February 27, 2004

W. Lax Begins Season

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Spring is right around the corner, and the women’s lacrosse team is gearing up for its 2004 season. The Red hits the road this weekend for its first game of the year, as it heads down to Washington, D.C. to take on No. 6 Georgetown. Cornell is coming off an 11-5 campaign in 2003 and captured the ECAC title with a win over Massachusetts.

“My expectations are to work hard and go for it. I think that Georgetown and Cornell have an interesting history, and that the only time we ever played was in the semifinals of the NCAAs two years ago,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86.

In their meeting two years ago, Cornell tied the game with 17 seconds left on a goal by Sarah Fischer ’03, only to fall 12-10 in overtime to the Hoyas.

“The upperclassmen on the team remember that, and the freshmen and sophomores don’t know Georgetown at all, so it’ll be interesting to see how the emotion plays out in the game,” Graap said.

The 2004 squad boasts nine letter winners and seven returning starters from a season ago. Junior Lindsay Steinberg, the team’s second leading scorer in 2003, returns for the Red at attack, as does sophomore Allison Schindler.

Senior captains Jaime Quinn and Kate Hirschfield return at midfield along with junior Julia Hughey.

Junior Annie Berkery is the lone returning starter on defense, and senior Ashley Charron will begin her second year as the Red’s starting goalie.

“We haven’t really defined what we’re all about yet. We’re working hard, and I just want us to go out there and compete. I want us to play with intensity and heart,” Graap said . “It’s the first game for everybody, so everybody’s just looking to get out there and get their first win.”

The Red is currently ranked 15th in the IWLCA preseason poll and 11th in the Inside Lacrosse Power Poll. It will face eight teams currently ranked in the top 20 of the IWLCA, including Ivy League opponents, this year.

The Hoyas return two All-American selections from 2003 in seniors Michi Ellers and Gloria Lozano. The two were named Big East Defender and Midfielder of the Year respectively. Georgetown won its third Big East conference title and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals.

After graduating six seniors, the Red is considerably younger this season, with 10 freshmen and eight sophomores on the roster. The team scrimmaged against Johns Hopkins on Sunday, which allowed some of the freshmen to get game experience.

“A lot of freshmen saw some significant time, which was exciting. I definitely think there’s going to be a lot of young players in our lineup this year. I think it’s crucial that the young players step in and play their hearts out,” continued Graap.

Several new rules were implemented in the offseason, including one that will require players to wear eye protection in this year’s NCAA tournament. Eye goggles will be mandatory for all college players at the start of next season, but the Red will be wearing them for the 2004 season as well.

“The goggles are highly recommended for regular season play, but mandated for the NCAA tournament, so I believe most coaches in Divison I are wearing them all season in the hopes that if you get to the NCAA tournament, your team will be prepared,” concluded Graap.

Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach