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Women's Lacrosse Opens Season Against Oregon
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 02/06/2006

Feb. 6, 2006

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The Stanford University women's lacrosse team begins the 2006 season this Saturday when the Cardinal hosts the University of Oregon Ducks in an MPSF conference match. Action is scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM (PST) at Maloney Field on the Stanford campus. For the second consecutive year, the Cardinal will face the Ducks to kick off the season. Last year, in Oregon's first match as a varsity lacrosse program, the Cardinal claimed a 19-6 victory.

The Cardinal will face another MPSF opponent, Bay Area rival Cal, in a match scheduled for 12:00 PM (PST) on Saturday, Feb. 18 in Berkeley. The Cardinal defeated the Bears twice in 2005, including a win to capture the MPSF championship on May 7. The following week, Stanford begins a seven-game home stretch, during which the team will face three opponents ranked in the preseason top-20.

Head coach Michele Uhlfelder enters her sixth season at the helm of the Cardinal program. Since taking over in 2001, she has launched Stanford women's lacrosse into the national spotlight, earning the first-ever top-20 ranking of a west coast university in her first season. In five years, she has accumulated a 60-30 (.667) overall record and put the team in position to receive its first-ever invitation to the NCAA tournament. Under Uhlfelder's leadership, the team has captured four conference championships and remained undefeated in conference play. Entering 2006, the Cardinal boasts a five-year, 31-game conference winning streak. Additionally, the former University of Maryland standout has recruited some of the nation's top high school players and scheduled showdowns with the best lacrosse programs in the nation. Indeed, the 2006 freshmen class is arguably the best in Stanford history and the 2006 Cardinal schedule boasts seven fellow top-20 programs, including No. 1 Northwestern. The Baltimore, Md. native has received numerous honors in her career as both a coach and player. At Maryland, Uhlfelder was a team captain and four-year starter. She was also a two-time NCAA All Tournament Team selection and the 1991 National Offensive Player of the Year. She was a two-time member of the USA Women's National Team and a key player on the squad that captured the gold medal at the World Cup in 2001. Since becoming a coach, she has been the recipient of a slew of recognition, including, most recently, the 2004 MPSF Co-Coach of the Year award.

Stanford returns 20 players who saw action in 2005, a team that dominated the MPSF and posted a 13-5 overall record. The defending conference champions return their leading scorer, senior Sarah Bach who netted 40 goals in 2005. The Cardinal will also return senior Megan Burker, sophomore Daphne Patterson and junior Liz Piselli, all who contributed 20 or more goals last season. Burker, the team's leader in assists, was one of 28 players selected by U.S. Lacrosse to represent the United States on the 2005-06 U.S. Women's Lacrosse Developmental Team. In addition to the generous group of returners from last season, Bryanne Gilkinson will return after redshirting in 2005. Gilkinson started 13 of 17 games for the Cardinal and recorded 12 ground balls, four draw controls and four caused turnovers in her freshman season (2004). On defense, seniors Thea Lorentzen and Kinsey Morrison as well as sophomore Bri Ned will return for the Cardinal. In 2005, the trio combined for 78 ground balls, 16 draw controls and 46 caused turnovers. Junior attacker Michelle DeChant started every game for the Cardinal last season and posted double figures in both goals and total points. Midfielders Nyerr Parham and Megan McClain both started the majority of the matches for the Cardinal last season and added a combined 15 goals to the Stanford effort. The squad also features three goalkeepers, all who saw action in at least one match last year. The threesome includes sophomore Laura Shane, senior Kate Horowitz and junior Carly Posner.

Cardinal seniors Sarah Bach and Megan Burker return for their final collegiate season with their names already prominent in Stanford record books. Bach's team-leading 40 goals last season tied for the fifth highest single-season total in program history. The attacker also moved into a tie for eighth place on the career goals list with 69. Burker enters her senior season with the sixth highest career goal total (98) and second highest career assist total (47). Burker's 19 assists in 2005 also put her third in the single-season assist column. The Baltimore, Md. native also has made the career list in shots, ground balls, draw controls and free position shots on goal in her first three seasons with the Cardinal.

In her first collegiate season, Laura Shane proved herself to be one of the best goalkeepers in the nation. Her 2005 save percentage (.560) was good for fifth best among Division I keepers. The season mark was also the second highest percentage ever recorded by a Stanford goalkeeper. After just one season with the Cardinal, the Baltimore, Md. native already stands fourth in career saves. The 204 she collected last year made for the second highest single season total in program history. Shane returns to the field as a sophomore in 2006 with a 13-5 overall record.

The Cardinal welcome eight newcomers to The Farm this season, a class deemed one of the best in program history. Five of the eight freshmen received All-American recognition as high school seniors in 2005. Two more were named Academic All-Americans. Bess Siegfried, a freshman midfielder from Devon, Pa. is one of three first team All-American honorees in the Cardinal freshman class. In her senior season at the Agnes Irwin School, Siegfried was named team MVP, an Academic All-American and an All-League honoree. Jamie Nesbitt, a midfielder from Cincinnati, Oh. is a two-time first team All-American and a two-time All-State honoree. Maris Perlman, a high school standout from North Kingstown, RI, completes the trio of first team All-Americans joining the Cardinal in 2006. In addition to two years of All-American recognition, Perlman was named to the South Eastern New England team for four consecutive years. Two other promising freshmen, Vicky Fanslow and Polly Brown, received All-American honorable mention. Fanslow, a defender, received All-League and team MVP honors as a senior. Brown, a Washington D.C. native, was team captain and an All-Metro honoree in her final high school season. The incoming class is rounded out by freshmen Aly English (Manhasset, NY), Melissa Vogelsong (Jamesville, NY) and Bis Fries (Princeton, NJ).

Head coach Jen Larsen, a former standout at the University of Virginia, leads Oregon into its second season as a varsity lacrosse program. In their inaugural campaign, with 23 freshmen on the roster, the Ducks posted a 6-11 overall record. This year, the team is again extremely young, with a roster comprised exclusively of freshmen and sophomores. Yet, the Ducks return 18 letterwinners and eight starters from last year's squad. Sophomore midfielder Jen May of Davidsonville, Md. is the top returner for the Ducks. In 2005, she found the back of the net 41 times and recorded 11 assists, giving her a hand in nearly a third of the Ducks' goals. Sophomore attack Jana Bradley started all 17 of the Ducks matches in 2005 and tallied 30 goals. Sophomore Allison O'Brien is the only returning goalkeeper for the Ducks. As a freshman, she registered 48 saves in her 13 appearances in the cage. Five players on the Ducks roster are native Californians, all hailing from La Costa Canyon High School in Encinitas.



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