2010 Women's Lacrosse Outlook

March 05, 2010
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 5, 2010

NORFOLK, Va. - The Old Dominion women's lacrosse team had one of the programs most successful seasons in 2009, winning 11 games and reaching the CAA Tournament semifinals. This season, the Lady Monarchs look to improve on that as they welcome back eight of their top-10 scorers from a year ago and a number of newcomers that could contribute immediately.

"We always have high expectations at ODU, but with so many girls stepping into new roles this year, we'll need some youngsters to contribute immediately to meet those expectations," said reigning CAA Coach of the Year Sue Stahl. "We have a great deal of young talent, but many girls did a lot of watching last year. We'll see how they respond under game pressure and ultimately if the girls stepping into larger roles perform well, the team will excel."

ODU's top returners include Preseason All-CAA selections Sarah Geary and Ashley Kellogg. Geary, who was selected as the 2009 CAA Rookie of the Year and named Second Team All-CAA, started all 16 games for ODU a year ago and posted an 11-5 mark on the year. A Second Team All-South Region selection, Geary recorded 159 saves and scooped 51 groundballs in 2009.

"You need a stopper to be a successful team and Sarah has been that for us," said Stahl. "Going into this season we have a somewhat inexperienced defense so I'm going to expect a lot more from her. We need Sarah to make sure every goal allowed is a good goal."

Kellogg was a First Team All-CAA selection after a 2009 campaign that saw her score a team-high 45 goals to go along with nine assists. Kellogg also led the Lady Monarchs with four game-winning goals.

Stahl also expects major contributions from Lisa Bernardini, Sarah Wright, Nicole McMahon and co-captain Saratu Dodo.

"Lisa Bernardini was a CAA All-Rookie Team selection last year and with her experience I expect her to take on a larger role this year," explained Stahl. "Sarah Wright and Nicole McMahon could really break out this year as well. Most importantly though could be the play of Saratu Dodo, who must be a calming influence that keeps our defense organized."

The 2010 schedule will certainly test a young Lady Monarch squad. The slate includes matchups with three teams that advanced to the 2009 NCAA Tournament, including national finalist North Carolina.

As always the CAA race will be incredibly competitive as the Monarchs welcome Towson, Delaware and James Madison to the Powhatan Sports Complex for league home games in 2010. The Monarchs were 7-1 at home a year ago.

With a tough schedule awaiting and a wealth of veteran and rookie talent on the roster, Stahl and the Lady Monarchs hope to make 2010 another memorable year.

Old Dominion opens up the season Saturday at American. The game will start at 1 p.m.