Cardinals Gear up for 2010 Campaign with 13 Letterwinners & Five Starters Back from Previous Year

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Heading into the 2010 season with an experienced corps of 13 returning letterwinners, five of whom were consistent starters in 2009 while three others started at least two games, the Cardinals are eager to get the campaign underway. The opening game comes up Sat., March 6 at home with Eastern Connecticut, after which the team heads to Florida for three games from March 8-11.

Team captain Charlotte Hastings '10 (#1, main photo) is back to patrol the midfield after scoring 24 goals along with six assists for 30 points in 2009. She ranked second on the squad in scoring behind Erin McCarthy '10 (#22, photo insert lower left), who collected 28 goals and six helpers for 34 points. Hastings and McCarthy are joined by Allie Lynch '11, Clare Smith '10 (#3, photo insert middle left) and goalie Maggie Drowica '12 as the quintet of first-stringers back from a year ago. Lynch led the team with 20 assists and added nine goals while Smith, a transfer from Columbia in 2009, was a mainstay on defense. Drowica started 11 of the squad's 15 contests in 2009 with a 45.8 save percentage and a 12.23 goals-against average.

Jess Chukwu '11 (24 goals), Sarah Hoefle '10 and Liz Chabot '12 all started at least a pair of games last season and should fill in on a more regular basis in 2010. Eileen Gaffney '12, Kara Perez '11 and Alexa Narzikul '12 all played a vast majority of the games a year ago and make the Cardinals that much more experienced this season.

Other letterwinners back include keeper Abby Sedney '10, who played in eight games last year and Cat Gordon '12. Add a healthy Claire O'Brien '12, who missed 2009 due to injury, and a solid crew of eight first-years to the mix, and the Cardinals will be ready for another exciting season against some of the top teams in the country, mostly in the NESCAC. Last year, Wesleyan posted a 6-9 record with eight of the nine losses coming against teams ranked in the top-16 nationally. Wesleyan also posted a 13-10 victory over 18th-ranked St. John Fisher, one of six teams on the 2010 schedule ranked among the top-20 in Division III in the IWLCA preseason poll. Also on the list are Middlebury (#5), Tufts (#7), Colby (#10), Williams (#12) and Trinity (#15).

"I am looking forward to the 2010 season," 11-year Head Coach Holly Wheeler said. "Our players have been training hard and are eager to get into action. We will use the time before our first game to help us find the best spots for our players. The senior class, led by captain Charlotte Hastings, has done a fantastic job of getting ready for the season. Clare Smith, Sarah Hoefle, Abby Sedney, and Erin McCarthy have a wealth of experience between them and will be tested this year."

(action photos courtesy of Chiarabest.com)