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New faces for reigning champs

DePaula takes over a young Shaker squad pursuing another title

Shaker goaltender Julia Maloney makes a save during an indoor practice last Wednesday. Maloney takes over for Anne Morrison between the pipes for the defending Section II Division I champs.

Shaker goaltender Julia Maloney makes a save during an indoor practice last Wednesday. Maloney takes over for Anne Morrison between the pipes for the defending Section II Division I champs. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— Much has changed with the Shaker girls lacrosse team since it lost to Section V’s Penfield 5-4 in last year’s state semifinals.

Head coach Courtney Hill left the program following Shaker’s first Section II Division I championship season, as did several key seniors including Anne Rehfuss, Lauren Smith, Kate Cheney and Anne Morrison.

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However, new coach Kara DePaula said no one should take Shaker lightly entering the 2013 season.

“We lost a lot of people, so we thought it was going to be a rebuilding season,” said DePaula. “But these girls have worked hard to make sure they’re ready for this season.”

The heart of Shaker’s success last year was in the defensive half of the field, where Morrison was a rock in goal for the Blue Bison. That role has been passed on to Julia Maloney.

“Julia Maloney is going to be amazing this year,” said DePaula. “She was good last year, but there’s only one position for goaltending and we had Anne Morrison.”

Maloney said she’s ready for the challenge of replacing Morrison, who shut down some of the top offenses last year in guiding Shaker to the Sectional title.

“She was a great goalie, and it’s a lot to live up to,” said Maloney. “But I’ve watched her over the years, and I feel like I’ve picked up enough to carry on the tradition.”

Maloney will have a veteran defensive crew to support her. Julia Enright, Maddy Smith, Lynn Roberts and Eva Torncello all all back for the Blue Bison.

The offensive unit is a different story, though. Without Rehfuss, Smith and Cheney, Shaker will need a new group of players to step up.

“We lost a lot of players on offense, but we have some young girls back,” said DePaula. “Hopefully, we can pull it together on offense.”

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