Ten Returning Starters, 20 Letterwinners to Give Cardinals Talent and Experience in 2009

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With a schedule that features eight teams ranked among the top-20 nationally in Division III (as of 2/17/09), the women's lacrosse team will have more than enough opportunity to demonstrate its ability against some of the best teams in the country. Wesleyan returns 10 starters and 20 letterwinners from the 7-9 squad of 2008.

Each of the Cardinals' setbacks in 2008 came against a team presently ranked nationally with seven vs. teams that played in the 2008 NCAA Division III Championship. The highlight of the year came at home when the Cardinals ended a 25-game losing skid vs. Little Three rival Williams with a 9-8 win.

Back for the Cardinals is top scorer tri-captain Sarah Orkin '09 (#21, main photo). Orkin, who had 29 goals in 2008, was a second-team all-NESCAC choice and a first-team IWLCA regional all-star. With 76 career goals and 86 career points, Orkin will be looking to join Wesleyan's nine previous 100-point scorers and three previous 100-goal scorers in their elite clubs. Joining Orkin as an offensive stalwart is tri-captain Laurel Sticklor '09 (10 goals, #9, photo insert lower right) along with Allie Lynch '11 (22 goals). While she rarely started, returnee Jess Chukwu '11 played in every game in 2008 and ranked second on the team in goals with 26. Wesleyan has eight of its top nine goal-scorers from the 2008 campaign back this season.

Tri-captain Lisa Zweigenhaft '09 (#5, photo insert upper right) has been a mainstay for the team since her arrival in the midfield. She will have the company of Charlotte Hastings '10, Sarah Hoefle '10 and Maggie Lile '11 as returning starters. Anchoring the Cardinal defense will be Jade Scott '09 and Laura D'Iorio '09. Coming aboard as a transfer from Columbia, where she played for two seasons on defense, is Clare Smith '10.

Wesleyan returns all three goaltenders who saw action a year ago, paced by Rachel Stemerman '09, who posted a 10.45 GAA and 52.0 save percentage in 12 starts while playing in every game. Abby Sedney '11 saw action in nine contests.

Other top returning players include Erin McCarthy '10, Claire Hunter '11, Kara Perez '11 and Tanya Moss '09.

Wesleyan also welcomes six first-years to the roster who will provide the team with greater depth and talent.

Wesleyan inaugurates the 2009 season by hosting NESCAC foe Bowdoin, ranked 20th nationally, Sat., March 7. After that, the team heads for warmer temperatures in Hilton Head, S.C. where the Cardinals will face perennial national power Gettysburg, ranked sixth, and ECAC qualifier St. John Fisher, each for the first time in team history.

(photos courtesy of SteveMcLaughlinPhotography,com)