Coming from 9-8 campaign in 2002 that opened as 0-3, Georgetown’s women’s field hockey will look for a better start this season when they take on Longwood University in Va. and St. Joseph’s (Pa.) University. The Hoyas will battle the Lancers on Saturday and the Hawks on Sunday, with both matches commencing at noon.

“Our goal is to get off to a quick start and go 2-0,” head coach Laurie Carroll said. “We’re excited to be at home.”

Longwood, coming off a disappointing 7-8 season last year, is looking to rebound and will pose a formidable challenge to the Hoyas’ in their first match. Carroll added that Longwood’s recent move up from Division II to a completely Division I schedule further exemplifies the program’s rich tradition. Junior Lorrie West led the Lancers last year with 27 points on nine goals and nine assists.

St. Joseph’s, meanwhile, will look to a change on the sidelines for a boost in 2003. Michelle Finegan has returned to direct a program that “is known to attract good athletes,” according to Carroll. “We expect them to come to Kehoe with a lot of energy,” she added.

During Finegan’s first stint with St. Joe’s, from 1990-95, the Hawks made the Atlantic 10 conference tournament in three of her final four seasons, finishing as the conference champ and No. 17 in the nation in 1995. However, she will be directing a squad without leading returning scorer senior forward Kristin Teklinsky, currently recovering from a knee injury sustained last spring.

Instead, the team will rely on a handful of seniors and juniors to guide a large group of fairly inexperienced players – a fact that could prove advantageous while the Hoyas seek revenge for last season’s 3-1 opening loss.

For Georgetown, Carroll noted that the return of four defensive starters – seniors Nora Mirando and co-captain Lauren Galbally along with juniors Caroline Cole and Megan Leahey – “will be the strength of our team.” Carroll added that senior co-captain and forward Leanne Rizzo “has been looking All-American quality” during the early going.

Sophomore Jessica Quinn, who led the team with 11 goals last year, will pair with Dionna Jordan to create an even more formidable attack, and while other players gain more experience in the offensive end, Carroll seeks to find even more production from her midfield.

In goal, the graduation of Jess Herring (now a volunteer coach with the squad), will no doubt affect Georgetown. Carroll did note that the coaching staff has been “pleasantly surprised by the two freshmen,” Caitlyn Faller and Abby Winer.

Winer turned in a fine performance in the team’s first scrimmage and, coupled with an injury to Faller, has emerged as a starter. Behind a strong back line and, hopefully, with a more potent offense feeding off their team defensive strength, the Hoyas anticipate a strong performance in this weekend’s matches.

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