Aug. 12, 1997
1997 Season Outlook
As head coach Sherren Granese enters her 11th season at The Heights, she will have a solid nucleus of veteran players with which to pursue BC's second Big East title in four seasons. Despite losing three key players to graduation, the Eagles return 11 letterwinners, seven of whom played in all 19 games last fall.
The Eagles posted an 11-8 mark and finished tied for second in the Big East in 1996.
With five of the top six point-producers returning from last season's squad, the Eagle offensive attack should be the strength of the 1997 team. Junior tri-captain Joy Ramsbotham and senior Andrea Durko will lead the offense again this season.
Ramsbotham and Durko tied for the team lead in scoring last fall, as each player registered 32 points on 14 goals and four assists.
Ramsbotham, a midfielder, earned Second Team All-American, First Team Northeast Region All-American and Second Team All-Big East honors last season. Durko, a forward, was a Second Team Northeast Region All-American.
Senior forward Gabrielle Bieg, junior forward Katie Gentile and sophomore forward Julianne Marrone will be called on to provide offensive support. Though the trio has appeared in a combined total of 86 games in Maroon and Gold, they must raise their level of play to compensate for the losses of Second Team All-Big East pick Michelle Labonge (10 points) and 1996 tri-captain Nicole Statuta (seven points).
Bieg started all 19 games last fall, collecting nine points on three goals and three assists. Gentile was a starter in nine of her 19 appearances in 1996, scoring one goal. Marrone, a 1996 Big East All-Rookie selection, compiled four points on one goal and two assists in 14 games.
Boston College also possesses a talented and experienced backfield that will be led by tri-captains Anne Marie Ambros and Marion Fitzgerald. Both Ambros and Fitzgerald have started every game of their collegiate careers.
Ambros, a junior, led the Eagles in assists (eight) and defensive saves (nine), and finished third on the team in points (12) in 1996. In addition, she earned First Team Northeast Region All-American and First Team All-Big East accolades. Fitzgerald was a Second Team Northeast Region All-American and a First Team All-Big East selection, as she registered five points on two goals and one assist last fall.
Juniors Janis Cornwell (one goal, six assists), Nicki Novocin (one goal, two assists), and Kendra Medville (one assist) provide experience and depth at back.
The biggest void in the Eagle lineup comes as a result of the departure of goalie Sarah Egnaczyk, who served as a team captain in each of the past two seasons. Egnaczyk, a Second Team Northeast Region All-American and Second Team All-Big East selection in 1996, owns BC's all-time records for wins (41), saves (661) and shutouts (19). In addition, Egnaczyk, a two-time member of the U.S. Under-21 squad, was selected as an alternate to the U.S. National Team following the 1996 campaign.
Sophomore Jill Dedman, who redshirted last season, is no stranger to filling Egnaczyk's shoes. Dedman took over as the starting goalkeeper at Amity (Conn.) High School upon Egnaczyk's graduation in 1993. Dedman broke Egnaczyk's school record for career shutouts in her three seasons as a starter. Granese hopes that history will repeat itself.