Logo: Wesleyan Athletics

2003-04 Coaches' Season Outlook

 

       A 21-4 overall record.  A 20-3 regular-season record, going 10-2 at home, 10-1 on the road.  A 13-1 non-conference record and a 7-2 conference record, good for second place in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), one of the nation's toughest D-3 leagues.  Three overtime wins, all on the road, with two coming in back-to-back games on consecutive days.  The 2002-03 season was an almost magical one, the most successful in Wesleyan basketball history as the team posted numbers that will be difficult, if not impossible, to match.  For some student-athletes a season like the last would be enough.  But for tri-captains Amy Posocco '04, Liz Walsh '04 and Meeghan Ward '04 and fellow senior Ashley Elia '04 the only response to the expectations created by the 2002-03 season has been to reaffirm the commitment that put them among the nation's best teams and get back in the gym.
        The loss of last year's seniors Shaleen Bowman and Kamica Lewis can't really be measured in statistics.  Shaleen lead the team in scoring and Kamica in rebounding, but their true impact came in leadership, character and belief.  Into that significant void the
class of '04 has stepped boldly and confidently and their teammates have followed them.  It's October and the Bacon Field House is rocking with spirited pick-up games; twice a week the team gathers for their pre-class strength training sessions, the clang of weights and exhortations of teammates still in their ears as they head off, energized and focused, to classes followed by
afternoon sprints in the Connecticut sunshine.  This team has its own goals and will not rest on its laurels.
        To attain these goals the Cardinals will look to some experienced returning players as well as some new talent.  Amy Posocco will look to add to her eight-plus points a game as she plays almost exclusively on the wing this year, using her three-point range to knock down jumpers and create space for the posts to work inside. Her improved defense and almost four assists per game last year were also major keys to the team's success and will be again.  Liz Walsh had a breakout season in 2002-03 with tenacious defense and and improved inside game.  A bit undersized in the paint, this power forward is one of the strongest women in NESCAC and has the heart and will to match.  Meeghan Ward turned in a fine season off the bench last year, adding to the backcourt rotation with energy and strong takes to the hoop as she finally had an injury-free season and demonstrated why several NESCAC schools knew the way to her high-school gym.  Rounding out the class of '04 is Ashley Elia, a player with great instincts who has a fundamentally sound game, a beautiful "J" and is a terrific defender.
        The junior class consists of Nora Bowman '05 and Sue Frost '05.  Nora has started every game of her career at the point guard position and averaged over four assists, eight points, and three boards a game last year, and her maddening defense on the ball sets the tone for a team that held opponents to a mere 35 percent from the floor and forced almost 24 turnovers a contest.  Sue Frost shot 40 percent from beyond the arc last season and her long-range ability will make opposing coaches think twice about sitting in a zone.
        The class of '06 made significant contributions to last year's success through talent and intensity.  Julie Kastenbaum '06 returns to contribute her energy and love of the game to every practice.  Ashley Mastrangelo '06 turned in a fine frosh season, posting almost five points and three caroms a game.  Ashley's commitment to conditioning has paid off and the coaching staff sees a great season ahead for this post player with more moves than Kevin McHale.  Kaylea Moore '06 will join the team after the field hockey season concludes, and her presence in the middle will contribute to Wesleyan's success inside.  Meg Robinson '06 showed last year that no one plays harder on a daily basis, and this physical small forward with a feathery touch will vie for minutes this year.  Kaneza Schaal '06 sat out last year with an ACL injury,   but her rehab has gone well and the Cards are ex cited to see what this 6-2 athlete can do; word out of the pick-up games is that this is one turnaround jump shot that is difficult to contest.  Hannah Stubbs '06 burst on the NESCAC scene last year as the first post player off the bench.  This quiet young woman is a whirlwind of intensity on the court, and she averaged almost 10 points and 6.5 boards, and shot a blistering 62 percent from the field.
        This year's frosh candidates bring a mix of talent and tradition to the court.  Many played on high school teams with a win total similar to the Cards' last year, bringing confidence along with ability.  Kelly Bowman '07 is the third sister to come to Wesleyan from Guilford High School in Connecticut, and she plays just as hard as her sisters who hold the unofficial record for most floor burns ever by a family.  Kristin Cortese '07 is a sweet shooting guard from Holy Name High School and Long Island's competitive parochial league; Ginny Hermann '07 is an athletic guard/forward from the Waldorf School in Austin, Texas and Sarah Millburn '07 ran the point for Midwood High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. and received all-city recognition.  Lindsay Kukona hails from West Hartford, Conn. and gives the team another six-footer.