April 23, 2009

Coleman, White Are Two Stags with Style

by Ken McMillan | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

Fairfield's Mike Waldvogel says Kristen Coleman would be an All-American if she played for an elite program.

Fairfield women's lacrosse coach Mike Waldvogel makes no secret about what it's like to have the most formidable scoring duo in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

"It's fantastic," he said.

Kristen Coleman burst onto the scene last year as a freshman, setting Fairfield records for points (90) and goals (68). Naturally, she has drawn more defensive attention as a sophomore, but that has only helped senior Rebecca White enjoy a breakout season -- her league-leading 54 goals has nearly matched the 63 she put up in her first three seasons combined.

Coleman hasn't suffered, though, putting up 48 goals and tying for the league lead in points (62).

Opponents have fits trying to stop one or the other.

"Some people try to shut off Coleman, some try to shut off Rebecca, and that opens the field for the other one," Waldvogel said. "Anyone who tries to double [team], they can handle it with their speed and skill. People have tried all different things. To be honest, the only time they had problems was when they beat themselves and tried to do too much."

Fairfield has thrived in the two seasons Coleman and White have played together. The Stags went 17-2 last season, bowing to Marist in the MAAC title game. Fairfield is 14-2 this season, going unbeaten in MAAC play, and carries an eight-game winning streak into its MAAC tournament semifinal matchup with fourth-seeded Manhattan on Friday.

Expecting Coleman to receive extra defensive attention, Waldvogel designed more plays for White. Once hesitant to attack, White has learned to penetrate much better and has become a serious scoring threat.

 

MAAC's Top Duos




Team/Player Goals Assists Points




Fairfield




Kristen Coleman 48 17 65
Rebecca White 54 8 62
Totals 102 25 127




Manhattan




Chrissy Gutenberger 51 14 65
Caralyn Hickey 44 7 51
Totals 95 21 116




Canisius




Chelsea Martinez 50 6 56
Ashley Gray 42 14 56
Totals 92 20 112




Siena




Lindsey Rosecrans 47 18 65
Caitlin Mikel 33 12 45
Totals 80 30 110




Iona




Christi Godlewski 32 26 58
Elizabeth Coholan 36 12 48
Totals 68 38 106




Marist




Stephanie Garland 48 10 58
Cristin Belgley 28 13 41
Totals 76 23 99

"Rebecca White is great with [one-on-ones] and has other pieces where she is a good assister too,'' said Marist coach Laura Campbell. "She can see the field real well, can handle pressure well and can feed under pressure."

Coleman continues to use her lanky 5-foot-11 frame to her benefit, and has the proper blend of power and finesse.

"Coleman has a great first step, she's tall, and she has a great presence on attack," Campbell said. "She's tough. You have to mark her up tight because when she wants to go to goal, she can take it, and she has a great shot as well."

Coleman was a US Lacrosse All-America honorable mention selection as a high school senior at Holy Cross in suburban Washington, D.C. She made a very successful transition to the college game, earning MAAC Rookie of the Year and Co-MAAC Offensive Player of the Year honors last season. She had at least two points and two goals in every game, and popped in seven goals against Connecticut.

Waldvogel said Coleman would succeed on just about any Division I lacrosse team, contending that she would be a sure All-American candidate if she played at one of the elite programs.

Coleman possesses better skills, but the 5-foot-7 White is more athletic and a good team captain. She scored 17, 17 and 29 goals her first three seasons. White earned her reputation as a hard worker in the "hustle stats" -- her 105 draw controls rank third in school history, her 138 ground balls ranks fourth and her 75 caused turnovers rank fifth.

White will also leave her mark on the scoring tables. Her 117 goals rank third (she is only three tallies behind second place), her 34 assists rank sixth and her 151 points are tied for fourth all-time (two behind third place). White's 54 goals rank second only to Coleman's 68 in single-season marks and the 62 points has her tied for fourth.


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