Cardinals Looking to Continue Momentum of Winning Slates from a Year Ago into 2008 Campaign

Coming off a 2007 season that featured a winning overall record (8-6) and a first-ever winning ledger in NESCAC play (5-4), Wesleyan is hoping to extend that success into the 2008 season. With nine starters back from the 2007 team, including five of the top six scorers, three starting defenders and the number-one keeper, Wesleyan has a lot of material with which to compete against some of the top teams in the country. Eight of the Cardinals' 15 opponents are ranked among the top-15 nationally in Division III in the preseason IWLCA poll. Wesleyan itself sits in 18th place. The squad will face defending national champ and top-ranked F & M in Florida in mid-March after opening the year at home against Eastern Connecticut Fri., March 7 followed by the inaugural NESCAC contest vs. Amherst Sun., March 9. Amherst, which defeated Wesleyan in the opening round of the 2007 NESCAC tournament to spoil the Cardinals' first-ever home NESCAC tournament appearance, is ranked 10th nationally. Other Cardinal foes ranked nationally include Middlebury (5), Bowdoin (7), Trinity (9), Babson (11), Colby (13) and Williams (15). Wesleyan's co-captains Sophia Kim '08 (#12, main photo) and Beck Dorey-Stein '08 (#11, photo insert upper left) will lead the 2008 troops. Kim ranked second on the squad in scoring a year ago with a team-high 28 goals along with six assists. Dorey-Stein started every game on defense for the team and was third in ground balls with 35. Other top offensive weapon back are Sarah Orkin '09 (26-2-28), who earned second-team all-NESCAC honors last year ; Laurel Sticklor '09 (20-6-26) ; Erin McCarthy '10 (15-0-15) and Elise Kay '10 (11-2-13). Also returning on defense are Jade Scott '09 and Lisa Zweigenhaft '09 while middie Charlotte Hastings '10 also is back. Elena Parasco '10, who missed much of 2007 due to injury, is healthy and ready to contribute more after scoring four goals while Schuyler Swenson '09, who had 22 goals and 17 assists as a freshman, returns after sitting out the 2007 campaign. Goalie Rachel Stemerman '09, who has started for the women's ice hockey team for three years and added lacrosse to her repertoire last year, started 13 games and posted solid numbers with a .540 save percentage and 8.72 goals-against average. With several more players in the stables who saw action a year ago including defender Laura D'Iorio '09 who played in 13 contests, and a bumper crop of newcomers to bolster the squad, Wesleyan should stay among the top ranked teams in the country. With seven of 10 NESCAC teams holding down top-20 spots, the season will be full of hard-fought, exciting games.