Lacrosse returns to action on the road this weekend

(Will Bratton Photo)
(Will Bratton Photo)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. --- Following a 12-day layoff from its last contest, Campbell will return to action this weekend with a pair of games on the road versus two Atlantic-10 opponents.

The Camels are set to take on La Salle in a neutral site contest at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida on Friday before facing Davidson on its home turf on Sunday. First draw versus the Explorers is set for noon while the matchup versus the Wildcats will begin at 2 p.m.

Live stats for both contests will be available through gocamels.com while Sunday's game will be broadcast on the A-10 Network through a paid subscription. Live in-game updates from both contests will also be posted on the Camels' Twitter page, @GoCamelsWLAX.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

LAST TIME OUT: Campbell (0-4) fell to Cincinnati 17-16 after the Bearcats struck for the game-winning goal in the very last second of regulation. The Camels went ahead 16-15 with 4:22 left to play, but Cincy scored the final two goals of the game in the final 1:27 of action. Sarah Paul had a standout day with a career-high six goals while Kayla Reilly also registered six points on three goals and three assists.

ON THE OFFENSE: Campbell features a balanced attack with a variety of scoring options out of the attack and midfield. Nine players have already found the back of the cage for the Camels this season in an offense that is averaging 10.25 goals per game. That's currently the second-highest average in the Big South.

THREE CAMELS EARN PRESEASON HONORS: A program-record three Camels were named to the All-Big South Preseason team and Erin O'Hara was named Campbell's first ever preseason defensive player of the year. Melissa Placek and Kayla Reilly joined O'Hara on the preseason all-conference squad.

LEADING THE WAY: Kayla Reilly leads the Camels' offensive efforts this season with a team-high 16 points on 10 goals and six assists. Paul has tallied nine points with the help of eight goals while Placek has an even five goals and five points. Placek currently leads the league in free-position goals with 1.0 per contest, which also ranks 18th nationally.

A LITTLE DEFNESIVE: The Camels feature a veteran defensive unit headlined by O'Hara along with fifth-year senior April Reinhart. Megan Reilly has also started every contest in the back and Amanda Chasin has also seen significant minutes.

BETWEEN THE PIPES: Senior Merredith Bechler has played every minute in the cage this season for the Camels. She has averaging a league-high 10.50 saves per game (13th NCAA) with a 0.424 save percentage, which stands second in the league. Her 42 total saves stands third in the conference. Bechler is the Camels' all-time leader for minutes and appearances in goal. For the first time in program history, Campbell has three goalies on the roster with the addition on sophomore Kylie Haarhoff and freshman Alex Salim.

THE NEWBIES: The Camels feature eight new players on their 2017 roster including seven talented freshmen looking to make an impact early in their Campbell careers. Sam Carey and Tina Ricci has seen the most time on the field so far this season from the unit. Carey has started all four contests and ranks second on the team in draw controls (12). Ricci ranks third on the team in scoring with six goals and has started the last three games. Katie Matz has appeared in the last two games and scored her first career-goal vs. Cincinnati.

LIMITING MISCUES: The Camels are averaging the least amount of turnovers in the Big South. Their 15.0 turnovers per game also ranks 15th nationally.

HEAD COACH DAWN EASLEY: Campbell head coach Dawn Easley is in her fourth season in Buies Creek after leading the Camels to the most successful season in program history last year. She led CU to its first winning campaign and a new single-season win record at 10-9. The Camels also won their first postseason contest and advanced to the Big South semifinals. Easley has mentored 12 All-Big South honorees in three years at Campbell and owns a career .548 winning percentage in eight years on the sidelines.

CAMELS PICKED THIRD: Campbell received its highest preseason billing in program history when the Big South coaches picked the Camels to finish third in the league standings. High Point was tabbed as the preseason favorites followed by defending champions Winthrop in second.

ALL-TIME SERIES: Friday will be the first ever meeting between Campbell and La Salle. The Camels and Wildcats have played twice when Davidson was a member of the Big South in 2013-14. Davidson won both contests by a combined 32-10 margin.

SCOUTING THE EXPLORERS: La Salle (2-2) is coming off a 20-18 victory at Stetson on Monday after winning its season opener versus Manhattan 13-7. Allee Ilgenfritz has scored four or more goals over the past three games to lead La Salle with 14 goals on the season. Brittany Edwards ranks second on the team with 11 goals while Anna Gordon leads the team with eight draws and has picked up eight groundballs to rank second on the team. In goal, Lynne Frankel has picked up a team-high 11 groundballs and recorded 42 saves over the past four games. The Explorers rank seventh nationally in free-position percentage with a 0.571 clip.

SCOUTING THE WILDCATS: Davidson (2-2) is coming off a 15-9 loss to Jacksonville last Sunday but claimed a big 10-9 victory over William & Mary two weeks ago. Annie Brockett leads the Wildcat offense with 15 goals this season. Her 3.75 goals per game ranks sixth nationally while her 0.833 free position percentage stands fifth. As a team, Davidson owns a 0.588 free position percentage, which ranks sixth nationally. Genna Portner has scored eight times for the Wildcats. Rose Woolson has spent the majority of time in the cage for Davidson and is averaging 10.75 saves per game, the eighth-highest in the country. Her 0.581 save percentage ranks 14th nationally and 43 total saves stands 45th.

LOOKING AHEAD: Following this weekend's action, the Camels will open a five-game homestand at Barker-Lane Stadium on Friday, March 17 against Mercer at 5 p.m.