SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo women's lacrosse head coach Lesley Graham has announced the addition of four early signees to the 2014 roster. Midfielders Kelsey Burns, Bethanny Jolly, and Danica Leili, as well as attackman Sarah Johnson, will join the Green and Gold next season.
"One of the most exciting things about this year's recruiting class is their versatility and athleticism," said Graham. "Being able to have multiple options for each player—midfield, attack, defense—will really strengthen our depth."
Graham has secured three players from the New York and New Jersey areas, and has brought in a local product from the Sunshine State for next year's roster.
5-7 | Midfield
Colts Neck High School
Burns plays for Colts Neck High School under Head Coach Troy Madison. The 5-7 midfielder was named Most Improved Player in 2010, Rookie of the Year in 2011, Midfielder of the Year in 2012, and earned Honorable Mention All-FRHSD honors in 2012. Burns has been tabbed as a captain for her senior campaign. She chose Saint Leo for the beautiful campus, academic offerings, and the positive attitude of the women's lacrosse team.
Coach Graham's Thoughts: "Kelsey is a strong athlete with height, speed and athleticism. Her ability to transition the ball will be a big help to us in the midfield. We are looking forward to seeing what her potential can amount to on the field"
5-4 | Attack
Hilton High School
A four year varsity starter for Hilton High School, Johnson has been playing under the direction of Head Coach Amanda Golisano. The Rochester, N.Y. native earned Second Team All-Country honors her junior year, and has been tabbed to captain her team in her senior campaign. Johnson, who is also a member of the Lady Roc club team, chose Saint Leo because of the women's lacrosse program, educational opportunities, and location.
Coach Graham's Thoughts: "Sarah is an all-around offensive threat. Her ability to read a defense and see the options will make her an immediate threat at the collegiate level. Not only does she do a great job of finding the net, she also has a real knack for setting up her teammates as well."
5-6 | Midfielder
Geneva High School
Jolly is a four year varsity starter for Geneva High School under the direction of Head Coach Lindsey Breese, and a member of the Finger Lakes Flamingos club team. The Geneva, N.Y. native was named to the Finger Lakes League Honorable Mention team her freshman year, and picked up Second Team Finger Lakes League honors from her sophomore campaign. Jolly's junior season saw her earn First Team FL League, and Midfield Player of the Year accolades, which she added to her team's MVP award. In three years, Jolly has accrued 123 goals, 47 assists, 86 ground balls and 102 draw controls. Jolly chose Saint Leo for its location and beautiful campus.
Coach Graham's Thoughts: "Bethanny brings a great lax IQ to our team. She has versatility to play both ends of the field and the athleticism to do so. She has good speed and smart aggression—both tools necessary for the college game."
5-5 | Midfield
Palm Coast, Fla.
Matanzas High School
Sunshine State product Danica Leili currently plays for Matanzas High School, as well as the LaX Maniax club organization. Hailing from Palm Coast, Fla., Leili has been named Most Improved Player for lacrosse, and has picked up Best New Runner honors for her efforts on the cross country team. Leili chose Saint Leo because its academic offerings, lacrosse program, and the positive feel she had when she stepped on campus.
Coach Graham's Thoughts: "Danica is a multi-sport athlete, homegrown here in Florida. Her work ethic and dedication is second to none and she brings a high level of intensity to all she does. That's an exceptional quality to bring to the field."
For more on the women's lacrosse program, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also, be sure to 'Like' the Lions on Facebook at Facebook.com/SaintLeoLions.com, and 'Follow' the Lions on Twitter at Twitter.com/SaintLeoLions.