Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Tuesday, February 28, 2006
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Last year the Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team tied the program record for victories. This year the Mules look to move to the next level.

“We want to make the playoffs and have one of the best records in program history,” said Steph Light, one of five seniors on the team. “We have a really great foundation, from the five seniors to the
Charlotte Adams
The five seniors, including Adams, need just five wins to become the winningest class in program history.
new freshman that will help fill in the holes.”

Muhlenberg will have its work cut out for it. The team plays in the tough Centennial Conference with two nationally ranked schools and hosts a third, Drew, to open the season tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. The Mules are also picked sixth in the CC preseason coaches poll (the top five make the postseason tournament).

Even so, the team feels optimistic thanks to a core of five fourth-year starters and a group of underclassmen expected to step up, including a talented freshman class. Muhlenberg returns six of its top seven scorers from a season ago, when it won eight games for the second time in three years.

The foundation starts on attack with seniors Courtney Tapkas and Shannon Donohue. Tapkas, who last year was selected to the All-CC first team, All-Metro Region second team and ECAC South All-Star Team, finished the season with 51 goals and 64 points and is Muhlenberg’s all-time leader and the conference’s active leader in goals (167) and points (198). Donohue, with 31 goals last season, is an additional threat on offense. She currently ranks among the top 10 in school history in assists (fourth with 35), points (eighth with 125) and goals (10th with 90).

“Courtney has skill, and she gets the job done,” noted Light. “She is a tremendous asset to our team with her ability to score and her attitude. If the defense marks her, it’ll create holes for other people to slip in, but she’ll still be able to fight through and score.”

The Mules field a strong, veteran midfield led by seniors Jessica Geiger and Light. Geiger is in her second year as co-captain, and Light leads active Mules in ground balls. They are joined by junior Katie Reimann and sophomore Taylor Armstrong, who are looking to build off their successful campaigns from a year ago. Reimann is 10th all-time at Muhlenberg in assists with 23, and Armstrong was fifth on the team last season with 14 goals.

Whether or not Muhlenberg is successful this season may be answered by its biggest question mark - its defense. While senior Charlotte Adams and junior Kelli Sakonchick provide experience, the Mules lost a pair of four-year starters, including one in goal.

“Charlotte and Kelli have a good foundation in place on defense,” said Geiger. “The new freshmen are working well with them, and our young defense is looking impressive.”

After successful practices in the fall and solid training sessions heading into the season, the Mules are ready to build off their foundation and prove that they can compete with the elite of the Centennial Conference.

“We feel we are going to be a lot stronger than we have been in the past,” added Geiger. “We are learning to read each other as teammates and we are going to go out there and play strong every game.”

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Last updated February 28, 2006