Division III state outlook

Women's College Lacrosse Preview

February 26, 2005|By Bill Free

Frostburg State

Coach: Nicole Bonvouloir, second season (10-5 at Frostburg, overall).

2004 record: 10-5.

Conference: Independent.

The Sun's take: Page Macey, named to Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Association's South Atlantic teams three straight seasons, is headed for the school's career scoring record after 52 goals last season. She has 148 - 34 short of the record. Macey, a senior, and juniors Stefanie Ritz and Kelley Duncan are the three top scorers among eight returning starters.

Goucher

Coach: Julia Bergofsky, first season as college coach.

2004 record: 12-5.

Conference: Capital Athletic.

The Sun's take: Senior midfielders Ashley Snyder and Ashley Sudbrook will provide scoring and defensive prowess, respectively, as Bergofsky, a two-time All-America and three-time national champion as a starting midfielder at Middlebury College, takes over this strong program.

Hood

Coach: Staci Thomson, third season (6-19 at Hood, overall).

2004 record: 4-9.

Conference: Atlantic Women's Colleges.

The Sun's take: Three returning first-team All-AWCC players, Cheryl Banks, Tiffany Still and Laura Pitts, are expected to help the Blazers improve upon last year's third-place finish, the school's best. Hood not only plays six of its first seven games at home this year, but also hosts the league tournament.

McDaniel

Coach: Muffie Bliss, second season (13-4 at McDaniel, overall).

2004 record: 13-4.

Conference: Centennial.

The Sun's take: Bliss is talking about making a strong run for the NCAA Division III playoffs after last season, her first as a coach and the best in school history. She has high-scoring seniors Kristin Ramey and Kim Lowry returning, along with highly regarded goalkeeper Lindsay O'Steen.

College of Notre Dame

Coach: Melissa Falen, 16th season (118-113-1 at Notre Dame, overall).

2004 record: 9-6.

Conference: Atlantic Women's Colleges.

The Sun's take: With Jen Leo and Sara Breidenbaugh returning as the scoring threats and Catherine Vecchioni back as the defensive leader, the Gators look like a strong choice to capture their 10th straight AWCC title.

St. Mary's

Coach: Megan Block, second season (12-5 at St. Mary's, overall).

2004 record: 12-5.

Conference: Capital Athletic.

The Sun's take: Seven seniors who have played in three straight NCAA tournaments will provide the leadership for this well-schooled team. Karli Libertini and Sarah Sloane headline those seniors with proven scoring skills. Sophomore Melissa Puzak becomes a key figure in the Seahawks' hopes as she takes over for four-year starter Jen Chumley in goal.

Salisbury

Coach: Jim Nestor, fourth season (39-11 at Salisbury, 117-50-1 overall).

2004 record: 16-3.

Conference: Capital Athletic.

The Sun's take: Talent spreads throughout this team, which returns nine starters and 22 letter-winners from last year's final four squad. Salisbury set a school record for victories with 16 last season and returns 10 of 12 top scorers from that team, including top scorers Linda Ackermann and Lynsey Bateman, and midfielder Mary Bateman.

Villa Julie

Coach: Brenda Yoo, third season (8-18 at Villa Julie, overall).

2004 record: 1-11.

Conference: Independent.

The Sun's take: Yoo is going with nine freshmen this season in an attempt to inject new life into a program that went south last year from a break-even mark in 2003. Another reason for new hope is Cat Connelly, a transfer from Maryland.

Washington College

Coach: Suzie Friedrich, second season (9-8 at Washington College, overall).

2004 record: 9-8.

Conference: Centennial.

The Sun's take: Lindsey Eichner is closing in on the school record for career assists, needing just seven more for the record. She is also an accurate shooter. Eichner scored 37 goals last season on 65 shots for a .569 percentage. Tarra Boulden is expected to lead the defense.

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