Women's DI Top Ten

By Jonathan Lam

1. Virginia:

Attack: ACC Tournament MVP Ashleigh Haas (26 goals, 7 assists) and Tyler Leachman (53 goals, 11 assists) return to the Cavalier attack and Kate Breslin (11 goals, 1 assist) will try to fill the void left with the graduation of Caitlin Banks.

Midfield: The key returner for the Cavaliers is 2004 Tewaaraton winner Amy Appelt. Last season, Appelt (90 goals, 31 assists) ranked first in the nation in goals, second in points per game (5.50), and second in goals per game (4.09). "Appelt was the 2004 ACC Player of the Year and was the consensus National Offensive Player of the Year." 2005 Tewaaraton nominee Cary Chasney (3 goals, 1 assist) will return for a healthy junior campaign after sustaining an injury in the second game of the 2004 season. Courtney Young (21 goals, 6 assists) will complete the unit and lead on defense after tying for second on the 2004 National Championship team in caused turnovers with 24.

Defense: First team All-American Nikki Lieb (5 goals, 4 assists) returns for her junior season after leading the team with 63 groundballs. Ashley Dodson caused 24 turnovers and scooped up 49 groundballs last season. Molly Urlock will close out the Cavalier defense. She caused 22 turnovers and scooped up 47 groundballs. Elizabeth Pinney will play some defense for the Cavaliers with a team-high 31 caused turnovers. She also finished second in groundballs with 51.

Goal: With the graduation of Andrea Pfeiffer, Ginger Miles will take over as starting goalie. Last season, she put up a GAA of 9.64 and a save percentage of .530.

2. Princeton:

Attack: First team All-American Lindsey Biles (55 goals, 16 assists) led the team in scoring last season, but is the sole returner on attack. Senior Ingrid Goldberg (15 goals, 6 assists) and sophomore Mary Minshall (7 goals, 4 assists) have the tough job to replace Theresa Sherry and Liza Hillenbrand.

Midfield: First Team All-American Elizabeth Pillion (34 goals, 17 assists) ranked third on the team in scoring last season and first in groundballs with 48. She returns to lead the Princeton midfield for her senior year. Preseason Third Team All-American Kathleen Miller (32 goals, 13 assists) returns after an impressive freshman season as the team's fourth highest scorer. Fellow sophomore Christine Dobrosky (5 goals, 5 assists) will also play on the first midfield line.

Defense: The Tiger defense ranked first in scoring defense 6.15 goals per game last season. But with the loss of First Team All-American Katie Norbury, Third Team All-American Lauren Vance (33 groundballs, 29 caused turnovers) will feel the pressure to lead the Tigers to another nation-leading performance. Sophomore Caitlin Reimers (2 goals, 3 assists), another returning starter, caused 15 turnovers and registered 35 groundballs. Senior Kelly Darling played in only nine games last season, and started only one. She caused five turnovers and scooped up three groundballs. She will need to fill the void left by the graduation of Mary Beth Hogan.

Goal: Senior goalkeeper Sarah Kolodner led the nation last year in goals against average with a 5.82 and posted a save percentage of .547.

3. Northwestern:

Attack: The Wildcats return last season's starting attack unit. Sarah Albrecht (28 goals, 22 assists), Laura Glassanos (31 goals, 15 assists), and Aly Josephs (31 goals, 4 assists) ranked second, third, and fifth in scoring respectively. Jenny Bush (11 goals, 4 assists) ranked seventh in scoring last season with 15 appearances and 2 starts.

Midfield: Second Team All-American and Tewaaraton nominee Kristen Kjellman (53 goals, 17 assists) led the team in scoring last season. Returning with Kjellman are Lindsey Munday (23 goals, 16 assists) and Lindsay Finocchario (16 goals, 2 assists), the teams fourth and sixth highest scorers respectively.

Defense: The Koester sisters provide the Wildcats with a very solid defense. Second Team All-American Courtney Koester (3 goals, 1 assist) led the team in draw controls with 45. Preseason Second Team All-American Ashley Koester (1 assist) led the team in groundballs with 40. The sisters also tied for first in caused turnovers with 20. Courtney Koester will most likely start taking draws at the midfield while sophomores Kristen Boege (2 assists) and Emily Lovett (1 assist) will anchor the defense with Ashley Koester. Boege had 21 groundballs and caused 16 turnovers while Lovett had 25 groundballs and caused 8 turnovers.

Goal: Ashley Gersuk ranked seventh in GAA with 8.02 and posted a save percentage of .514.

4. Duke:

Attack: With the graduation of Corinne Broesler, Coach Kerstin Kimel has only two players sealed at

Attack: Tewaaraton nominee Katie Chrest and Kristen Waagbo (22 goals, 19 assists). Kimel will substitute different midfielders to start at attack with each game. Chrest (43 goals, 11 assists) led the team in scoring last season and garnered Third Team All-American honors last season as a midfielder, but made the transition to attack for her junior season.

Midfield: Sophomore Leigh Jester (23 goals, 4 assists) returns as the top scoring midfielder. Following Jester is senior Kristy Dirks (20 goals, 4 assists), the second highest scoring midfielder. Senior Katie Laschinger (6 goals, 5 assists) will close out the starting midfield line. Michelle Menser (18 goals, 4 assists) will be one of the midfielders to start some games at attack.

Defense: Stephanie Sparks (4 goals, 11 assists) brings the most starting experience to the defense. Last season, she caused 17 turnovers and scooped up 29 groundballs. Lane Fogarty played in only one game last season, but sustained a knee injury. Fifth-year senior Caline McHenry will also start at defense. Meghan Ferguson (1 goal) is a midfielder who will see much time at defense. Last season, she played in all 19 games and started in 16.

Goal: Tewaaraton nominee Megan Huether ranked fifteenth in the nation in GAA last season with 8.74 and posted a save percentage of .515.

5. Georgetown:

Attack: The Hoyas return last season's starting attack unit. Third Team All-American Sarah Oliphant (32 goals, 20 assists), Coco Stanwick (17 goals, 28 assists), and Catherine Elbe (29 goals, 6 assists) ranked as the first, second, and fifth highest scorers, respectively. Hollis Pica (10 goals, 5 assists) played in 16 games last season. She is a "steady attacker with a knack for being in the right place" and her "dependable skills will allow her to fight for playing time" says 1st year coach Ricky Fried.

Midfield: Allison Chambers (29 goals, 12 assists) led the midfield and ranked third on the team in scoring last season. Lauren Bernier (17 goals, 7 assists) ranked third in draw controls with 32 and tied for first in groundballs with 55. Bernier and her teammates were a nation-leading 30.72 groundballs per game last year. Lauren Redler (7 goals, 5 assists) played in all 18 games last season with four starts. Her "excellent game sense and consistent play" will earn her a starting position at the midfield. Schuyler Sutton (5 goals, 1 assist) adds depth to the midfield. Her "quick first step, deceptive moves and steady skills make her a constant threat with the ball."

Defense: The Hoya defense has suffered a huge loss with the graduation of First Team All-American Michi Ellers. Georgetown led the nation with 245 caused turnovers and 13.61 caused turnovers per game; Ellers caused a team-high 66 turnovers. But Laura Cipro, Kristin Smith, and Stephanie Zodtner are prepared to return Georgetown to last year's prestige. Cipro (1 goal), Smith, and Zodtner (1 goal) started in all 18 games last season. Smith recorded 17 groundballs and 11 caused turnovers; Cipro recorded 39 groundballs and 23 caused turnovers; Zodtner recorded 32 groundballs and 23 caused turnovers. Cipro and Zodtner tied for second in caused turnovers.

Goal: Sarah Robinson ranked fifth in the nation with a GAA of 7.80 and posted a save percentage of .536.

6. North Carolina:

Attack: Allison Higgins (23 goals, 6 assists) returns as the leading scorer from the attack. She also led the team in draw controls with 34. Sister Lindsay Higgins (7 goals) will vie for a starting position this season after 10 appearances last season with two starts. Chrissy Rude (4 goals, 8 assists) will return as a starter after ranking eighth in team scoring as a freshman.

Midfield: Carolina returns three of the five highest scorers from last season in their midfield line. Junior Melissa McCarthy (24 goals, 3 assists) ranked third on the team in team scoring last season while Brooke Dieringer (16 goals, 6 assists) ranked fifth. Jess Allen (15 goals, 8 assists) led all freshmen in scoring and came in fourth in team scoring. She also led the team in groundballs with 39. Her sister Gina Allen (1 goal, 2 assists) played and started in all 16 games last season, but play on the defensive end of the midfield. Gina caused 17 turnovers and won 25 groundballs. Senior Ilsa Leon (1 goal) will also play as a defensive midfielder. Leon caused 20 turnovers and won 23 groundballs. Erica LaGrow, a freshman from Christian Brothers Academy in Skaneateles, will also compete for playing time.

Defense: Julie Gladchuk started in all 16 games last season as a freshman while recording 16 groundballs and 10 caused turnovers. Junior Morgan Russell played in only two games last season, but will start at defense this season. Freshman Britta Williams from Garrison Forest in Baltimore will also compete for a starting position.

Goal: With the graduation of Katelyn Hoffman, Kristin Hordy will take the reigns as goalie. There was no enormous disparity between the two players, however. Hoffman played roughly 50 minutes more than Hordy. Last season, Hordy ranked fourth in the nation in save percentage with .577 and posted a GAA of 8.71.

7. Maryland:

Attack: Jessica Dorney (27 goals, 11 assists) "will look to keep the momentum from a breakout junior season" after ranking fifth in team scoring last season. Brooke Richards (12 goals, 9 assists) "closed the season in strong fashion and provides the Terps with good vision working behind the cage." Mollie Reese (8 goals, 3 assists), "last season's ACC Freshman of the Year, will be in the mix at attack after recovering from a wrist injury suffered in the winter."

Midfield: Tewaaraton candidate Acacia Walker (25 goals, 23 assists) was last season's fourth highest scorer and will be relied upon to guide the midfield after the graduation of Kelly Coppedge. "Walker has excellent vision and can distribute the ball on the offensive side, but also excels in the defensive zone as well." She will also "take a majority of the draws for the Terps as well" with her team-leading 47 draw controls from a year ago. Second Team All-American Delia Cox (47 goals, 6 assists) ranked second in team-scoring last season at attack. "Cox's speed not only makes her a dangerous scorer but also serves her well in the defensive zone." Annie Collins had career-highs of 23 goals and 26 assists last season en route to ranking third in team-scoring. In spite of ranking sixth in team-scoring last season, Laura Warren (17 goals, 5 assists) "is a more defensive-minded middie who brings intense effort throughout the entire game."

Defense: Third Team All-American Greta Sommers (2 goals), "a starter in every game of her career, is an excellent one-on-one defender who will draw the assignment of marking the opposing team's best offensive weapon. Her awareness and footwork make it difficult for players to get to the cage." She recorded 42 groundballs and 23 caused turnovers. Megan Sommar and Becky Clipp (1 assist) will both compete for starting positions at defense. Like Sommers, Sommar "is also an excellent defender in isolation situations and will make her mark in the starting lineup as a senior." Becky Clipp (1 assist) "is explosive out of the defensive end and has demonstrated to the coaches that she is ready for significant playing time."

Goal: Kirah Miles ranked 19th in the nation last season with a save percentage of .528 and posted a GAA of 8.01.

8. Loyola:

Attack: Senior tri-captain and Tewaaraton nominee Rachel Shuck (17 goals, 34 assists) and junior Syndey Greene (43 goals, 13 assists) "are the perfect compliment to each other as the top two scorers with Shuck leading in assists and Greene in goals." Shuck garnered Second Team All-American honors last year while Greene earned a spot on the Third Team. Shuck also ranked fifth in the nation in assists per game with 1.89. Katie Guarino (5 goals) "adds leadership to an already strong unit with 36 games played in her career. Guarino started in two contests while appearing in all 18 games last season."

Midfield: Talia Shacklock (35 goals, 2 assists) "will look to lead the midfield as a senior captain. She finished last season third in scoring." Fellow senior Stephanie Walker (29 goals, 5 assists) "finished last season fourth in overall scoring…Walker, at 5-9 is also a presence on the defensive end and in the circle as she picked up 32 groundballs, won 28 draw controls and caused nine turnovers." Sophomore Kate McHarg (5 goals, 4 assists) played in all 18 games last season and made four starts with a team-leading 30 draw controls.

Defense: Senior Erin Cyphers, a returning starter, "is a strong one-on-one defender that provides leadership to the squad where she caused 13 turnovers and picked up 22 ground balls in 2004." Junior Laura Carper, another returning starter "recorded 20 groundballs and 11 caused turnovers in 2004. Carper has great experience from last season and will look to build upon that in 2005." Senior twin midfielders Sarah and Liz Hannan will both vie for playing time on the defensive end. Sarah played in 11 games last season while Liz played in 8. Coach Keri O'Day said "Sarah has developed into a solid one-on-one defender. She returns with experience and her help defense will make her an asset to us. Liz has great communication and supporting defenders skills. She closes double teams well and gives us experience at the defensive end."

Goal: Kim Lawton ranked second in the nation in GAA with 7.22 and first in the nation in save percentage with .596. Backup Cindy Nicolaus ranked second in the nation in save percentage with .586 with a GAA of 9.11.

9. Hopkins:

Attack: Tewaaraton nominee Mary Key (52 goals, 22 assists) led the team in scoring last season as a freshman. She set the school Division I record for points in a season (74) and led all NCAA freshmen in points and goals per game. She will be relied upon to lead the attack in only her sophomore season. Senior Erin Riordan (20 goals, 14 assists) and junior Meagan Voight (24 goals, 2 assists) return as the team's third and fourth highest scorers of last season.

Midfield: Senior co-captain Anne Crisafulli (6 goals, 3 assists) "has played in all but five games during the past three years and stepped up her level of play when needed." Both Kelley Putnam (21 goals, 4 assists) and Steph Janice (16 goals, 8 assists) played in all 17 games last season and made 13 and 11 starts, respectively. In that time, Putnam ranked fifth in team scoring while Janice ranked sixth. Sandra Lebo joined the lacrosse team in 2003 and played in four games last season, but will be relied upon to lead the midfield.

Defense: Senior co-captain Lacey-Leigh Hentz (6 goals) will again return for her fourth consecutive year as a starter. "Last season she led Hopkins in ground balls (54) and caused turnovers (32)." Kristen Miller, another returning defensive starter, "played all 17 games in 2004, started 11 and finished second on the team in draw controls (29) and fourth in caused turnovers (10)." Ashley Schwarzmann "played all but one game last year" and may find herself a spot in the defensive rotation.

Goal: The Blue Jays return starting goalie Lauren Riddick, who posted a .442 save percentage last season with a GAA of 9.31.

10. Dartmouth:

Attack: Whitney Douthett (7 goals, 3 assists) played in 13 games last season and made six starts as a freshman. She "will be asked this year to drive the Dartmouth attack from behind the net." Fellow sophomore Margo Duke (2 goals) played in only five games last season, but as a "clever cutter with decisive dodges" she will see more time in the 2005 season. Sarah Szefi, "one of the most accurate feeders and articulate shooters on the team," will look to come in as the third starter at attack. Juniors Casey Hazel (17 goals, 11 assists) and Annie Leibovitz (15 goals) may also be rotated in and out of the midfield line to fill in at attack. Hazel "started 12 games in 2004 and…tied for third on the team in scoring." Leibovitz made 12 starts in 16 appearances last season. She "found her strength in the midfield-attacking end" and her "stick skills and ability to dodge around defenders in the eight-meter will help [the] attack tremendously." Kate LaBrum from Strath Haven in Pennsylvania will find herself a starting position in her freshman year.

Midfield: Tewaaraton nominee Katieanne Christian (27 goals, 7 assists) ranked second in team-scoring and draw controls (22) last season. She "will be looked to dominate the center draw, and to ignite the fast break into the attacking end. With the hardest shot on the team, [Christian] is also the best dodger in one-on-one situations." Returning starter Kristen Zimmer (12 goals, 9 assists) "started all 17 games and finished fifth on the team in scoring." Zimmer also had team-highs in groundballs (50) and caused turnovers (35). Sarah Sanborn (10 goals, 1 assist) "a starter since her freshman year…uses her solid stick skills and excellent endurance to help her teammates."

Defense: The Big Green defense ranked third in scoring defense with 7.47 goals against per game last year. Senior Erin Osborn started in all but one of Dartmouth's 17 games last season. "One of the team's best one-on-one and help defenders, her experience and strength will definitely stifle the opponent's attack." She ranked third on the team in caused turnovers (18) last season and recorded 34 groundballs. "Juniors Lizzy Cuneo and Andrea Smith will team with Osborn as part of a strong defensive unit." Cuneo, "a strong player…will be assigned to defend the opponents' best attackers." She started in 15 of her 16 games last season and recorded 13 groundballs and nine caused turnovers. "Smith was voted the team's most improved player last season after appearing in 12 games and moving into a starting role in five of them." Her speed in transition will help the Big Green move the ball up the field.

Goal: Third Team All-American and Tewaaraton nominee Devon Wills ranked fourth in the nation last year in GAA with 7.53 and posted a save percentage of .530.

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

Photos by John Strohsacker and E-Lax Staff

March 1, 2005