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Muhlenberg College

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

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Season Preview
women’s lacrosse kicks into action

Before the start of formal practice for the 2008 season, the Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team stayed sharp by playing games at the captains’ practices – not games of lacrosse, but games of kickball.

“We just wanted to do a fun thing
Marissa Capuano
Capuano scored 22 points on 11 goals and 11 assists last year and also tied for third on the Mules with 21 draw controls.
that didn’t necessarily have to do with the sport,” said senior co-captain Taylor Armstrong, citing kickball as one of the activities that has strengthened team unity. “The friendships that we’ve made make it easier to work together and keep each other focused.”

The Mules will begin to put their unity and focus to the test for real – playing lacrosse – tomorrow with a 4:00 home game against King’s.

Muhlenberg carries a 16-game winning streak in non-conference play into the season opener. Things have not gone as smoothly in the tough Centennial Conference, which includes two 2007 NCAA semifinalists, one of them national champion Franklin & Marshall. Last year, the Mules were 9-7 overall, one short of the school record for wins in a season, but only 2-7 in the CC.

“Obviously winning the conference championship is the ultimate
Maura Lane
Lane tied for third on the team with 33 ground balls in 2007, her first season as a starter.
goal, but just making the tournament is the first priority. We have to take it one step at a time,” said Armstrong, adding, “I really think we have a good year ahead of us.”

With only two seniors lost to graduation and a strong freshman class, Muhlenberg returns a good blend of experience and youth. The Mules scored 199 goals, the second-most in school history, last year, and all but 32 of those goals are back.

Junior attack Sara Hiller will look to expand on her breakout sophomore season, when she scored a team-leading 41 goals. Other top scoring threats include junior Ruth Morrongiello (team-leading 50 points), Armstrong (team-leading 23 assists) and sophomores Amanda McGovern (21 goals) and Danielle Scarrone (15 goals).

Senior Marissa Capuano and sophomore Alyssa Bascelli, each of whom scored at least 10 goals last year, will play more defensive roles in 2008. The defense, which ranked atop the CC and 29th in Division III in ground balls per game (24.56), returns two starters in senior Maura Lane and junior co-captain Marguerite Farrell. Juniors Farrin Jay and Sara Richwine and sophomore Ashley Foltiny also figure to see plenty of time.

The defense will have its work cut out for it, as a pair of freshmen are competing for the starting spot in goal.

“It’s definitely hard for them to get to know us. When you have someone brand new it’s tough,” admitted Armstrong. “But they have put in a lot of work, and it shows.”

In an unusual schedule twist, Muhlenberg will play its first Centennial Conference game in Florida, against fourth-ranked Gettysburg on Monday. The Mules’ first home CC game is slated for March 22 against Ursinus, which in the CC preseason poll was picked to finish fifth – one spot ahead of the Mules.

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