Feb. 21, 2002
Stanford, CA - For the 2002 home opener Stanford lacrosse welcomes the 1st Annual East/West Challenge on Saturday, February 23rd on New Maloney Field (adjacent to Stanford's Stadium and Sunken Diamond.) The Cardinal takes on the Orangewomen of Syracuse at 12 noon, Stanford student tickets are free with SUID and general admission tickets are $3. There will be deBeer Lacrosse gear available for purchase at the gate - Come out and help us reach our goal of 1,000 Fans in the Stands!
The Cardinal opened their season with two league victories, defeating UC Davis 17-5 and St. Mary's 12-8. Even with the team's youth (3/4 underclassmen) they are having no problem shooting for high acheivements, several newcomers are already proving themselves worthy of playing at the national level. Freshman Julia Calzonetti leads the team this season with 6 goals and and four of the next five scoring leaders are also freshman: Kelsey Twist has 5 goals, Nina Pantano and Alessandra Salatti each have 4 goals and Claire Calzonetti has 3 goals. Sophomore Abbi Hills, last season's top freshman scorer also has 3 goals. Another newcomer to the Stanford program who is wasting no time is transfer Virginia Solomon. She has started both games for the Cardinal and has racked up 10 saves and a .80 save percentage. Stanford currently sits at 2-0 overall and 2-0 in the MPLL.
The Cardinal concluded the 2001 season as the only West Coast Div. I school to have been ranked by ILWCA, after spending four weeks at # 20. They finished at 13-5 overall and 8-0 in the WWLL, with their fourth-consecutive WWLL Championship victory. The Syracuse Orangewomen finished 10-5 overall, 5-1 BIG EAST, with a loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to the sixth-ranked North Carolina Tarheels.
Stanford returns 13 letterwinners and introduces nine newcomers to a team that looks to maintain its status as "Best in the West." Returning junior goalkeeper Rachael Neumann started every game for the Cardinal last season and posted a .56 save percentage, notching 183 saves. At midfield, sophomore Abbi Hills, a 2001 WWLL All-Star, returns after starting all 18 games and recording 34 goals, 101 shots and 20 draw controls.
The Orangewomen were picked #10 by Lacrosse Magazine's 2002 Preseason Rankings, which is assembled from a poll of the nation's collegiate coaches. Player Carrie Soults (Georgetown Day/Washington, DC), 2001's BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year, was listed as a player to watch in the 2002 season. Soults finished second on the team in goals (33) and draws (25) in the 2001 season. She was named third-team All-American and was selected to the IWLCA Division I Academic All-American team.