COACHES OUTLOOK FOR THE 2002-03 SEASON
The sound of pounding feet on the all-weather track; the clang of weights in the fitness center; the squeak of shoes on the floor. It’s October, and the Wesleyan Women’s Basketball team is getting ready for the start of the 2002-’03 season with team conditioning sessions and spirited pick-up games. With first-rate leadership, an experienced group of juniors and sophomores, and a talented crop of first-year players, the Cardinals will look to improve on last year’s solid 15-10 record and first-round New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) tournament loss. The quality of the opposition is as strong as ever (five of last year’s losses came to teams that finished in or received votes for the top 25 in the country) starting with a tip-off tournament at Swarthmore College on November 22 (where the Cardinals will face Gwynedd Mercy in the first round). The stiff competition in the fall semester, including Springfield College and Little Three rival Williams, should prepare Wesleyan for the rigors of the NESCAC, one of the nation's most competitive Division III conference.
Wesleyan’s success will begin with the play and leadership of Shaleen Bowman and Kamica Lewis, the team’s only seniors. Bowman (Guilford High School, Guilford, CT) led the team in scoring last season with 12 points a game, including a 32 point outburst in the Hunter College Tournament championship game. She was named MVP of that tournament. “Sha” is also capable of dominating a game with her relentless defense and intensity, leading a defense that held opponents to a meager 34.3% from the floor in ’01-’02. Her running (and room) mate is Kamica Lewis (St. Francis Prep, Queens, NY) who led the Cards in rebounding with seven boards per game and was the second leading scorer, dropping 8.3 points on the competition per contest. Lewis spurned a track opportunity at Fordham to run the floor at Wesleyan, and her effortless sprint leaves opposing forwards gasping for breath.
Joining the senior co-captains is a strong junior class with talent and depth. Amy Posocco will be looked to for scoring punch. Her ability to knock down the three pointer draws defenders out, allowing Posocco the opportunity to slash to the basket for the hoop or dish to a teammate. Liz Walsh will continue to provide a physical presence inside as she steps into a more prominent role in the post. Her tenacious defense and ability to rebound will be a key to the Cards’ success in the paint. As Meeghan Ward looks to rebound from a season of injury problems she is in the best shape of her college career and is ready to show the offensive skills that made her a top Massachusetts player in high school. Ashley Elia, the team’s first player off the bench for the last two seasons, is abroad in Spain for the first semester and will rejoin the team in January. Elia’s defense and ability to score in bursts will be a welcome addition at mid-season.
Sophomores Nora Bowman and Sue Frost round out the returning players. Nora (one half of the Bowman sister duo) started every game at the point guard position in her first season. A maddening defender on the ball, she possesses terrific floor vision and indomitable will. Sue Frost is a zone-buster; a poised sharpshooter from beyond the arc who has also developed her ability to get to the basket, “Frosty” is ready to make her mark on Wesleyan basketball.
The frosh contingent is an athletic and talented group, all but one of whom stand 5-11 or taller. It includes Julie Kastenbaum of NYC, NY ; Molly Malinowski, Fisher’s Island, NY ; Ashley Mastrangelo, Marblehead, MA ; Kaylea Moore, Vineyard Haven, MA ; Meghan Robinson, Medfield, MA ; Kaneza Schaal, Freestone, CA ; and Hannah Stubbs, Arlington, VA.