From OBU Sports Info.
Ray Fink, Director of Athletic Media Relations
SHAWNEE – A new coach and new challenges face Oklahoma Baptist as the team makes its first step into the waters of NCAA Division II women’s lacrosse. Following their best season in the program’s short history last season at 11-4, the Lady Bison are ready to face a competitive blend of familiar National Women’s Lacrosse League (NWLL) faces, as well as future Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference foes.
“There’s a lot of transition this year, with how late I joined the team and our first season as a Division II program,” said OBU head coach Jordan Beech. “The girls have been working hard these first few weeks of practice, and we’re all ready to get out there and show everyone what OBU Lacrosse is about.”
The Lady Bison’s roster is littered with veteran experience, as the team boasts three seniors and nine juniors. They will be joined by a crop of five sophomores, as well as two freshmen who will make their debuts for OBU this season.
“These girls have faced a lot of adversity early on this year, and they’ve shown strong character through all of it,” Beech said. “You can tell just by watching them practice that those experiences have made them a tighter group and that we have some great leadership on the team.”
Oklahoma Baptist returns nine starters from last season’s squad. Headlining the returning starters are a pair of NWLL All-West Region selections in midfielders Paige Morrison (Wylie, Texas) and Allison Ingrim (St. Louis, Mo.). Morrison set the school’s single-season point and goal records with 49 goals and 58 points (49g, 9a). Ingrim enjoyed a strong rookie campaign with 26 goals and seven assists, finishing for third on the team points (33), goals and assists.
In the cage, senior goalie Sabrina Attaway (Whitesboro, Texas) returns for her final season with the Lady Bison. A constant presence in the goal circle, Attaway has played over 1,400 minutes, collecting 15 wins in the process. She will be joined by junior Caity Cullison (Lempster, N.H.), who has seen limited minutes in goal, but has featured elsewhere on the field.
On defense, Oklahoma Baptist brings back three regular starters from a year ago in juniors Jamie Jefferson (Mustang, Okla.) and Suzie Wisham (Colorado Springs, Colo.), and sophomore Emily Bontekoe (Hartland, Mich.). The trio, along with junior Briana Gray (Arlington, Texas), forced opponents into 298 turnovers. They will be joined by sophomore Haley Ballard (Overland Park, Kan.) who sat out last season, as well as freshman Savannah Tompkins (Fruita, Colo.), who will look to provide an immediate impact on the field.
A strong crop of middies return alongside Morrison and Ingrim for the 2016 season. Hannah Dowell (Edmond, Okla.), the Lady Bison’s second-leading goal scorer, will also be expected to control the draw once again, while Emily Gilbert (Bowie, Texas), who is OBU’s career leader in assists, brings her excellent feeding ability back for her junior campaign. Sophomore Jordan Kruse (Omaha, Neb.), who joined the team this season, will look to develop her skills further to aid the team.
Featuring seniors Emily Joslin (Delta Junction, Alaska) and Kari Callahan (Tulsa, Okla.), the attack is not short of veteran leadership. Joslin scored three goals while also scooping up 19 ground balls last season, while Callahan will look to make her mark after sitting out last season. The senior duo will be joined by juniors Sarah Anderson (Sherman, Texas) and Morgan Urick (Houston, Texas), and sophomore Maysn Ungerer (McKinney, Texas), who combined for seven goals and 33 ground balls in 2015. Alexis Martin (Overland Park, Kan.) will push for playing time as a freshman.
The Lady Bison open the 2016 season with a scrimmage against Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas on Saturday, January 30th at 4:00 p.m. They will open the regular season at home against the University of St. Mary (Kan.) on Friday, February 19th with a 7:00 p.m. start time before closing out the opening weekend with a game against the University of Montevallo on Saturday, February 20th at 6:00 p.m. at the OBU Lacrosse Field.