STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut women’s lacrosse team welcomes eight freshmen to the 2016-17 squad. The class, which boasts six 2016 All-Americans, includes two attackers, four midfielders, one defender and a goalkeeper.
“We are really excited about this group,” head coach Katie Woods said, “they will add depth all over the field and, with our returning players, will put us in position to continue our success.”
See below for the full bios of each new Husky.
Grace Beshlian | Wantagh, N.Y. | Wantagh High School | 5’3 | GK
Before UConn: Earned three varsity letters for lacrosse at Wantagh High School…served as team captain her junior and senior seasons…earned All-American honors in 2015 and 2016…named Team MVP in 2016…a three-time All-County honoree (2014, 2015 and 2016)…also earned one varsity letter in swimming…a member of the National Honor Society…received Academic All-American honors.
Personal: Grace Anne Beshlian…born May 6, 1998…daughter of Richard and Barbara Beshlian…has two older siblings, Bobby and Jackie…an education major.
Alyssa Conklin | Sloatsburg, N.Y. | Suffern High School | 5’8 | D
Before UConn: Earned one varsity letter from Suffern High School…served as Team Captain her senior year…earned All-American honors her junior and senior years…named MSG Varsity All-Tristate as a senior…received All-Section recognition as a sophomore, junior and senior……earned All-Conference honors all four years of high school…also played field hockey at Suffern and served as captain her senior year…was on the Academic Honor Roll all four years of high school…named Academic All-American in 2015.
Personal: Alyssa Harley Conklin…born May 29, 1998…daughter of Glen and Jen Conklin…has a younger sister, Kelsey… is undecided on a major.
Madison Cook | Solvay, N.Y. | Christian Brothers Academy | 5’4 | A/M
Before UConn: Earned five varsity letters at Christian Brothers Academy…served as a lacrosse captain her junior and senior years…helped CBA to two state championship titles and four sectional championships…was named All-CNY as a sophomore…earned three varsity letters in bowling and served as the bowling captain her junior and senior years…had the highest bowling average on the team her senior season and won second place at the league individual tournament that same year…earned honor roll or high honors in every semester of high school…a member of the National Honor Society.
Personal: Madison Kennedy Cook…born August 29, 1998…daughter of David Cook and Melissa Walsh…a biology/PNB major.
Dayle Lower | Orlando, Fla. | Lake Brantley High School | 5’5 | M
Before UConn: A four-year letter winner and a four-year starter at Lake Brantley High School…served as a team captain her senior year…honored as a 2016 U.S. Lacrosse All-American…named 2016 Midfielder of the Year…the winner of the 2016 Gary Hayes Memorial Award…a member of the 2016 Orlando Sentinel All-Area team…led the team in every stat category her senior year…named Team MVP in 2015…the recipient of the coaches award in 2014 and 2016…named Rookie of the Year in 2013… picked to the All-Seminole Athletic Conference Team all four years of high school (2013-16)…also earned four varsity letters for soccer...was a team captain for soccer in 2015 and named Team MVP that same year…received the 2016 Lake Brantley HS Scholar Athlete Award…named to the 2016 All-Seminole Athletic Conference Academic Team…a member of the National Honor Society…a U.S. Lacrosse Academic All-American.
Personal: Dayle Elizabeth Lower… born December 28, 1997…daughter of Brian and Janet Lower…has three older siblings, Mark, Bruce and Jamie…majoring in business.
Francesca Messura | Hamlin, N.Y. | Hilton High School | 5’5 |M
Before UConn: Earned five varsity letters from Hilton High School…served as captain her junior and senior years…named Team MVP in 2015 and 2016…was selected to the All-County First Team in 2015 and 2016…participated in the Herb & Fitch senior All-Star game…earned Second Team All-County as a freshman and as a sophomore…finished her high school career with 335 points, including 226 goals and 109 assists…a high honor roll student all four years.
Personal: Francesca Mary Messura…born March 30, 1998…daughter of Anthony and Mary Messura…has a twin brother, Anthony Jr., and a younger brother Sam…is undecided on a major.
Olivia Miles | Watertown, N.Y. | Watertown High School | 5’7 | M
Before UConn: Earned five varsity letters from Watertown High School…earned All-American honors as a senior…the 2016 All-North MVP…served as a team captain as a senior…named Female Athlete of the Year as a junior…was selected to the All-North regional team in all four years…earned First Team All-Conference in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons…helped Watertown to three Frontier League Championships…finished her high school career with 255 goals and 120 assists…named Player of the Game in the state semifinals as both a junior and a senior…participated in the 2014 Under Armour Underclass Lacrosse Tournament…also played soccer for Watertown and served as team captain as a senior…broke the school record for goals in soccer as a senior…also helped the soccer team to three Frontier League Championships.
Personal: Olivia Paige Miles…born July 22, 1998…daughter of Richard and Mary Miles…has two older sisters, Kayla and Sarah…is undecided on a major.
Olivia Shapiro | Longmeadow, Mass. | Longmeadow High School | 5’5 | M
Before UConn: A four-year letter winner in lacrosse at Longmeadow High School…a 2016 U.S. Lacrosse All-American…helped her team to the Western Mass. Championship all four years of high school and the 2015 State Championship title…named ESPN Boston Miss Lacrosse in 2015…selected to the 2015 Under Armour All-American team… named the Northeast Player of the Year by Lax Magazine in 2015…finished her high school career with 219 goals and 155 assists for 374 total career points…served as a team captain…two-time All-State, three-time All-Western Mass. and three-time All-League honoree…also played soccer and basketball in high school and earned four varsity letters in each…served as captain for both soccer and basketball…a three-time All-League honoree in soccer…helped the basketball team to the 2016 State Championship title…was named team MVP in 2016 for basketball and also picked up All-State honors.
Personal: Olivia Nan Shapiro…born March 9, 1998…daughter of Douglas and Jennifer Shapiro…has an older brother, Alex…is undecided on a major.
Bridget Zima| New Fairfield, Conn. | New Fairfield High School | 5’7 | A
Before UConn: A four-year letter winner at New Fairfield High School…a 2016 All-American…named the 2016 Hearst Connecticut Media’s Girls Lacrosse All-Star MVP…served on the Hearst Connecticut Media’s All-Star team her junior and senior years…earned All-State honors in 2015…a three-time All-Conference honoree (2014, 2015, 2016)…also earned four varsity letters in basketball and ran two seasons of cross country…helped the basketball team to become the 2015 South West Conference Champions and was named to the All-Tournament team…earned All-Conference honors as a senior and finished in the Top 10 scoring list for New Fairfield in basketball…a member of the Math National Honor Society…awarded the New Fairfield Jim Perkins Award and the Booster Club Scholarship Award…a member of the athletic academic honor roll.
Personal: Bridget Rose Zima…born June 19, 1998…daughter of Eric and Carol Ann Zima…has an older sister, Stephanie, and a younger brother, Thomas…majoring in sports management.