Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Friday, February 28, 2003
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LACROSSE TEAMS OPEN WITH
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First Varsity Season for Men in 23 Years

The Muhlenberg men’s lacrosse team begins its first varsity season since 1980 when it hosts Centenary tomorrow.

Men’s lacrosse was a varsity sport at Muhlenberg from 1965 to 1980 and existed as a popular club sport after it was discontinued. Men’s lacrosse was formally reinstated as a varsity sport in January 2001.

Head Coach Dave Cornell, an assistant with national runner-up Gettysburg in 2001, has goals both modest and lofty for the team. “I want our guys to get better every day, and understand the game a lot better,” he said. “Our goal is to be competitive in the Centennial Conference and be playing for something come mid-April. If we can pull off an upset here or there, maybe we can sneak into the [CC] Tournament.

The CC is one of the strongest Division III conferences, with Gettysburg, Washington and McDaniel all ranked in the preseason top 11. That’s just fine with Cornell, who has set a long-term goal of being a top-15 team within three years. “This schedule is going to let our kids know where they stand. By playing Gettysburg, by playing Washington, they’re going to see the level they need to be at for us to achieve our goals.”

The Mules have a 19-member squad that consists of four sophomores and 15 freshmen. Sophomore goalie Mark Whitlock and freshman midfielders Mike Tentindo and John Westendorf have been selected as captains. The team played competitive scrimmages in the fall against Widener and Cabrini, a pair of 2002 NCAA Tournament teams, and defeated Scranton and Drew in preseason spring scrimmages.

“We don’t have a lot of depth,” said Cornell, “But if our kids do what they’re supposed to do we’ll be all right.”

Women Look to Turn Close Losses into Wins

The Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team went 4-11 in 2002, but three of the losses were by a single goal. A different bounce here or there, and the Mules could have been close to a .500 season.

They will try to turn around some of those results in 2003, beginning tomorrow with a home game against Moravian, a first-year varsity team.

“We’ve been practicing very hard,” said Head Coach Kristen Stuckel.
Sarah Bowman
Bowman is the Mules’ all-time leader in draw controls and needs four caused turnovers to take over first place in that category.
“Our team is very excited for competition, to see where they are and to see how the new players will fit in.”

Muhlenberg returns 10 starters from last year but also has a good group of freshmen who figure to see considerable playing time. “Our main focus has been to try to incorporate the new players and continue our growth as a team,” noted Stuckel. “We have a lot of potential, but we have a lot of work to do.”

The team’s top returning scorer is senior Sarah Bowman, who notched 41 points on 33 goals and eight assists last season. She also led the team in ground balls (26), draw controls (44) and caused turnovers (22). The other senior on the team, Lynsey Caldwell, is Muhlenberg’s all-time leader with 49 career assists. She had a school-record 19 assists in 2002 and ranks fifth in team history with 120 career points.

The Mules also received a record-breaking performance last season from sophomore goalie Diana Bleakley, who set the mark for saves in a season (252) and tied the record for saves in a game (28) en route to earning All-Centennial Conference second-team honors.

Other returning starters include sophomores Christa Carlstrand (24 goals) and Amy Lanning (10 goals) on offense, junior Candice Coffman and sophomore Dayna McCarthy at midfield, and juniors Giselle Aerni and Kristen Kastner and sophomore Allison Marman on defense.

Four of the teams on Muhlenberg’s schedule are ranked in the preseason top 20, including Wednesday’s opponent, No. 13 Drew.


Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu
Last updated February 28, 2003