February 18, 2011

William and Mary Opens at No. 4 Duke

from press release

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — The William and Mary lacrosse team will open the 2011 season when it plays at fourth-ranked Duke this Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Tribe returns 10 startersfrom last year's team that claimed the program's fourth consecutive double-digit win season.

Having averaged more than 12 goals per game in each of the last three seasons, the Tribe attack should continue to remain a strength of the team this spring. Preseason All-CAA selection Ashley Holofcener, W&M's career record holder for assists (77), will help lead the unit this season after ranking 13th nationally with 1.81assists per game last season. Also headlining the attacking corps is seniorMaggie Anderson and sophomore Kyrstin Mackrides. Anderson was one of the team's top players two years ago before missing nearly all of last season with an injury, while Mackrides was a CAA All-Rookie Team selection in 2010.

The College's midfield also boasts tremendous talent and returns all but two starters from 2010. All-American and CAA Preseason Co-Player of the Year Grace Golden will lead the unit after posting a tremendous junior season last spring when she ranked among the nation's top 10 in caused turnovers per game (2.2) and ground balls pergame (3.1). Fellow preseason all-league selection Molly Wannen also headlines the midfield and is coming off a successful 2010 campaign in which she established a single-season school record for draw controls (52). Juniors Jenny Michael and Stephanie Steinweg, as well as sophomores Caitlin Murphy and Brett Hayes, also return to the fold and should be key contributors.

After establishing itself as one of the nation's most prolific defensive units a season ago, the Tribe returns all its key components from last year's team that totaled a school record 227 caused turnovers and ranked third nationally with 12.6 caused turnovers pergame. In addition to its impressive caused turnover statistics, the College also ranked 10th in the country with 20.9 ground balls per contest. Leading W&M's record-breaking group once again will be senior All-American Sarah Jonson. Despite suffering a season-ending injury just 12 games into last season, the Dallas, Texas native garnered multiple All-America honors and was chosen as the CAA Defensive Player of the Year. At the time of her injury, Jonson led the nation in caused turnovers per game (3.5) and ground balls per game (4.4). Senior Kaitlyn Gambrell as well as juniors Sarah Mulvey and Denise Lenihan are also experienced players who should help anchor the defense.

A starter during her entire career at the College, senior Emily Geary provides the Tribe with leadership and veteran experience in front of the cage. The three-time team captain is one of the most successful goalkeepers in school history, as her 500 career saves ranks second all-time at W&M. A top conference goalkeeper, she has ranked among the league's top three in saves during each of the last three seasons. Adding depth at the position will be sophomore Katie Geary and freshman Colleen Nofi.

Duke opened its season with a21-9 victory against Ohio State last weekend and will host Richmond tonightbefore squaring off against the Tribe on Sunday. Senior Christie Kaestner and junior Emma Hamm both recorded six points apiece in the season-opening win versus the Buckeyes, while junior Kat Thomas, sophomore Makenzie Hommel andredshirt freshman Maddie Salamone all posted hat tricks.

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