Preview: Close Losses Provide "Fuel" for Women's Lacrosse

Monday, February 25, 2013

After completing a summer program at Deloitte last year, Molly Davin was offered (and accepted) a full-time job to begin after graduation, relieving her of much of the anxiety that many of her classmates at Muhlenberg have been experiencing in the last few months.

Jill Freda
Freda, who started 11 games last year, will be valuable to the Mules on clears and transition with her excellent speed.
She hopes her senior season with the women’s lacrosse team is as stress-free.

The 2012 campaign was a difficult one for the Mules. They finished 5-8 overall and 1-8 in the Centennial Conference, but their last five losses were all by one goal – two to teams that qualified for the CC playoffs. They were just a few goals from having one of the best seasons in program history.

“It’s definitely on all of the returning players’ minds,” said Davin, a team co-captain. “Last year was really frustrating and disappointing, and I think that’s going to be a fuel for a lot of our games this year.

“We learned a lot from each of our games,” she added. “We need to go back and watch those games to see where the other teams got us, so we can do the little things to beat them by a big margin instead of losing by a small margin.”

Ali Gabriele
Gabriele tied her career high with six goals last season.
Muhlenberg, which opens up Wednesday at Lebanon Valley, returns most of its firepower from an offense that averaged 14.0 goals per game last year – the third-most in program history. Junior Michelle Certosimo led the team with 54 points and led the CC in assists per game last year in her first season. Davin tied for the team lead with 32 goals and paces all active Muhlenberg players in career points (94) and goals (71).

Senior co-captain Alex Bellini (20 goals) and sophomore all-region player Stephanie Umbach (26) should also contribute to the Mules putting plenty of balls in the net, especially if Umbach excels at draw controls as she did last year.

Senior Ali Gabriele is a sparkplug for the team in the midfield, while junior Ally Shaffer and sophomore Allie Califano are versatile players who could see time at several different positions.

Seniors Alexandra Franck and Jill Freda, juniors Kaitlyn McCaffrey and Anna Provax and sophomore Alexandra Oberle all return on defense. McCaffrey, a team co-captain, was named to the All-CC second team last year despite missing part of the season with injury.

The Mules should be much better off in goal, where senior Tiffany Kreider is back with a year of experience after starting last season as a newcomer to the sport of lacrosse.

“Tiff has improved tremendously,” noted Davin. “She has worked so hard and deserves to be in goal.”

Kreider will be pushed by two newcomers who are part of a strong freshman class.

For the first time since 2005, Muhlenberg will not be heading south for Spring Break. Instead, the Mules will stay in Allentown and host Eastern in their home opener next Wednesday.

“It will be a nice little cold change,” joked Davin. “We’ll definitely get a lot of each other. Working together and having that bond off the field will make us better on the field.”