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ODU competes as an Independent before they move into the Atlantic Sun Conference next season
Courtesy: ODU Athletics

Lacrosse Opens 2014 Season at Home Against Louisville Friday

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: February 16, 2014
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MONARCH MEDIA/ 2014 ODU LACROSSE SEASON PREVIEW

NORFOLK, Va. - The Old Dominion Lacrosse team begins the 2014 season at the L.R. Hill Sports Complex Friday, February 21 at 6 p.m. against the University of Louisville.

The Lady Monarchs return eight of their top-10 goal scorers from a season ago under third year head coach Heather Holt. Old Dominion moves from the Colonial Athletic Association to playing Independent this season. ODU starts play in the Atlantic Sun Conference next year and will be able to compete for the conference title in the 2015 season.

"It's a building year and an important year for us too," said Holt. "This year we are setting new goals for ourselves. Trying to break some records here and there, which is our theme this year to look back at the record books and see what things you can break. We are trying to find different ways to attack this year. We play some of the teams we play next year in conference, which will be a nice test for us."

The first two games this season are at home Feb. 21 and Sunday, Feb. 23 against Louisville and UC Davis. The Lady Monarchs schedule features six home games and travel arrangements for DeLand and Jacksonville, Fla. in late February and early March, while also visiting Boulder and Denver, Colorado in late April.

2014 Newcomers
Old Dominion welcome ten newcomers this season. Among them are freshman Maggie Buckley (GK), Megan Cameron (A/M), Connor Carson (M), Ijeoma Ikpe (M/D), Haley Knudsen (D), Morgan Marrale (A), Colby Muller (A/M), Megan Topper (A/M), Carly Williams (A) and sophomore transfer Missy Koscinski (D).

"They [ten newcomers] are great," said Holt. "They are fresh and fun kids. Very creative players, which is nice. With the addition of football and all facility changes we are starting to get different athletes. We are being looked at more as a program because of it and that will make this year really fun."

Returning Leaders
Among the returning leaders are junior midfielder Ashmore Standing who tallied 32 goals and 37 points a season ago. Junior midfielder Christina Rea returns after scoring 26 goals on 58 shots last year. Co-captains senior attacker Emily Austerberry and junior goalkeeper Karen Hayde return to lead the Monarchs this season. "It is different being a junior, but I don't feel different compared to last year," said Hayde. "Being a goalie you are already a vocal leader. The biggest thing is making sure you live up to it [being a captain] and show why you should be in that position and make sure that you are living up to your standards as a player and person."

Austerberry finished last season with 27 goals and 33 points. Hayde started all 17 games a season ago and finished with 141 saves. 

#ODULAX GAMEDAY
ODU Lady Monarchs vs. Louisville Cardinals Friday 6:00 p.m.

Where: L.R. Hill Sports Complex

Series Record: ODU Trails 3-1. Louisville and ODU have met the last four seasons.

Louisville Players to Watch: Senior attacker Nikki Boltja was the Cardinals scoring leader a year ago with 59 goals and 69 points, while returning sophomore midfielder Kaylin Morissette added 40 goals and two assists. UL senior goalie Ashley Herbst returns in net for the Cardinals. Herbst started 15 of the 16 games played, made 80 saves, had a goals against average at 8.97 and went 10-5 last season.

Scouting the Cardinals: Louisville starts this year ranked just outside the IWCLA top-20. The Cardinals finished last season 11-6 and 3-5 in the Big East conference. Louisville will begin play in the Atlantic Coast Conference starting in 2015. Kellie Young is in her 7th season as head coach of Louisville.

Last Meeting At the L.R. Hill: Feb. 26, 2012- ODU defeated Louisville in their season opener 14-12. Lisa Bernardini and Rebecca Hartum each scored three goals to lead the Lady Monarchs. Senior goalkeeper Sarah Geary saved seven shots on the day to earn the win.

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Next up for the Lady Monarchs 
ODU will honor victims of Cystic Fibrosis on Sunday, Feb. 23 when they take on UC Davis at 1 p.m. from the L.R. Hill Sports Complex.

Follow @ODULacrosse on Twitter and 'Like' us on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest #ODULAX news!  

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