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Muhlenberg College

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 - page 2

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Season Preview

With the Winter Olympics occupying much of the world’s consciousness over the past two weeks, the Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team used the games as preparation for the upcoming season. The Mules divided into four nations - the United States, Canada, Switzerland and Italy - and competed in various activities, some as lighthearted as a donut-eating contest.

Alyssa Bascelli
Bascelli has finished in the top five on the Mules in points each of the last two years, scoring a career-high 40 points as a sophomore.
With the Olympics complete and the season about to begin, the Mules now have their sights set on gold in the ultracompetitive Centennial Conference.

“We definitely want to get to the finals of the conference playoffs,” said senior Ashley Foltiny. “We want to keep working hard and do better than last year.”

Coming off a record-setting season, doing better than last year will not be easy. With a record of 6-3, Muhlenberg finished third in the CC, its highest finish ever, behind only national champion Franklin & Marshall and national semifinalist Gettysburg. The Mules also set a school record for fewest losses in a season, finishing 10-4, with three of those losses coming to the Diplomats and the Bullets, and received votes in the national poll for the first time.

Amanda McGovern
McGovern enters the season 10th in Muhlenberg history in career points (141) and eighth in both goals (104) and assists (37).
“We’re ready to compete with the higher teams like F&M and Gettysburg,” said Foltiny. “We’re kind of a young team so we’re still getting used to working together, but we’re going to try to push ourselves to the top.”

That push will begin early. The Mules will open CC play at home against preseason No. 2 Gettysburg on March 20. They will then face a tough three-game stretch in early April that includes road games at Dickinson, also a CC semifinalist in 2009, and at preseason No. 1 Franklin & Marshall. Sandwiched between is a home contest against McDaniel, the fifth and final playoff participant from 2009.

Before that, though, Muhlenberg will have a chance to build on its 26-game winning streak against non-conference opponents, beginning tomorrow at 4:00 at Kean. The Mules will then travel to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., for spring break, where they will face Potsdam State and King’s.

Muhlenberg, which finished second in the CC in goals per game (14.21) last year, figures to be strong again on offense. Its top two scorers, senior Amanda McGovern, a second-team all-region and All-CC pick, and junior Danielle Rosen return in the midfield and on the attack, respectively. McGovern scored 46 goals, finishing second in the conference in goals per game, and added 15 assists. Rosen had a breakthrough season with 37 goals and 19 assists, good enough for fifth in the league in points per game.

Junior Christine Van Hise (four goals) is the only other returning letterwinner on the attack, but there is considerably more experience returning in the midfield. Seniors Alyssa Bascelli (17 goals, eight assists) and Danielle Scarrone (11 goals, four assists), junior Lauren DeCarle (28 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers, both tops among all non-defenders) and sophomore Angela Napoletano (eight goals, three assists) all join McGovern in an extremely deep midfield.

Foltiny (team-high 39 ground balls, 13 caused turnovers) is the only returnee on a defensive unit that will likely feature at least one freshman starter.

Though the defense may be young, junior Allisyn Vachon brings plenty of experience between the pipes. She has started all 30 games in goal the last two years, and in 14 starts last season she made 129 saves and scooped up 28 ground balls.

“We have a lot of people that are confident throughout the field,” noted Foltiny. “We don’t just rely on one person. We are a well-rounded team.”

Now all that’s left is to light the torch and let the games begin.

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