The Lenoir-Rhyne University Women's Lacrosse Team has voted for seniors Amanda Cotto, Kayla Griese and Hayley Beattie as its captains for the 2014 season.


The three players were members of the inaugural recruiting class for the women's lacrosse program at Lenoir-Rhyne.


"Starting this program has definitely been a journey," said Beattie, a midfielder from Lebanon, N.J. "It is amazing to be on a team that continues to progress and grow drastically each year. I feel honored to be part of the inaugural team and seeing how far we've come in four years.


"I'm looking forward to watching this team go on and become a squad I can be proud to say I helped build," said Beattie, on being a part of L-R's first recruiting class.


Each captain contributes to a different aspect of the game and their unique perspectives will contribute to the success of the Bears' season.


The trio brings experience, commitment and a variety of leadership styles to the team.


When asked about being a captain her senior year, Cotto stated that leading the team alongside two players (Beattie and Griese) who have been here since the inaugural season is a complete honor.


Cotto, a goalkeeper from Fort Myers, Fla., will be competing in her final season in goal for the Bears this spring.


Cotto has seen action in 35 matches over the past three seasons and will continue to make an impact on the defensive end during her senior campaign.


Cotto is a leader on and off the field, and has set a precedent of hard work for all her teammates. Off the field, Cotto is involved in theatre at Lenoir-Rhyne and was the lead role in last year's fall production, The Clean House.


When asked about her time at L-R, Cotto responded: "my experiences here at Lenoir-Rhyne have been life-changing. In just a couple of years, I have watched myself grow into the person I want to be with support from teachers, teammates and coaches."


A political science major, Cotto plans to attend law school after receiving her undergraduate degree.


Beattie is recognized as a captain for the second time in her Lenoir-Rhyne career. Beattie earns the respect of her teammates and coaches naturally by always giving her very best on the field. Beattie is a leader by example and models what it is to be a successful player and teammate.


Beattie is a force in the midfield and as well as on the attack unit and currently leads the team with 58 goals, 142 ground balls and 50 caused turnovers over the past three seasons. Beattie was team MVP last season and made the Dean's List for her academic success in 2012-13.


When speaking about her time at L-R, Beattie said: "my experiences at Lenoir-Rhyne have shaped me to become a better person. These four years have really taught me to strive for excellence. Every facet of Lenoir-Rhyne, from the classroom to the field, has shown me that mediocrity is not tolerated when greatness is available. I have been challenged and will forever be grateful for those who saw more in me than I saw in myself, at times."


Griese, a defender from Parker, Colo., is an important presence on the defensive end for the Bears. A vocal leader, Griese helps direct her teammates and facilitates constant communication, which is a vital part of any successful defense.


When asked about beginning the program, Griese replied: "the hardest thing about coming in as a freshman was not having someone to look up to. There was no one there to show us the ropes and help us out. I hope that for the underclassmen we have been role models and have helped make the transition from high school to college easier."


Griese is not only extremely dedicated to lacrosse but also her academics. Griese is currently the president of the Chi Alpha Sigma National Athletic Honor Society and Lenoir-Rhyne's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Griese is also a member of Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society, the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and the Chi Beta Phi Science and Math Honor Society. Griese is majoring in biology and plans to pursue the field of pediatrics.


The coaches have the utmost belief that the senior captains will inspire and motivate their teammates to bring the best they have to the field each day.


"Being in a league (South Atlantic Conference) for the first time is really exciting. We have always been a good team and this year we can finally prove it." said Griese.


As for the future of Bears women's lacrosse, Beattie said: "my hope is for my teammates to compete and play in a championship game. These four years have been tough but we have some tough players to show for it. I know that this lacrosse team is going to do some great things in the future but I believe we have the players and tools in place to succeed this year."


Lenoir-Rhyne hosts Erskine in a scrimmage this Saturday, February 8, at 2:00 p.m., at Moretz Stadium. L-R kicks off the 2014 season on Saturday, February 15, at 2:00 p.m., against St. Andrews in Laurinburg, N.C.