Women's DI Top Ten

By Jonathan Lam

1. Princeton University

Attack: With the graduation of first-team All-America Whitney Miller, two-time first-team All-America midfielder Theresa Sherry will start her senior season at attack. Sherry "led Princeton with 46 goals in 2003, finished second on the team with 32 draw controls and also had 45 groundballs." She won the championship for Princeton last year as she scored the game-winner against Virginia in overtime. Lindsey Biles missed two games last year, but still managed to record 30 goals and 5 assists, placing her as fifth leading scorer for the Tigers. Leigh Slonaker also returns from a 27-goal campaign as a sophomore. "Princeton has a luxury that not many teams in the country have: two returning attackers who scored 30 or more goals in 2003, and four returning players who scored 20 or more goals last season."

Midfield: Just like the men's team, the women's team enters its 2004 season with young players. The most notable loss is groundball leader Alex Fiore (86 GB). But second-team All-American Elizabeth Pillion will return for her junior year. Although she is most noted for her speed, she "finished second on the team with 34 goals and third with 45 points." Coach Sailer will then look to her freshmen for support. Kathleen Miller enters Princeton after being named "Player of the Match" honors in the U-19 championship game against Australia. New Jersey native Christine Dobrosky will convert to midfielder after scoring more than 200 goals as an attacker at Mountain Lakes High School.

Defense: During her stay at Princeton, Rachel Becker won multiple awards and distinctions, including 2003 Tewaaraton Trophy winner, three-time first-team All-America, and 2003 Ivy League Player of the Year. It would be an understatement to say that the Tigers have suffered a huge loss with Becker's graduation. But Princeton will focus on team defense for 2004 as opposed to relying on the ability of one player. Senior captain Katie Norbury, "an excellent one-on-one defender," was named to the second-team All-America squad last year. She "started all 20 games last year and had 41 groundballs, third among returning players, and 17 caused turnovers." Mary Beth Hogan will serve alongside Norbury in her final year. As a junior, she "finished fourth on the team with 25 draw controls and also added three goals and six assists."

Goal: Two-year starter Sarah Kolodner will again be in goal for Princeton this year. She already won the championship for the Tigers as a freshman and sophomore, and she hopes to do it again for 2004. "Kolodner started every game for Princeton in 2003, winning her second straight national title and fashioning a 6.23 goals-against average and .536 saves percentage, ranking her among the national leaders in both categories."

2. University of Virginia

Attack: The Cavaliers return three high-powered attackers in Amy Appelt, Caitlin Banks, and Tyler Leachman. Each of the players was among Virginia's 2003 top-five scorers. Amy Appelt's sub-par final game in 2003 probably merited her Second-team All-America honor, but otherwise she was robbed. The best player in the 2004 college game returns for her junior year to lead the Cavs after placing second on the team in scoring to Aumiller with 58 goals and 25 assists. She currently "ranks ninth all-time at Virginia in scoring with 157 points." Mature Senior Caitlin Banks will share the reigns with Appelt as fourth-leading scorer (37 goals, 20 assists). Banks wears 22 because she thinks she's Gary Gait. She starred for the E-Lacrosse Vail team two years ago and proved why. She's a stickmaster with a bag of tricks that only compliments Appelts aggressiveness. Sophomore Tyler Leachman returns from an outstanding freshman year. Without starting a game, Leachman scored 21 goals and 7 assists as fifth-leading scorer.

Midfield: First-team All-America Lauren Aumiller graduated as the team' leading scorer with 100 points (64 goals, 36 assists). Third-team All-America former attacker Cary Chasney looks to bring her 78 points as compensation. She was "ranked second on team in draw controls with 39 and with goals (59)." Senior Morgan Thalenberg brings experience to the team as a three-year starter with a 49-point career.

Defense: The Cavaliers lose two key defenders in first-team All-America Tiffany Schummer (62 GB, 52 CT) and second-team All-America Laurie Kenis (66 GB, 43 CT). Elizabeth Pinney, who missed most of the season due to injury, will need to lead this young defense. Senior Lauren Keller saw limited action last season, but hopes to make bigger contributions in her final year.

Goal: Andrea Pfeiffer will protect the Cavalier net for one more year. She posted a .460 save percentage with an 8.00 GAA as a junior.

3. Georgetown University

Attack: First-team All-American Wick Stanwick held an overwhelming team-high in points with a combined 48 goals and 16 assists for 64 points. Anouk Peters is an attacker who will see some time at midfield this season. She was second on the team in goal scoring with 31. Junior Sarah Oliphant played in all 17 games last year with 10 starts games last year. During that time, she grabbed 32 groundballs while scoring 17 goals and making 9 assists.

Midfield: Second-team All-America Gloria Lozano was third on the team in points (27 goals, 7 assists) and third in groundballs (52). Allison Chambers is the leading returning scorer with 38 points from last season. Her "improved offensive sense and unselfish play will add to last year's exceptional production." Returning starter Lauryn Bernier 11 goals, 6 assists) "emerged as a key component of Georgetown's transition game" last season.

Defense: Michi Ellers was second on the team in groundballs with 55. She may see time at the midfield line this season. Her "natural instincts can turn the tide of the game." Stephanie Zodtner will start for the Hoyas this spring after winning 19 groundballs and causing 18 turnovers as a freshman. She is regarded as "one of the strongest 1 v. 1 defenders on the team with consistent play and superior technique."

Goal: Sarah Robinson will be in goal for the Hoyas again as a junior. Last season, she posted an 8.82 GAA with a .485 save percentage. Margaret Farland, her freshman understudy, may see some quality time this spring.

4. University of Maryland

Attack: "A season ago, the attack was talented but inexperienced. With the successful 2003 campaign under their belt, this unit is more accustomed to a full season of high-level of competition and is expected to find the back of the net with regularity for the Terps in 2004." Junior Annie Collins returns at attack with 24 goals and 11 assists. Classmate Jess Dorney started all 22 games last year while recording 28 goals and 5 assists as the team's seventh best scorer. Groundball leader Delia Cox (71 GB) returns as a sophomore after placing fourth on the team in scoring (36 goals, 6 assists).

Midfield: Kelly Coppedge, IWLCA Midfielder of the Year and first-team All-America, led the team in scoring with an overwhelming 73 goals and 22 assists; first-team All-America attacker Sonia Judd, the second leading scorer, was 21 points short. "A Tewaaraton Trophy candidate, Coppedge should be the focal point of many opposing defenses." Third-team All-America Acacia Walker led the team in assists with 33. She will serve as the quarterback for the Terrapin offense.

Defense: The women's team brings the signature defense just as the men's team did. Julie Shank "Between Greta Sommers, Molly Lambert, Meg Mallon, Megan Sommar and Tess McLeod, the Terps have a combined 82 starts and over 180 games of experience." These five defenders combined for a cumulative 48 caused turnovers last year. Sommers is a tough defender with excellent stick skills, which may earn her some time on offense. Lambert will provide leadership for the Terps as co-captain. "Mallon, Sommar and McLeod have been Terp regulars throughout their careers and will have an opportunity to start, but all of them will certainly see extensive action again in 2004."

Goal: The Terps suffer an enormous loss in goal with the graduation of first-team All-America Alexis Venechanos. Junior Kirah Miles will make her first collegiate start for the 2004 season.

5. Duke University

Attack: Duke loses a key attacker in third-team All-America Lauren Gallagher. In her four years, Gallagher had 193 career points with 140 goals and 53 assists. Last season, she was second on the team in points with 37 goals and 14 assists. Jessica Bennett (26 goals, 7 assists) also graduated. But the Blue Devils return last season's goal (39) and assist (15) leader, Katie Chrest.

Midfield: Kate Kaiser (38 goals, 6 assists) ended her Duke career on a high note as a first-team All-American. But second-team All-America Meghan Miller returns with her "team-highs in caused turnovers (42) and groundballs (61)." Katie Laschinger and Cheryl Lynn Horton will close out the midfield line.

Defense: Meghan Walters "registered 51 ground balls, 33 caused turnovers and a team-best 30 draw controls last season." The Duke defense will look to her for leadership. Junior Stephanie Sparks will lead the defense in experience; she started all 18 games and played a team-second-high 976:30 minutes. The 2003 defense allowed only 132 shots all season.

Goal: Sophomore Megan Huether played a team-high 1036:00 minutes last year. In her freshman season, she posted a .524 save percentage with a mere 6.67 GAA.

6. Loyola College

Attack: First-team All-America and Division I Attacker of the Year Suzanne Eyler graduated. In her final season, she recorded team-highs in points (63) and goals (56). Third-team All-America Rachel Shuck will bring her total offensive package for the Greyhounds in her senior year. As the leading returning scorer, she placed second on the team in scoring with 24 goals and 38 assists. Sophomore Sydney Greene started 13 games last season and registered 23 goals and 4 assists.

Midfield: Senior captain Kourtney Porcella will provide the Greyhounds as an extra defender. She was second in draw controls (28), third in groundballs (48), and third in caused turnovers (33). Jaclyn Barrone "adds an extra element to the attack as a left hander." At 5'9", she brings size and strength to help Porcella on the defensive end. Two year starter Talia Shacklock placed second on the team in goal scoring with 34. She is a threat to most defenses as a "smart, mature player that can play well with both hands."

Defense: Loyola had the best defense in the nation, but first-team All-American Marianne Gioffre graduated. A Tewaaraton candidate, she won 36 groundballs and forced 23 caused turnovers. But returning starter senior Kristi Korrow played a key role in the defense last year. She led the team in draw controls at 30 while tying for first in groundballs at 63. Her classmate Tara Singleton was another key role in last year's defense as she started all 19 games as well. She led the team in caused turnovers at 38 with her outstanding stick checks and aggression.

Goal: Senior Kim Lawton will start for the Greyhounds again. She held the nation-best GAA of 5.37 while placed second in the nation with a .619 save percentage. Her sophomore understudy Cindy Nicolaus held the nation-best .626 save percentage.

7. Dartmouth College

Attack: Senior tri-captain Lana Smith led the team in points (59), goals (38), and assists (21) last year; she earned a spot on the 2003 second-team All-America squad. Coach Patton expects Smith to have another standout year while maintaining leadership both on and off the field. Fellow senior Molly Jenkins will start again for Dartmouth. She "netted 16 goals and seven assists and tied for the team lead with 50 groundballs." This season, she will see a more involved role as a feeder to control the attack unit. Freshman Margo Duke will battle for a starting position. Coming from Englewood, Colorado, she brings All-American status.

Midfield: Junior Katieanne Christian earned third-team All-America honors last year as Dartmouth's second-leading scorer (34 goals, 5 assists) and led the team in draw controls (35). Also returning is senior tri-captain Kate Killen, the fourth leading scorer (19 goals, 5 assists). She provides excellent speed and versatility as she will play both sides of the field.

Defense: Senior Rowan Smith will lead the Dartmouth defense as she will draw the opponent's top attacker. Starting all 16 games as a sophomore, Erin Osborn is regarded as the team's best crease defender. She will use her speed and intelligence in 2004 as a crease defender. Junior Kristi Soroka will close out the defensive unit if she can avoid injury. She "brings a package of great speed, aggressiveness, and intelligence to the field."

Goal: Voted Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Devon Wills started all 16 games last season as a freshman while compiling a 7.57 GAA and a .528 save percentage. Fellow sophomore Kelly Roy may also see some time as Wills' backup.

8. James Madison University

Attack: Junior Jessica Brownridge scored 28 goals with 13 assists, placing her as the team's third highest scorer. Sophomore Brooke McKenzie (16 goals, 1 assist) may earn a starting position as will freshman Monica Buck. Buck had 149 goals and 161 assists at her high school, Mount de Sales.

Midfield: First-team All-America Lisa Staedt tied for first with 70 points (48 goals, 22 assists). She was first on the team with 76 groundballs, and second in caused turnovers (30 CT) and draw controls (39 DC). Second-team All-America and 2003 Tewaaraton nominee Gail Decker tied with Staedt in points with 51 goals, 19 assists. She played a team-high 1094 minutes while leading the team with 43 draw controls. Carrie Martell will again find a starting position at midfield. In 2003, she was received the "Team's Most Improved Player" award as she was third on the team with 51 groundballs.

Defense: Senior defender Jessica Beard led the team in caused turnovers (31). Two-year starter Ashlee Dardine (3 goals, 2 assists) will share the defensive efforts with Beard. Dardine was third on the team in caused turnovers (27).

Goal: The goalie position is an even toss-up between Amy Altig and Livvy King. King saw more playing time as she posted an 8.33 GAA and a .511 save percentage. Altig posted a 9.18 GAA and a .503 save percentage.

9. Ohio State University

Attack: First-team All-ALC selection Tracy Bounds graduated last year. She led the team with 21 assists and 75 groundballs, and was fourth on the team with 23 goals. But both starters Caroline Weatherill (27 goals, 1 assist) and Noemi Hites (9 goals, 4 assists) return for their senior year; Weatherill was fourth on the team in scoring. Molly McLaughlin saw time in 13 games last year, producing two goals and three assists.

Midfield: The Buckeyes also lose second-team All-American midfielder Shannon Wilson (40 goals, 9 assists), the team's second leading scorer, to graduation. But Regina Oliver, also a second-team All-America midfielder, returns for her junior year. Oliver is easily one of the most important players to Ohio State's program with "team-highs of 43 goals, 56 points, 42 draw controls and 53 caused turnovers."

Defense: Third-team All-America Kim Lowe recorded 46 groundballs and 33 caused turnovers in her final season as a senior. The only returning starter is sophomore Kathryn Kozlakowski. But junior Libby Schmehling gained some valuable experience in 16 games last year.

Goal: Erin Forguer closes out the graduated senior class. In her final season, she posted a 7.28 GAA and .527 save percentage. Sophomore Kim Hastings will follow up Forguer in goal as she played in six games while posting an 8.56 GAA and a .355 save percentage.

10. Penn State University

Attack: Third-team All-America Colleen O'Hara, three-time leading scorer, graduated last year; she scored 34 goals with 23 assists in her senior season. Fourth leading scorer Katie Jeschke recorded 25 goals and 7 assists in her junior season. Stephanie Curnoles (6 goals, 2 assists) will earn valuable possession time for the Lions as she was second on the team with groundballs (40 GB). Junior Emily Chambers (9 goals, 9 assists) will also gain possessions for the Lions with her team-high 28 draw controls.

Midfield: Junior Kristen Burke returns as the team's second leading scorer with 32 goals and 2 assists; she may see some time at attack this season. Sophomore Shari Maslin tied Burke with 34 points with 28 goals and 6 assists. Jamie Donahue earned 6 starts last season and placed fifth in scoring with 21 points.

Defense: Two-year starter Jackie Sherman "has great size and speed and will be a key defender for [the Lions] this season." Sophomore Liz Frandé started all 17 games as a freshman and caused a team-high 14 turnovers. Mt. Hebron product Renée Cipro "comes to Penn State as one of the top defenders in the country, and should also see a significant playing time."

Goal: Lee Tortorelli returns after earning a spot on the second-team All-American team last season. She has already been placed on the Tewaaraton watch list as a junior. She posted a 9.71 GAA with a .547 save percentage.

Areas in quotations are from University press releases or media guides.

Photos by T.D. Paulius and E-Lax Staff

March 10, 2004