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Women's Lacrosse Travels to Louisville in Season Opener on Saturday

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: February 24, 2011
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Feb. 24, 2011

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Old Dominion University women's lacrosse is looking to bounce back this season after a 3-12 campaign last season. The Lady Monarchs return seven starters from last year's squad.

Old Dominion head coach Sue Stahl returns for her 21st season in charge of the squad and is excited for the new season to begin.

"Practice has been going well, the girls are working hard and learning our concepts quickly," Stahl said. "They're fit and excited for the season."

ODU returns last season's leading scorer in Lisa Bernardini, who finished with 59 points and a team-best 26 assists, while finishing second on the squad with 33 goals. The junior ranks ninth in ODU history with 35 career assists.

"Lisa has good game sense and speed," Stahl said. "She's a good one-on-one player and she's really a competitor."

Bernardini is the leading returner at midfield and will be joined by Sarah Wright, who scored 13 goals as a sophomore last season, and Rebecca Harturm who added eight goals a year ago. Clara Flanagan returns for her senior season and will also see time at midfield. Alyssa Dragon, Jordynn Collins and Carolyn Burns will also look to see time as well.

ODU is looking to break in some new attackers, as well as some veterans. Mary Bermingham and Rebecca Reymann are returners that combined for four goals last season, while freshmen Emma Kriss and Courtney Clough have had a solid preseason. Meredith Rogers and Tracy Reed will also add depth to the position.

"It might be more of a rotation than a set lineup, to have two play for awhile then switch off to another pair," Stahl said. "It will be important to what each of them gives us each game, but it may not be the same thing every game."

Also returning for the Lady Monarchs is 2010 All-CAA Rookie team member Shelby Davis. Davis started all 15 games last season recording a goal and forced seven turnovers. Courtney Johnson and Hannah McBee are two returners that will also be in the mix for playing time on defense.

Old Dominion brought in nine newcomers and Stahl expects quite a few to contribute this season.

"They were a little taken aback in the fall with the more physical play, but I think they have now settled in. They're doing well in the weight room," Stahl said. It looks like we have some that can give us solid minutes and the others will work in as they get more calm and relaxed."

Emily Austerberry and Emma Kriss have stood out so far in practice. Kriss will look to crack the lineup at the top while Austerberry will most likely see time at either midfield or on defense. Austerberry has an added extra dimension as she has shown she is good at draws.

The other newcomers are Theresa Brady, Alex McGovern and Julie Falk at forward, Courtney Clough and Caleigh Banker at midfield and Kallie McCormick and Stephenie Hanson at defense.

Junior Sarah Geary returns in goal for the Lady Monarchs. Geary had an outstanding freshman season, being named CAA Rookie of the Year and earned second-team all-region honors. Last year she recorded a career-best 159 saves.

"Sarah is clearly excellent, she just has to remember to just play goalie and not worry about the defense," Stahl said. "Between her freshman and sophomore year she really learned to play out of the cage and became a lot more confident there. If we can keep her mentally tough and poised, she's going to do well. She's top notch."

Old Dominion begins the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 26 at Louisville before hosting American in the home opener on March 5 at 1 p.m. ODU will host Virginia on March 30 at 7 p.m. and host George Mason in the CAA home opener on April 10. The Lady Monarchs will host Drexel on April 15 at 7 p.m. in what will be the annual Scholarship game.

Also this season, all seven home games will be streamed live for free on Monarch All-Access. The video streams will start with the home opener against American.

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