Seniors Natalia Gaitàn, Rachael Kravitz and Kristen Mattei have been named captains for the Rockets' 2012 campaign, two-time reigning Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year Brad Evans announced today.
"These three student-athletes will be great leaders for our program," said Evans, whose team is 41-10-4 (.782) in MAC matches over of the last five seasons. "Their personalities complement each other very well. All three are also outstanding students and tremendous representatives of our program."
A two-time All-Great Lakes region selection, Gaitàn has appeared in the starting lineup each of the last 53 contests. She will be counted on to be a pillar for the backs this fall with her experience. An excellent player on restarts and set pieces, the 2011 third-team NSCAA Scholar All-America and first-team All-MAC selection finished tied for fourth in the MAC with six assists last fall. Gaitàn is currently in London and will represent her home country of Colombia in the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics.
"Natalia brings a ton of great experience at the highest level to our program," Evans said. "What she brings in terms of perspective is hard to measure, and she really enjoys what she does."
Kravitz has started each of the last 39 contests and is a model of consistency in practice and matches. A dynamic left-side defender and strong team leader, the 2010 second-team all-league recipient finished tied for fourth in the MAC with six helpers last fall and currently sits tied for second in Toledo annals in career assists (15).
"Rachael has loads of experience on the left side of the defense," Evans said. "One of the areas of her game that has grown is her presence in training every day, which is impressive."
Mattei possesses a tenacious mentality winning balls in the air and will be counted on to be a big part of team's ‘engine' this fall. The 2012-13 UT Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President has started 25 of 53 matches in three seasons at UT and takes great pride in passing and decision-making abilities.
"Kristen is coming off a great season last fall, and she will be relied upon heavily this season to anchor the center of the field," Evans said.
The Rockets are slated to return 18 letterwinners in 2012, including seven starters. They sported a 14-7-2 overall ledger last fall, 9-1-1 in the league, and successfully defended their MAC regular-season championship and captured a league-record fourth tournament title.
Toledo reports to camp next Tuesday, July 31, and the Midnight Blue & Gold kicks off its regular season at Big Ten member Purdue on Friday, Aug. 17.