13 Sign National Letters Of Intent With Women's Lacrosse

Minutewomen add strong class for 2009 season.

Riley Perry signs her NLI to come to UMass.

June 5, 2008

AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts women's lacrosse head coach Alexis Venechanos has announced the signing of 13 graduating seniors to National Letters of Intent for the 2009 season: Brittany Brigandi (Syracuse, N.Y.), Meghan Brady (Huntington Bay, NY), Dayna Defliese (Garden City, N.Y.), Katie Florence (Norfolk, Mass.), Ali Houlis (West Long Beach, N.J.), Colleen Mulligan (Hanover, Mass.), Jesse O'Donnell (Chicago, Ill.), Danielle Pelletier (Amherst, N.H.), Riley Perry (North Babylon, N.Y.), Michaela Regan (Manhasset, N.Y.), Allie Sabitus (Vestal, N.Y.), Nina Sarcona (Northport, N.Y.), and Brittany Schoen (Pleasanton, Calif.).

"We are excited and thrilled to have these tremendous student-athletes be a part of our family for the next four years. Each player brings another dimension to our team with their athleticism and passion for UMass Lacrosse. This class will help with our depth on attack, midfield, defense and goalkeeping. We are looking forward to having them on campus in the fall," said Venechanos.

Brady, an attack, was a four-year letterwinner at St. Anthony's High School. She led St. Anthony's to a CHSAA championship title in 2008 and was one of the team's top scoring threats. She is the sister of Sean Brady who is a goalkeeper at Duke.

Brigandi, an attack, was a four-year starter earning All-American honors as a senior at Christian Brothers Academy. She was a four-time New York Section III All-League selection who set the league scoring record with 121 goals in 2008. Brigandi also set a school record with 12 goals in one game as a senior. She scored 249 goals while adding 107 assists for her career. As a junior and senior, she was also honored with All-Central New York honors. She was also a four-year letterwinner in soccer and competed in cross country as a senior.

Defliese, a midfielder, was a four-year starter at Garden City High School where she earned All-America Honorable Mention in 2007 and Under Armour All-American honors in 2008. She was selected to the U.S. Lacrosse School National Team in 2006 and 2007. The team captain was also a two-time All-Nassau County selection and played club lacrosse for the Long Island Yellow Jackets where she was a two-time Galaxy Club First-Team All-American. She led the Long Island Empire State Games' Team to a pair of championships earning All-Tournament honors in 2006 and 2007. Defliese was also a four-year starter on the soccer team, earning All-New York and All-Nassau County honors, and a four-year starter and team captain on the basketball team.



Florence, a goalkeeper, was a four-year letterwinner at King Phillip Regional High School where she earned All-American honors in 2007. She was a three time selection to the Lower New England National Tournament Team. The two-time Hockomock League Goalie of the Year, Florence was named the conference's Player of the Year in 2007. Additionally, she was named to the Eastern Mass All-Star Team twice and was named twice to both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic Teams. At the club level, she played for the Mass Elite Team alongside Mulligan and earned All-Galaxy First-Team Honors. Florence also played ice hockey with the Boston Lady Terriers, a AAA Select Team, from 2004-06.

Houlis, a midfielder, was a four-year starter and team captain as a senior at Shore Regional High School and also played club lacrosse for Leading Edge Lacrosse and T3 Shore. The 2007 All-American Honorable Mention selection led Shore Regional to two NJSIAA State Sectional Championships, three Class B North Championships, and three Shore Conference Championships. She was a two-time All-Conference pick and earned All-State and All-Division honors in 2007. As a junior, she also played in the Upper Atlantic National Tournament. Houlis was also a two-time all-conference and all-division soccer player and a finalist at the NJ State Track & Field Indoor Championship Meet.

Mulligan, an attack, was a four-year starter and two-time team captain at Hanover High School. Entering her senior season, she netted 158 goals and 57 assists earning Patriot League All-Star honors three times. She was an Eastern Mass All-Star and All-Scholastic Performer in 2007 and was named to the Lower New England Team I National Tournament. At the club level, she played for Mass Elite. Mulligan was also a three-year starter on the field hockey team earning league All-Star honors each season.

O'Donnell, a midfielder, was a three-year starter at Loyola (Ill.) Academy where she earned All-America honors as a junior and senior. Following her senior campaign, she is in the running for the Illinois Player of the Year award. She helped Loyola to a pair of Illinois Championships and one runner-up finish in her career. In 2007 she was named the Most Valuable Defensive Player by the Illinois High School Coaches Association and was named twoice to the All-State Team (2007, 2008). A two-time member of the Great Lakes National Tournament Team, O'Donnell was chosen for the U.S. Lacrosse Under-19 final tryouts as a sophomore. As a senior in 2008, she scored 82 goals and posted 35 assists, 85 groundballs, 52 caused turnovers, and 73 draw controls. In her junior season, she netted 41 goals and added 13 assists, 46 groundballs, and 17 caused turnovers.

Pelletier, an attack, was a four-year starter at Souhegan High School where she was a three-time honoree on the All-New Hampshire Team and an Academic All-American. As a senior, she led Souhegan to a perfect 18-0 record and the New Hampshire state championship title. She tallied 95 goals and 37 assists through her junior season and was a two-time selection to the Upper New England National Team in 2006 and 2007. At the club level, she was a two-time All-Galaxy performer earning first-team honors in 2007. Pelletier also played on the field hockey team where she was a two-time selection to the All-State Second Team.

Perry, a midfielder, started all four seasons for North Babylon High School where she was a two-time Academic All-American (2007, 2008). The team captain was a three-time All-County selection. At the club level, she was a two-time selection to the All-Galaxy Team, while in the classroom, she ranks fifth in her class and was a four-year New York Scholar-Athlete and the Suffolk County Soccer Coaches Scholar-Athlete Award Winner. Perry also played on the North Babylon soccer team for five years, earning All-League, All-Conference and Academic All-League honors, and ran indoor track competing in the 300 meters, 600 meters and the 4x400 meter relay team.

Regan, a midfielder, was an all-conference selection at Manhasset High School. She also played basketball and cross country. As a senior, she led Manhassett to the county championship scoring four goals, including the game-winner, in the title game.

Sabitus, a midfielder, earned Honorable Mention All-American Honors as a senior this past spring at Vestal High School. She was a two-time New York State Section IV All-Star selection. She netted 162 career goals, including 54 as a junior and 55 as a senior, and added 38 assists, 149 draw controls 127 groundballs and 39 caused turnovers. At the club level, she played for the Central New York Elite Lacrosse Club where she was a two-time All-Galaxy First-Team honoree. Sabitus was also a four-year letterwinner on the soccer team serving as team captain in 2007.

Sarcona, an attack, was an all-county player at Northport High School and a two-time All-Galaxy Team at the club lacrosse level. She led Northport to the 2008 Suffolk County Championships and the league championship title.

Schoen, a defender, was a four-year starter at Amador Valley High School and was selected to the Pacific National Team I in 2007. As a junior, she was also named to the EBAL All-League First Team and led Amador Valley to an EBAL Championship and a pair of runner-up finishes in the NCS Championships. She played at the club level for CalElite, CardElite and Triple Threat being named the MVP of the Vail Tournament and the Maryland Turkey Shoot Tournament. She also played soccer and ran cross country.

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