Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 13
 
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
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TRIGGER HAPPY: Princeton University women’s lacrosse star Ashley Amo eludes a Virginia defender last Saturday in Princeton’s 8-7 win over the Cavaliers. Senior co-captain Amo contributed a goal and two assists in the win as the Tigers improved to 6-0 on the season.

With Senior Star Amo Triggering Offense, PU Women’s Lax Produces Sizzling Start

Bill Alden

Ashley Amo was a bit under the weather as she hit the field for the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team last Wednesday for its clash against visiting James Madison.

“I’m actually sick,” said Amo, a senior attacker from Ridgewood, N.J. “I was a little nervous because I could barely breathe.”

Shaking off her illness and a steady rain, Amo produced a career game, scoring eight points on four goals and four assists as the Tigers pulled away to a 17-10 win over JMU.

Three days later, Amo made another foe sick, scoring a goal and adding two assists as Princeton pulled off a dramatic 8-7 win over then-No. 2 Virginia to improve to 6-0 on the season.

As a two-year starter and co-captain, Amo feels a responsibility to lead the Princeton offense.

“I’m the only captain on the offense because Coxie [Katie Cox] and Norris [Norris Novak] are more on the defense,” said Amo, who has a team-high 20 points on seven goals and 13 assists.

“My job is to help the younger ones out like Lizzie Drumm. She is doing a really great job but it’s really intimidating.”

Amo thrives in her role as the Tigers’ offensive quarterback. “I’m trying to set the bigger players up; I love being a feeder,” added Amo.

“I love getting cuts from Lewey [Katie Lewis-Lamonica] and Schwab [Kristin Schwab], they are the best cutters on our team. It’s great setting people up.”

With Princeton now up to No. 2 in the national rankings after the win over Virginia, Amo sees the team’s offensive balance as its chief asset.

“I think that’s what so deadly about us, we have so many threats, said Amo.

“One day when someone is not on, other people are on so it’s been great for us. It’s nice, less pressure on everybody. Our big mantra for the season is teamwork. We really want to work together, work for each other really hard.”

The Tigers have shown that teamwork on the defensive end as well. “Our redefend, our ride has been unreal because we are busting so hard for each other to get the ball back,” asserted Amo, who now has 81 points in her Princeton career. “I think it’s the balance, our defense is playing awesome.”

Princeton head coach Chris Sailer thinks it’s awesome to have someone like Amo leading the team’s offense. “Ashley’s really a great leader on the offense; she sees the game really well,” said Sailer.

“She talks and communicates really well. She makes good decisions. It’s great to have someone with her experience, maturity, and leadership out there.”

Sailer likes the way Amo has matured into her role as the team’s key playmaker. “She’s only been a starter for two years so she took on some of that role for us last year and has really taken it over this year.”

Amo’s leadership on attack has helped Princeton develop a balanced offense. “That’s great, different kids are scoring,” said Sailer, who got goals from seven different players in the victory over Virginia with the game-winner coming from junior Christine Casaceli with 2.7 seconds left in regulation.

In Sailer’s view, her team is in a great position as it begins its Ivy League campaign by hosting Cornell on March 29.

“I think we are in a good place,” said Sailer. “We’ve played hard competition so far and have done well. Obviously we have high goals and we always see room for improvement. We’ve played a lot of talented teams.”

Amo, for her part, said her classmates are determined to prove that Princeton is one of the most talented teams in the country. “We’ve wanted to have a season like this, especially the seniors,” asserted Amo.

“We’ve not been to the Final 4. When I committed here, they were back-to-back national champs. We don’t want it to be on our shoulders to be the class that didn’t keep that tradition. We’re definitely ready to take it to the next level.”

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