With 15 lettewinners back from a year ago, including the top five scorers, Wesleyan will have loads of experience and talent to go up against one of the toughest schedules in Division III as a member of the NESCAC. As usual, NESCAC teams dominate the preseason IWLCA rankings with seven holding spots among the top 18, led by defending national champion Trinity as the preseason favorite. Middlebury (#5), Colby (#7), Amherst (#8), Bowdoin (#12), Tufts (#16) and Hamilton (#18) all loom as top opponents for the 2013 campaign. Wesleyan opens the year on the road with a NESCAC weekend, facing Williams Sat., March 9 and Hamilton Sun., March 10. Last year at home, the Cardinals upended the Ephs, 13-8, and took Hamilton down to the wire in an 11-10 setback.
Quad-Captains Kayla Ellman '13 (#8, photo upper left), Kaylin Berger '13 (#18, photo upper right), Catherine Taibi '13 (#6, photo lower left) and Lydia Kring '13 (#15, photo lower right) demonstrated capable scoring ability in 2012 as Ellman led the way with her most productive season (31-7-38) followed by Berger (25-6-31), Taibi (18-3-21) and Kring (14-3-17). Also back with 17 points in her first year on the field is Maddy Coulter '15 (11-6-17). In total, Wesleyan has 128 of its 156 goals scored in 2012 back with members of the 2013 squad. With Ellman coming into the season with 79 career points, Berger with 73 and Kring with 70, and each posting a 30-point season at least once in their previous three seasons (Ellman and Berger both have two), each has a legitimate shot at becoming a 100-point scorer before they graduate. Only 12 players in program history have achieved the feat and never more than two in a class. Thus, the class of 2013 has an opportunity to put itself in the record books in a big way.
Along with these five offensive-minded starters back, starting defenders Abby D'Angelo '14 and Emma Frangules '14 will be back to patrol the backfield. D'Angelo, along with Berger, was a second-team IWLCA all-region choice last season. Six other Cardinals return having played in at least 12 games in 2012 with some spot starting as Leah Sherman '15, Brynn Hansson '15, Daphne Krossler '15, Caitlin Daniels '15, Audrey Le '15 and Anna Michalowski '15 all saw a considerable amount of playing time in their first season last year. Katie Binswanger '15 and Mackenzie McPike '15 round out the returnees in the sophomore class and played in four games last season.
Eleven newcomers join the Cardinals' ranks this year and if they prove as capable as the class of 2015 in contributing to the team's fortunes, five as defenders, two midfielders, three on attack and the team's lone goalie, Wesleyan will challenge its NESCAC rivals game in and game out in 2013.