The spring 2001 season promises to be an exciting time for the women&s lacrosse team, with fresh new faces and the potential for regional and national recognition within their reach.

This year&s team is comprised of three seniors, six juniors, two sophomores and nine freshmen.

Coach Andrea Golden&s expectation this spring is that the team become more competitive inside and outside of its division.

The team has already increased its national recognition under Golden, and it hopes to work up to the conference demands and self-demands to succeed. Junior co-captain Jenny Rogers believes that the team&s goal can only be achieved by focusing in practice to push and challenge each other, day -in and day-out.

The returning class hopes to set this standard by keeping the &level of commitment on and off the field at 100 percent,& said junior co-captain Jenn Seferiadis. Rogers and junior Jess Lerman are two threats offensively who attract a lot of attention from their opponents.

Junior Cassie Meltzer has already begun to step up this year as a leader, and juniors Lauren Mele and Erika Bergstrom have picked up where they left off last year as effective two-way players.

The defense is led by a strong pair of experienced players 8212; seniors Ticia Manning and Stacy Printup.

The new freshmen are picking up their playing positions very quickly, and are promising in their offensive and defensive abilities.

Freshman forward Katie Riegel has already picked up three goals in the spring break season opener against Lynchburg College. Freshman Sharon LaVaute has also started to make an impact in the defensive zone, along with freshman goalie Stephanie Bristol.

The Yellowjackets have a strength in goalkeeping with captain and senior goalie Arna Berke-Schlessel and Bristol.

Both Golden and Berke-Schlessel have already seen Bristol beginning to develop her game in the net and taking advantage of the opportunity of having an experienced senior goalie on the team.

One of the team&s strengths this year, as Rogers put it, is the team&s &increased level of intensity and drive to win.&

If the level of dedication from the returning players and the freshmen give any indication of how far this team can go, it will be to the national tournament.

This week, the team faces two tough opponents 8212; SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College. The Cortland game promises to be an exciting one to watch as the Yellowjackets take on the No. 7 seeded team in the nation.

The team faces an away game at 16th ranked Ithaca College Saturday. Both games will be a challenge, but if the team &stays focused and consistent, [the team] will definitely come out with wins,& Seferiadis said.

The Yellowjackets play their home opener at Fauver Stadium when they face Cortland at 4 p.m. next Thurs-day.Last Saturday&s game against Alfred University, which was cancelled due to snow, has been rescheduled for March 29th at 7 p.m.

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