March 6, 2009

No. 9 Colby Set to Defend NESCAC Title

from press release

WATERVILLE, Maine --- With three-time All-American Kate Sheridan (Hingham, Mass.) back for her senior year and nearly everyone returning from last year's New England Small College Athletic Conference champion squad, the Colby College women's lacrosse team will likely be a target for the rest of the league.

The Mules, currently ranked ninth in NCAA Division III, start their season Saturday in a conference game at Williams College at noon.

Colby lost captains Carrie Lovejoy and Jamie Enos to graduation from last year's team. However, Enos is back in an assistant coach role for second-year head coach Karen Henning.

The rest of the squad and some key additions will be back for Colby, which finished 13-6 overall and made the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. Colby has been to the NCAA tourney in two of the last three years, with the lone miss a controversial one after a terrific season.

Henning, who has a 116-27 career record in eight seasons as head coach at C.W. Post and one at Colby, will once again have a veteran team to work with in 2009.

Sheridan heads into her senior year after earning All-American honors from three different organizations and being named NESCAC Player of the Year. She had Colby single-season records in goals (58) and points (91) last year. Sheridan has 147 goals and 62 assists for 209 career points. She is closing in on career records for goals (167 by Margaret Mauran '91) and points (222 by Ally King '03).

"What makes Kate so unique is her competitive edge. She plays with such passion," Henning said. "Kate also is still willing to learn and get better. She's evolving as a player and that makes it tough for opponents to prepare for her because they don't know what to expect year in and year out."

Sheridan will anchor the midfield along with senior Heather Nickerson (Falmouth, Mass.), junior Kathleen Kramer (Norwell, Mass.), senior Cary Finnegan (West Hartford, Conn.), and first-year Claire Donegan (Great Falls, Va.). Nickerson was fourth on the Mules in scoring last year with 23 goals and six assists, but the All-Region selection will miss at least the season opener while finishing up with the Colby women's ice hockey team. Kramer was fifth with 20 goals and seven assists, Finnegan will be a co-captain along with Sheridan, and Donegan will "make an immediate impact" according to Henning. Alison Iannotti (North Haven, Conn.) and Casey Thomas (Needham, Mass.) also will see plenty of time in the midfield.

The Mules will have two senior All-Americans at attack. Becky Julian (South Windsor, Conn.), who also will miss time because of ice hockey commitments, had 49 goals and 21 assists for 70 points last year. Meanwhile, Lauren Barrett (Fairfield, Conn.) returns after missing all of last season. Julian has 93 goals and 32 assists for 125 career points, while Barrett has 105 goals and 18 assists for 123 points.

"Becky just knows how to score and she is so strong," Henning said. "Lauren is someone who if we need a goal will get us one. She can take anybody on one-on-one."

Amy Campbell (North Andover, Mass.), an All-Region selection, also returns at attack after scoring 41 goals a year ago during her sophomore season. Caroline Atwater (Catonsville, Md.) had 16 goals and Anne Geraghty (Westford, Mass.) contributed 13 last season. Senior Lauren Strazzula (Norwell, Mass.) finished with 11 goals and 14 assists, junior Carly Rapaport (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) had 12 goals, while sophomores Katie Briody (Hopewell, N.J.) and Kate Gragnolati (Chevy Chase, Md.) will provide scoring as well.

Sarah Warnke (Lakeville, Conn.) took over the starting goaltender job about five games into the season and finished with a 10-3 record in her first year with the Mules. Junior goalie Keryn Meierdiercks (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) also returns and will see quality minutes in net.

Enos will be a loss on defense for Henning, but the Mules still have plenty of returners. Junior All-American Caroline Duke (Englewood, Colo.) returns along with senior Mary Clare Snediker (New Canaan, Conn.) and sophomores Mary Cummings (Summit, N.J.) and Lexi Crook (South Burlington, Vt.). Snediker started the first 10 games before an injury sidelined her the rest of the season. The Mules will have depth with first-years Emily Moos (Wayzata, Minn.), Allison Baker (Ridgefield, Conn.), and junior Megan Towe (Potomac, Md.).

"We will definitely miss Jamie's leadership presence, but there is a lot of talent (on defense)." Henning said. "And now they have all played together for a year."

The Mules will open at home next Saturday against Tufts University at noon.


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