DURHAM, N.H. – Sandy Bridgeman, 12th-year head coach of the University of New Hampshire women’s lacrosse team, has announced that six student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent to join the UNH Lacrosse Team in 2008.

“We could not be more thrilled about the signing of our 2008 recruiting class,” Bridgeman said. “This exceptional group of players will bring an array of talent and athleticism at all positions. We expect them to have an immediate impact on our program and help us achieve our championship goals.”

This outstanding and geographically diverse recruiting class is comprised of two national All Americans, one Academic All American as well as three state championship players. Joining the 2008 UNH Wildcats will be: JoJo Curro (Amherst, N.H.), considered one of top players in the state of New Hampshire; New Yorkers Kate Keagins (Bay Shore) and Kirstin Lang (Waccabuc); club teammates from Massachusetts Erin Levesque (Duxbury) and Ilana Cohen (Andover); and Maryland native Hayley Rausch (Severna Park), who will also play on UNH’s field hockey team.

Cohen lettered in lacrosse, soccer and basketball at Andover High School. She has been a member of the Lower New England Team and selected as a conference All-Star.

“Ilana is a tough, athletic midfield defender with a tremendous work ethic,” Bridgeman stated. “She has exceptional on-field leadership skills, solid defensive instincts as well as being very strong with the ball on clears and in transition.”

Curro, who has earned letters in lacrosse, field hockey, swimming and ice hockey at Souhegan High School, is a three-time New Hampshire All-State selection (2005-06-07) in lacrosse. She was selected to try out for the U.S. Lacrosse Under-19 Team in 2006. Additionally, Curro is a two-time All-State Selection (2006, 2007) in field hockey having led her team to the state championship and an undefeated season in 2007.

“JoJo is such a fun player to watch,” Bridgeman said. “With her stick skills, vision and high lacrosse IQ, she is able to create many opportunities in the offensive end as a finisher or as a set up player.”

Keagins has lettered in lacrosse, soccer and indoor track at Bay Shore High School. She earned All-County honors in 2007 as well as All-League recognition in 2006. Keagins was a member of the 2007 NY National School Girls Team 2 as well as the 2007 Long Island Empire Travel Team. In indoor track, Keagins’ accolades include All-American, All-State and All-County.

“Kate is an intense competitor with exceptional speed and stick skills and has the ability to track anyone down in the midfield,” Bridgeman said. 

Lang, who lettered in lacrosse, basketball and cross country at John Hay High School, will join the Wildcats’ midfield corps. She was named an Academic All-American in 2007 and Lang’s other honors include North County News All-Star Second Team, All-Section Honorable Mention and All-League Honorable Mention. Lang was a member of the Hudson Valley Empire State Team in 2006 and 2007 (silver medalist).

“Kirstin is a solid attacker with an ability to finish to goal,” Bridgeman stated. “She brings an added dimension with her outstanding skills on the draw circle.”

Levesque has earned letters in lacrosse, field hockey and ice hockey at Duxbury High School. She earned All-Scholastic and All-League honors in 2007, when she scored 40 goals to lead the team to the Massachusetts D2 state championship. She is serving as captain in all three sports of her senior year. In field hockey, Levesque led the Patriot League in scoring in 2006 and 2007 and garnered All-Scholastic as well as All-League honors in both of those seasons. She also received All-League accolades in ice hockey as a sophomore and junior.

"Erin is a versatile athlete and driven competitor with tremendous potential,” Bridgeman said. “We are particularly impressed with her field sense, dodging skills and her ability to impact the midfield especially in transition play.”

Rausch, a lacrosse and field hockey letterwinner at Severna Park High School, led the 2007 lacrosse team to the state title with a three-goal effort in the championship game, then carried the 2007 field hockey team to a state championship (the team’s fourth in five years) with the game-winning goal in that title game. As a junior, Rausch earned First Team U.S. Lacrosse All-America honors.

“Hayley is an athletic, fast and highly skilled midfielder/attack with exceptional goal-scoring and passing skills,” Bridgeman stated. “She is a proven winner who we expect to make an immediate impact at UNH.”

This talented sextet joins a UNH women’s lacrosse program that has the longest active consecutive appearance streak in the America East Championship tournament (10 years) and has advanced to the conference title game five of the last six years.

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