association coaches poll, Simpson said she is confident a replenished offense with new additions will propel the Mavericks into the top half of the league.
“Last season Amanda Simon was out for six weeks,” Simpson said. “She’s a big part of our offense. Lexie Chavez getting injured hurt us, too.
“I’m confident this year because we actually have a bench on the sideline if we have anyone out with injury or illness this year. Hopefully we won’t have to deal with that, and so far we haven’t.”
Freshmen will play a key role on the already young team. The program, in its third year, has seen increasingly large recruiting classes. Additions to the offense, built around 2012 goals leader Rachael Sutton, were a focus during the offseason. Sutton was selected the 2012 WILA freshman of the year.
“Ashley Eickhoff is lightning quick, just phenomenally quick with her stick,” Simpson said of the forward. “Kelly Cronin is a low attack player who is quick with finesse and has a nice shot. Cory Ledford is a right-handed attack player with great moves, great shot, great dodges, great kid.”
Five-foot-eight twins Adrianna and Allison Stone, who were all-state players in Tigard, Ore., headline the additions on defense.
“Looking at their size, you wouldn’t think they’re fast, but they are,” Simpson said.
The Mavericks open their season at 1 p.m. Saturday against Regis University at Walker Field.
“This first game against Regis is big for us,” Simpson said. “We lost by five to them last year, so anything can happen.”