Women’s lacrosse will start its season this weekend with a Little Three match-up against Wesleyan.
The women are looking to improve on their 8-9 (3-6 in the NESCAC) record from the 2011 season, as well as improve on their eighth-place finish in the NESCAC. This year, eight of the women’s conference opponents are ranked in the top 20 nationally, according to preseason polls.
The Ephs lost two women to graduation last spring, co-captains Anne Marie Burke ’11 and Julia Schreiber ’11. “Julia, who was an All-American goalie last season, was huge for us in the net,” tri-captain Margie Fulton ’12 said.
Despite the significant loss of the seniors, the women will return nine of their 11 starters, as well as other strong players who are looking to step into starting positions. The defense will be led by tri-captains Tyler Chapman ’12 and Meera Sivalingam ’12. Joining Sivalingam and Chapman on defense are Lacey Hankin ’14, Grace Horwitz ’13, Grace Wilson ’14 and Elizabeth Ryan ’13.
At midfield, Katie Ellis ’12, Rebecca McGovern ’14 and Emily Whicker ’13 will also return to the field. “[They] were tireless in the midfield last year,” Fulton said, “and they will continue to have a huge impact on both sides of the field.”
Coming off a successful rookie campaign, Emily Jablonski ’14 will return to showcase her offensive capabilities. Jablonski is joined by Fulton, who led the team with 49 points last season, and Sam Weinstein ’13, who will return this spring after missing most of last season due to injury.
Ali Piltch ’14 will step into Schreiber’s shoes in net. “Ali has been phenomenal thus far in stepping up to assume the starting role,” Fulton said.
The women will add eight rookies to their roster: Rebecca Bell ’15, Lauren Nevin ’15, Mahaney Sippel ’15, Lilly Wellenbach ’15, Emily Gerber ’15, Maeve Mulholland ’15, Bridget Malicki ’15 and Nancy Palmer ’15. “They’ve helped raise the overall level of play and have brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the team,” Fulton said. “We are really excited to see what they can do this season.”
The Ephs are looking to impress this year after a disappointing 2011 season. “We finished eighth in the NESCAC last year and felt like we really underachieved our potential,” Fulton said. “This year, we have an incredibly talented group of players who are motivated and willing to give it their all. We know we are going to have to fight … in every game; nothing is going to be handed to us.”
The women look to achieve lofty goals this season. “Our goal is to win a NESCAC Championship and to make an appearance in the NCAA tournament,” Fulton said.
The women will travel to Wesleyan on Saturday for their first game, which will begin at 12 p.m. “After our scrimmages last weekend against two top-10 teams, Hamilton and Cortland, we’ve seen which areas of our game we need to improve upon,” Fulton said. “To prepare for our season opener against Wesleyan, we’ll be focusing on moving the ball well through the midfield, making good decisions on offense and communicating well on defense.”