BALTIMORE – UMBC women's lacrosse inked nine newcomers to National Letters-of-Intent, as announced by co-head coaches Amy Appelt and Tony Giro. The Retrievers add an abundance of local talent to its roster with eight of its nine signees coming from the state of Maryland.
"We are extremely excited about this signing class," Giro said. "Each of these young ladies embodies all of the things we at UMBC look for in our student-athletes. They are of the highest character, extremely personable, intrinsically motivated and possess the many intangibles necessary to compete at the Division I level. It also helps that they are very talented and are selfless players that come from highly competitive high school and club programs. We expect this group to hit the ground running and never look back."
Gabrielle Cardina (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township), Kalyn Crocetti (Joppa, Md./Maryvale Preparatory), Marissa Davey (Ellicott City, Md./Marriotts Ridge), Kelsey Major (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty), Miranda McCoy (Hanover, Md./McDonogh), Caitlin Miller (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora), Laura Osborne (Chesapeake Beach, Md./Huntingtown), Sarah Turco (Phoenix, Md./Mercy) and Tianna Wallpher (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron) will be joining the Retrievers' squad for the 2015 season.
Cardina, an attacker, helped Manheim Township High School to a 46-6 record over the last two seasons and its fifth straight District Three championship in 2013. During her junior campaign, the Blue Streaks made it to the PIAA semifinals.
"Gabby is a long, smooth and talented athlete who works her tail off," explained Giro. "She is able to put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses because she is equal parts scorer and feeder. Over time, we think she can develop into an outstanding midfielder and help us all over the field."
Crocetti is a two-time US Lacrosse Baltimore Metro Second Team attacker from Maryvale Preparatory School. She helped the Lions to an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference finals in 2012 and the semifinals in 2013. Crocetti was named a Maryland Youth Lacrosse Association All-Star as a freshman. The Joppa, Md. native, played club with the North Eastern Maryland Select.
"Kalyn is a physical presence on the interior of the eight and has great size which allows her to see the field in a different way," said Giro. "She is very committed to her craft and has had the benefit of competing against great players on a daily basis."
Davey was an Under Armour Underclassmen All-American and an All-Howard County First Team midfielder as a junior at Marriotts Ridge High School, after finishing the year with 48 goals, 17 assists and 48 draw controls. Davey has 101 goals and 37 goals in her career en route to a pair of Maryland state titles with the Mustangs. The Ellicott City, Md. native, earned a No. 3 ranking at the ESPN High School Lax Inception in 2012, in addition to competing in the US Lacrosse All-Star Tournament in 2011. Davey competed with the M&D 2014 Black club team.
"Marissa is a proven winner," admitted Giro. "She brings a major presence to the draw circle and is a problem for defenses, with and without the ball, on the attacking end. She is the type of athlete who is very good at everything she does. We can't wait to plug her in and let her go to work."
Major is an All-Carroll County Second Team goalkeeper from Liberty High School. She had a standout junior campaign, posting the highest save percentage in Carroll County en route to All-Monocacy Valley Athletic League Conference First Team honors. Major is a five-year goalkeeper on the Hero's Tournament club lacrosse team.
"Kelsey was a late, but very welcomed addition to this class," Giro said. "She is a tough, left-handed goalie who sees the ball well and plays great angles. Her intensity and ability to communicate are also huge for us."
McCoy played for the top-ranked high school team in the nation the past two seasons, McDonogh High School. McCoy, who has seen action at all positions except goalie during her time with the Eagles, earned back-to-back Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championships during her stint and was named a Brine 2013 High School All-American. McCoy also competed on the M&D 2014 Black club team.
"Miranda is an extremely versatile, tough and well-schooled player who has played many valuable minutes in the best high school conference in the country," explained Giro. "No one out-works, or out-wants, Miranda McCoy. I think she can help us win in a million different ways."
Miller is a midfielder and attacker from Tuscarora High School. She is a two-time All-Star Second Team honoree, an All-County First Team selection as a junior and earned All-Monocacy Valley Athletic League/Piedmonth Conference honors in each of her first three seasons with the Titans.
"Caitlin can change a game on both ends, as well as, in between the 30's," Giro said. 'Her ceiling is immeasurable - she is that naturally talented. When you combine her natural ability with her humility and work ethic, great things happen."
Osborne is a two-time All-County midfielder for the 2013 all-county champs at Huntingtown High School. She earned All-Conference Second Team honors and a spot on the US Lacrosse High School All-Academic Team in 2013. Osborne received the Minds in Motion award four times, the Sportsmanship Award three times and the Varsity Athletic award three times during her time with the Hurricanes.
"Lauren is unbelievably quick, fast and tough," Giro said. "She is always first to the ball, which is something we are not very good at right now. Lo just gets better and better every time she steps on the field and soaks up information. We are excited to continue to watch her develop."
Turco is a two-time Brine High School All-American from Mercy High School. Turco was also named an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland All-Conference selection in 2012. The Phoenix, Md. native comes from an athletic family, with her sister Jenna rowing for Clemson University and he sister Caroline playing for the Johns Hopkins women's lacrosse team. Turco played club for the Sky Walkers 2014 team.
"If you look up 'junk-yard-dog' in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of Sarah Turco," said Giro. "The kid is tough, tenacious and brings it on every possession, every day. She is the type of kid who sacrifices whatever she needs to in order to win."
Wallpher is a defender and midfielder at Mt. Hebron High School and helped the Vikings to a regional championship in 2012. Wallpher earned All-Howard County honors by the Howard County Times and the Baltimore Sun three times and was named an Under Armour Underclassmen All-American as a junior. She played for the Hero's 2014 Lacrosse club team, who won the Under Armour Underclass All-American Tournament championship.
"Anytime Tianna has an opportunity to compete, she leaves everything on the field," said Giro. "Her game IQ is off the charts, her desire to be the best at her position is important to her and I love that she is never satisfied. T is a leader."
The Retrievers open the 2014 campaign at the UMBC Stadium, taking on perennial powerhouse Maryland on Feb. 13.