Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Tuesday, March 1, 2005
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SEASON PREVIEW
WOMEN’S LAX LOOKS BACK, FORWARD

The Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team is going retro this spring.

The Mules are aiming to turn back the clock to 2003, when they had their best season ever, setting a school record with eight wins and shattering numerous scoring records. Last year, the team finished with a 5-9 record.

“I think this season is shaping up more like our season two years
Amy Lanning
One of four seniors on the team, Amy Lanning tallied three goals and three assists in 2004 and will be competing for time in the midfield.
ago,” said senior Christa Carlstrand, who is serving as a team captain. “Last year we came in really positive and it was kind of a letdown. Hopefully, we can learn from our mistakes.”

The team also wants to go back to a time when there was no snow on the ground. The weather wiped out the Mules’ only scrimmage and is endangering their season opener, scheduled for tomorrow at Cedar Crest.

Fueling the optimism is a strong core of returning players, a talented group of nine newcomers and a productive fall season.

“This is one of the first years that we really came together in the fall,” noted Carlstrand. “Once the preseason started, we were already clicking well because we worked so hard last semester.”

Most of the players who made Muhlenberg’s offense click last year are back. Of the 150 goals the team scored last season, 146 return. Three current players rank among the program’s top 15 all-time scorers.

Headlining the offense is junior Courtney Tapkas, an All-Centennial Conference second-team selection last year. She has led the team in scoring in each of her first two seasons and needs 43 goals – the exact number she scored in 2004 – to break the school record of 158 in a career. Carlstrand and junior Shannon Donohue each scored 26 goals last year and are 12th and 14th, respectively, on the all-time scoring list.

Returning midfielders expected to contribute to the attack include sophomores Elizabeth Alexander, who scored 25 points on 19 goals and six assists, and Katie Reimann, the team leader with 13 assists, 24 draw controls and 16 caused turnovers. Junior co-captain Jessica Geiger, like Reimann, scored 12 goals last year.

Versatile junior midfielder Steph Light has missed time with injuries the last two years but still leads all active players in career ground balls and draw controls.

Defensively, the Mules will look to improve on their 13.21 goals-against average, which ranked next-to-last in the CC. Senior Allison Marman heads a defensive unit that graduated two starters.

“She is vocal, aggressive and unparalleled as a leader,” said Carlstrand of her classmate. “She helps motivate people to communicate with each other.”

Muhlenberg returns two other players, junior Charlotte Adams and sophomore Kelli Sakonchick, who started games on defense last year.

The defense will play in front of senior Diana Bleakley, a three-year starter in goal who needs just 42 saves to take over first place on the all-time list. Bleakley will be challenged by two new goalies on the roster – just one example of the internal competition that the Mules hope will push them to new heights.

“We’ve been really upbeat and motivated. As sick as we are of practice, we’re still being very competitive,” said Carlstrand. “But it’s in competition that we’ll really learn what we need to work on and find our strengths and weaknesses.”


Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu
Last updated March 1, 2005