Schirmers, Seniors Continue to Build Winning Tradition in 2016

Feb 19, 2016

Complete 2015 Stats
CCIW Preseason Coaches Poll
DUBUQUE, Iowa – Senior attacker Bridget Schirmers, the leading goal scorer in University of Dubuque women’s lacrosse history, and her fellow seniors look to build on last season’s school record of nine wins as they enter the fourth season in program history.

Schirmers, a 2015 All-CCIW Second Team selection whose 35 goals led the team in 2015, leads a cast of five seniors, including key contributors in attackers Kelly Wetherald (29 goals, eight assists) and Ashley Geraghty (six goals, two assists). The trio leads a Spartan team picked to finish fifth in the 2016 CCIW Preseason Coaches poll.

The Spartans bring back 18 of 21 players from a team that more than doubled their previous school record of four wins after finishing 9-7, 2-4 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin a season ago. UD placed fourth in the CCIW and narrowly missing out on the fourth and final CCIW Tournament seed due to tiebreaking procedures.

"We have a solid returning group of players as well as three great new additions to the team so I feel confident that we can have a successful season this year," said Head Coach Kendall Loggins. "Our goal each year is to improve our record from the year before so we are looking to win more than 9 games this year and have another winning record." 

Combined with a talented crop of underclassmen that includes All-CCIW Second Team honorees in lockdown defender junior Jessi Tapia and do-it-all midfielder sophomore Breann Tjaarda, UD’s first, four-year class of seniors and the Spartans look to get over the hump.

Tjaarda, one of the Spartans top recruits, made an immediate impact with 29 goals and 13 assists while leading the team with 52 ground balls, 92 draw controls, and 20 caused turnovers.

A trio of defensive newcomers aim to shore up a unit that lost goalkeeper Chelsea Hawkins, as goalkeeper Ambryn Dittmer, defender Emily Barwa, both from Mukwonago, Wis., and goalkeeper Kaley Weir out of Alpharetta, Ga highlight the 2016 class. The pair of goalkeepers aim to replace departed senior Chelsea Hawkins.

"We have two outstanding freshmen goalies on the roster this year, Kaley Weir from Alpharetta, Georgia and Ambryn Dittmer from Mukwonago, Wisconsin and I know each of them will do an amazing job this season," added Coach Loggins.

Seven home games dot the Spartans season schedule as they host three CCIW games against Carroll University, Illinois Wesleyan University, and Carthage College. UD goes for its second straight win over Loras on the road April 12.

UD starts the season off in a dome when they face both Augsburg College and Northwestern-St. Paul on Saturday, February 20 at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. in Minneapolis, Minn.

"All of the girls on the team and our coaching staff have high hopes for this season and we’re going to work as hard as we can to continue to grow the women’s lacrosse program at UD and have another successful season," said Coach Loggins.

2016 CCIW Preseason Poll
1. Augustana
2. Carthage
3. North Central (Ill.)
4. Illinois Wesleyan
5. UD
6. Elmhurst 
7. Carroll

Key Returners
Bridget Schirmers (Attack, Sr.) | 16 GP, 14 GS, 35 Goals, 12 Asts, 47 Pts, 88 Shots (61 on goal)
Breann Tjaarda (Midfielder, So.) | 16 GP, 15 GS, 29 Goals, 13 Asts, 42 Pts, 60 Shots (48 on goal), 52 Ground Balls, 92 Draw Controls, 20 Caused Turnovers
Robyn Wittkopf (Midfielder, Jr.) | 15 GP, 13 GS, 30 Goals, 13 Asts, 43 Pts, 65 Shots (49 on goal), 29 GB, 39 DC, 19 CT

Key Newcomers
Ambryn Dittmer (Goalkeeper, Fr.) | Mukwonago, Wis.
Emily Barwa (Defender, Fr.) | Mukwonago, Wis.
Kaley Weir (Goalkeeper, Fr.) | Alpharetta, Ga.

Returning Stats
Goals (170 of 207, 82.1%)
Assists (60 of 74, 81.1%)
Points (230 of 281, 81.9%)
Shots (416 of 523, 79.5%)
Ground Balls (285 of 326, 87.4%)
Draw Controls (216 of 236, 91.5%)
Caused Turnovers (109 of 118, 92.4%)

Stat Check
The Spartans outscored their opponents, 131-83 (+48), and posted a 7-2 record in the friendly confines of Oyen Field last season.