Losing just five players from last year's 8-7 NESCAC tournament squad, Wesleyan field hockey has 18 letterwinners and nine starters back to carry the load into the 2010 campaign. Tri-Captains Jamie Thabault '11 (#22, photo left side), Allie Lynch '11 (#23, photo lower right) and Hilary Nabhan '11 (#8, photo upper right) represent half the seniors on the squad of 25 players. Thabault and Lynch have been consistent starters since their freshman years while Nabhan has started 18 of the 23 contests she has played over three seasons, often hampered by injury. She is hopeful of a full season of action in her final opportunity.
Other seasoned starters back for 2010 include Alex Bean '11, second-team all-NESCAC pick Morgan McCauley '12, Liz Chabot '12, Ashley McLaren '13, Taryn Murray '13 and second-team all-NESCAC goalie Tori Redding '13. McCauley, who also picked up second-team NFHCA New England West accolades, paced the Cardinals in scoring a year ago with nine goals and four assists for 22 points. Chabot was second with six goals and an assist. Murray ranked third with four goals and two helpers. Wesleyan has 28 of its 30 goals from 2009 returning in personnel for 2010. Redding, also a starting outfielder for Wesleyan's NESCAC champion and NCAA-qualifying softball squad last spring, played every minute in the Cardinal net in 2009, logging a 1.87 goals-against average and an 81.8 save percentage. She, too, was a New England West second-teamer by the NFHCA.
Other returnees feature Lila Creighton '11, who started four games in 2009, Averill Roberto '13, Maureen Malloy '13, Susan Gallo '13, Brooke Baker '13, Rebecca Hadad '12, Chantel Ferguson '13, and backup keeper Sarah Beattie '12.
Joining the squad will be seven capable newcomers in the class of 2014, two on attack, three in the midfield, one in the backfield and a goaltender. This balance will lend valuable support to an already experienced and hard-working squad which went 5-0 outside the NESCAC in 2009 and 3-6 in regular-season conference play. Wesleyan suffered a pair of two-goal setbacks to Tufts, including a 2-0 loss to the Jumbos in the opening round of the NESCAC tournament, before the Jumbos run to the NCAA Division III Tournament semi-finals in 2009. There Tufts lost 1-0 to eventual National Champion Salisbury.
The Cardinals inaugurate the 2010 campaign by hosting NESCAC and Little Three rival Williams, an opponent Wesleyan will be looking to upend for the first time since shutting out the Ephs, 1-0, during the 2003 season.
(action photos courtesy of Scott Porter)