March 7, 2003

W. Lacrosse Hosts Rutgers

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After knocking off Notre Dame 13-5 last weekend, the women’s lacrosse team will be gunning for the program’s 200th win tomorrow, when it faces Rutgers on Schoellkopf Field at 1 p.m. The Red (1-0, 0-0 Ivy) jumped in both the Inside Lacrosse and IWLCA polls, and is now ranked No. 5 and 6, respectively. Rutgers is untested this season, as its season opener last weekend against Virginia Tech was postponed due to snow and bad field conditions.

“I expect Rutgers to be very athletic and very scrappy, so in those types of games, we have to be ready for their competitiveness,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “Rutgers in the past has always given us a good game, mainly because they never give and they compete really hard.”

In the home opener last weekend, the Red battled a determined Notre Dame squad, and held a 5-4 lead at halftime. The laxers then exploded for eight answered goals in the second half, while the Fighting Irish only managed one in the closing seconds of the game. In her first career start, sophomore Lindsay Steinberg notched four goals, as did senior Sarah Fischer. Senior Sarah Averson recorded a hat trick, while junior Ashley Charron made eight saves in goal.

Rutgers comes into tomorrow’s game with a new head coach in Laura Brand. Brand comes to her alma mater after coaching at Fairfield for one season. The Scarlet Knights went 7-9 last season, with a 2-5 record in the Big East, and return 10 starters. Senior Kristin Checksfield, the 2002 Big East Defensive Player of the Year and a preseason All-Big East team selection, led the team last year in ground balls and caused turnovers, and will be a force on defense. Juniors Cristina Curiale and Cali Wojdyla — last season’s top two scorers — along with senior Kate Slotman, will pose the biggest threat on attack.

“I think we have an advantage [because this is Rutgers’ first game of the season.] Every game you learn and grow, and I think the experience playing games is irreplaceable,” said Graap. “It’s an advantage that it’s our second game and their first. The flip side of that is they were scouting and watching us, and really getting to know our team, which is an advantage for them.”

Last season, the Red came away with a 9-5 victory at Rutgers, and is looking to maintain its perfect 6-0 all-time record against the Scarlet Knights.

“They don’t really care who are you, they just go hard, and we need to be ready for that. We can’t go into the game flat, or go in expecting to play great and run up the score,” remarked Graap.

Earlier this week, Averson was named a candidate for the 2003 Tewaaraton Trophy, given to the nation’s top player. She needs six more goals to reach 100 for her career.

The Red will hit the road for three away games during Spring Break, including the Ivy opener at Columbia. Its next home game will be against Princeton on April 4.

Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach