Division III outlook

February 17, 2007|By [CHRISTIAN EWELL]

Frostburg State

Coach -- Annie Sidorenko, first season

2006 record -- 6-11

Conference -- Independent

The Sun's take -- Under the tutelage of Sidorenko, an assistant last year, the Bobcats are hoping to improve on a spotty season that ended with six losses in their final seven games. Frostburg needs to replace A Stefanie Ritz, but a trio of juniors - Lindsay Lamont, Carly Rihard and Maria Schrum - return after they combined for 129 points in 2006.

Goucher

Coach -- Katie Trainor, second season (9-7 at Goucher)

2006 record -- 9-7, 3-3 CAC

Conference -- Capital Athletic

The Sun's take -- The Gophers are in need of a new goalkeeper after the departure of Laura Webbert, who had held that position for every minute of the previous four seasons. Otherwise, Goucher seems set to mount a challenge to Salisbury, the team that beat it in the CAC semifinals last season. A Emily Blatter, M Kate Knitter and D Kelsey Havens lead 10 returning starters from 2006.

Hood

Coach -- Staci Thomson, fifth season (16-33 at Hood)

2006 record -- 3-10, 2-1 AWCC

Conference -- Atlantic Women's Colleges

The Sun's take -- After a 7-4 season in 2005 that signaled a surge for the Blazers' program, last season wasn't the desired follow-up for a team that allowed nearly 13 goals per game. Sophomore A Liz Rakowski is the top returner for Hood after a freshman year that earned her Newcomer of the Year honors in the AWCC, but the team's fate will rest on the five players entering the program this season.

McDaniel

Coach -- Muffie Bliss, fourth season (32-18 at McDaniel)

2006 record -- 7-8, 5-4 Centennial

Conference -- Centennial

The Sun's take -- Bliss, whose coaching duties were split between field hockey and lacrosse during her first three seasons, will focus on lacrosse after a losing season that followed trips to the ECAC tournament in previous years. McDaniel is looking for a better start than last year, which began with four consecutive losses. Five returning All-Centennial choices - led by Lee Oliver and Connie Wuenschel - should help.

Col. of Notre Dame

Coach -- Melissa Falen, 18th season (139-122-1 at CND)

2006 record -- 12-4, 3-0 AWCC

Conference -- Atlantic Women's Colleges

The Sun's take -- With the program set to join the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference in 2008, the Gators are hoping to leave the AWCC on top and pick up their 12th league title. A pair of midfielders, senior Tina Money and junior Anne Shippen, are the main returners for CND.

St. Mary's

Coach -- Carol Schmoeller, first season

2006 record -- 13-4, 4-2 CAC

Conference -- Capital Athletic

The Sun's take -- After three seasons coaching field hockey and lacrosse for the Seahawks, Megan Block has passed the lacrosse duties to Schmoeller, a former four-year starter at the school. St. Mary's enters the season with high expectations, with three polls giving the team Top 15 rankings. Sophomore M Lauren Carrier is the team's leading returner, scoring 52 points last season.

Salisbury

Coach -- Jim Nestor, sixth season (73-14 at Salisbury)

2006 record -- 17-2, 6-0 CAC

Conference -- Capital Athletic

The Sun's take -- Once again, the Sea Gulls enter a season with little to improve on other than losses to College of New Jersey, their opponent in the past two NCAA tournaments. Unlike last season, when Salisbury came back with 10 returning starters, Nestor's latest group will be relatively inexperienced with only three returning starters. The team, led by All-CAC M Katie Simmons, has been ranked as high as No. 3.

Villa Julie

Coach -- Kathy Railey, second season (6-9 at Villa Julie)

2006 record -- 6-9

Conference -- Capital Athletic

The Sun's take -- Taking over a program that managed one win in 2005, Railey was able to produce results for the Mustangs, who lost three of their final five games last season. Villa Julie will need to replace last season's best player, Colleen Baughman, but will return 10 starters, led by senior D Nikki Miller and junior A Cat Connelly.

Washington Col.

Coach -- Suzie Friedrich, fourth season (19-32 at Washington College)

2006 record -- 7-10, 2-7 Centennial

Conference -- Centennial

The Sun's take -- The Shorewomen are still in the midst of an upward climb in the Centennial but were able to display progress with a 2006 season four games better than the previous year. More importantly, the team returns five of its top seven scorers from last season. While the team's leading overall scorer, Sally Mancini, left the sport after her freshman year, attacker Suzie Jakub returns after a strong freshman season.

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