No. 3-ranked Lions focus attention on Championship

The lacrosse team is back this season looking to perfect last year’s 12-3 record and make yet another run for a championship title.

The Lions begin the season ranked third in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Division III Preseason Poll following Salisbury University and defending national champions Franklin and Marshall College.

The College will face five other ranked teams throughout the season including matches versus No. 2 Salisbury University and No. 4 Gettysburg College – both schools accounting for the Lions’ only two losses in the regular season last year.

“The team is getting stronger everyday,” head coach Sharon Pfluger said. “We have so many of our players back on the team from last year and that has certainly helped since they are so familiar with the way everyone else plays. The chemistry is quite evident on and off the field.”

Forward Karen Doane and midfielder Toni-Anne Cavallo are returning to the starting lineup this year for their final seasons. Both seniors were tagged as first-team All-Americans last year.

Doane led the team offensively last spring, racking up 49 goals while extending her scoring streak to 21 consecutive games. Cavallo led the team in assists with a total of 15.

“All of our seniors are outstanding leaders and are tremendous role models,” Pfluger said. “They have an abundance of highly competitive experience and their hearts are so into the season and the team.”

“I know they will continue to lead the team exceptionally the entire season,” she added.

Pfluger also returns to the lacrosse field for her 22nd season. The coach has won 92 percent of her games while coaching for the College and was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame last November.

Junior Caitlin Gregory is in goal for her second season as a Lion. Gregory made an impressive 95 saves last season but attributes the Lions’ success to incredible teamwork.

“We demand a lot out of each other,” she said. “We aren’t settling for anything less than what we are capable of. If we stick together and demand the best out of ourselves and each other, we are going to have an unbelievable season.”

Last season, the team advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament before being eliminated by the Panthers of Middlebury College. The loss snapped the Lions’ streak of 23 consecutive trips to the tournament’s semifinals.

The team will start its campaign on March 8, traveling to Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham for its first game. The Lions will first appear at Lions Stadium to face Eastern University on March 25.