Cardinals, Ranked 25th Nationally, Look to Repeat as NCAA Qualifiers for Third Year in a Row
After posting an 11-3-3 overall record in 2006, a season during which the squad appeared in its second straight NCAA tournament, Wesleyan comes into the 2007 campaign with continued high hopes. Though graduation claimed five starters, the Cardinals had outstanding depth a year ago and numerous returning lettermen, 13 in all, plus several other veterans will provide the nucleus upon which to base another NCAA run. Team tri-captains Matt Gnall '08 (#00, main photo), a three-year starter in goal, along with Ross Pemmerl '08 (#7, photo insert upper left) and Justin Mello '08 (#9, photo insert lower right), both three-year starters on defense, will anchor the quality troops. Leading scorer Matt Nevin '09, a two-time NESCAC honoree, will be looked upon once again to pace the attack while returning starters Alan Ashenfelter '09 and Nick Whipple '10 will remain instrumental in the team's success. Wesleyan will have its hands full from the outset as the Cardinals inaugurate the 2007 season by hosting NESCAC champion Williams Sat., Sept. 8. Three of the last four meetings between the Little Three rivals have been decided by a lone goal with the 2006 decision going to Williams in overtime. Williams, one of four NESCAC teams to play in the NCAAs a year ago, is ranked eighth in the NSCAA preseason Division III poll while Wesleyan is 25th. The third member of the Little Three, Amherst, is ranked 19th.