WOMENS’ COLLEGE LACROSSE
Ann Fucigna — all 5-foot, 3-inches of her — finished up with 51 goals, 74 points for Davidson womens’ lacrosse last spring, making her the Wildcats’ all-time leader in both categories in just her second season on the field.
“Ann once again was our leading attacker,” said Davidson coach Kim Wayne. “I think one of the best things about the season for her was that typically when you have such a great freshman year, you tend to back down a little bit, because your expectations are so high (your sophomore year).”
Not for Fucigna (DHS Class of 2010), now with even higher expectations as a junior.
She followed up her starring freshman all-conference first team 2011, named to the All-National Lacrosse Conference First Team, slotted in ahead of four sister Wildcats who earned all-league.
Fucigna was a force again this year in the NLC and put her name in the Wildcat record books.
“She didn’t back down,” Wayne said. “She took the challenge and accepted it and accepted her role and really stepped up.”
A year after tying the single-season Wildcat record for goals with 49, she broke it with a team-high 51, netting four in the NLC semifinal game against High Point last season.
“She had such a young team, and she became one of our leaders on attack,” added Wayne. “Again, as a sophomore, that’s impressive.”
“It was great, I really had an awesome team behind me too,” Fucigna said. “The freshmen really had a big impact.”
The impact of the rookies began before the season had even started.
“I was a little nervous coming in because the freshman class (was) very strong,” Fucigna said. “But, it turned out OK.”
In the quarterfinals vs. Longwood, Fucigna etched her name in the single-season points record book and ended the season with a school record 74.
Both numbers ranked in the top-four of the league. She also had 23 assists, setting a personal-best this year and tying for third-most in a Wildcat single-season.
“She had a lot more assists this year, so I think that part of her game especially improved,” said Wayne. “I think that she still has more room to grow, which is exciting. She hasn’t reached her peak yet.”
Fucigna had 15 multi-goal games, including scoring five three times. She came close to tying the single-game record for points with 10 — five goals and a career-best five assists — in a 21-15 win at home vs. Presbyterian, March 24.
Davidson’s (8-10) season came to an end with a tough 13-11 semifinal defeat to High Point on May 5.
It was the third straight year the Wildcats reached the NLC semifinals.
“She has a great stick,” Wayne said. “And I think that her ability to attack the cage and then pick up the double team and be able to dish the ball off quickly, is a big strength.
“I think she is a threat in two different ways. She will go hard to cage, and then will pick up the double team and can easily feed the ball off.”
How about being 5-3? Or is Ann working with an air ceiling?
“In my opinion, height doesn’t make a difference,” said her coach. “You can be short, and be fast and quick. And Ann has that.”
So height, or lack of it, isn’t a fright, even with sticks swinging head high for the shorter set?
“No, I can duck under them,” said Fucigna.
And she’s ducked down under this summer.
“I’m studying in New Zealand for a semester,” she said, planning to be back abroad again from last July.
Back abroad, because, the Davidson crew went on a European playing tour last season.
“You’re allowed to go abroad once in your four years, so it’s the first time that I’ve taken Davidson abroad,” said Wayne. “We went to Munich, Zurich, and Como, Italy. And we played two tournaments there, against national teams.”
“Oh yeah, that was great,” Fucigna said. “We had an awesome time. It was a really great bonding experience for the whole team.”
“It’s pretty new to them,” Wayne said. “The Italians have only been playing for two years now. I think one great thing about playing abroad is that they love to learn. They kind of coach themselves.
“So having Americans come over there and teach them – they embrace it.”
“A lot of teams go to Australia,” said Fucigna. “Kim decided that we should do a European tour. So we played the German National team from Munich, the Czech Republic National team and a Great Britain team. It was really fun.”
They started with a tournament in Munich.
“They were decent, but we did very well,” Fucigna said.
“The lingo they use over there, I think our girls really liked that,” Wayne noted. “Ground balls, they say, scooping up the ball. They work very hard over there. There skills aren’t the greatest, so they have a really great work ethic.”
“Well it was funny, because the Great Britain team had all these, like, phrases that (said) with their accents had us cracking up on the field. ‘Repel the (attack).’ And the shots were ‘spot on, spot on.’
“I think our opponents really enjoyed the competition, because there are not a whole lot of teams (in Europe).”
The Davidson girls enjoyed, at least having a look, at something new too.
Said Fucigna: “I thought one of the coolest things was, there was surfing in one of the rivers in Munich.
“There is a river that ran through a park in Munich – I think it was called The English Garden – and there is surfing, on the river. We all thought that was really cool.
“Basically what happens is, the point where the most water pressure is on the river – someone from California came over, I think and built it – these ropes are attached to this bridge. On the end are just like these pieces of wood.
“But it makes this, wave, that you can surf on.”
Did you get on board?
“No, no, we were just touring,” she said, “and we saw it.”