FAIRFIELD, CT(January 28, 2013) - Sacred Heart Head Women's Lacrosse Coach Laura Cook announced that senior Emily Pepe (East Quogue, NY) and juniors Kelsey Russo (Lindenhurst, NY) and Samantha Villafranca (Wading River, NY) have been named team captains for the upcoming 2013 season. All three return after posting All-Northeast Conference seasons last year in helping the Pioneers to the program's fourth NEC Regular Season Championship.
Pepe enters her senior season a two-time All-NEC pick, earning first team honors last spring. She led the Pioneers last season with 72 points on 29 goals and 43 assists. She ranked second in the league assists per game (2.53) and third in points per game (4.24). She ranked seventh in the nation in assists and 22nd in points.
Pepe set a new school record in 2012, breaking the mark for assists in a season set by Mary Montesarchio in 2008 (38). Pepe will enter her senior season needing 21 assists to set the SHU record for career helpers (Montesarchio - 91, 2006-09).
Russo made the move to midfield last season and turned in an all-around season for the Pioneers earning all-conference honors for the first time her career. Russo posted 30 goals and four assists on the offensive end and became a dominant force in the draw circle. She was second in the NEC 58 draw controls. She also led the team in caused turnovers (21) and was second in ground balls (36).
Villafranca proved to be effective on the circle, ranking second on the team in draw wins with 36. The sophomore defender limited several of the league's offensive threats to one goal or less earning her recognition from the league's coaches with a spot on the All-NEC second team. Villafranca booked 16 caused turnovers and 27 ground balls last season.
The trio will lead the Pioneers into the 2013 season when it kicks-off on Wednesday, February 20th when they host Iona on Campus Field. The 2012 NEC schedule gets underway on March 22nd at Quinnipiac.