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No. 14 Stanford Hosts UC Davis In Season Opener
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 02/12/2004

Feb. 12, 2004

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No. 14 Stanford (0-0/0-0) vs. UC Davis - 1:00 PM (PT)
February 14th - Maloney Field - Stanford, Calif.

THIS WEEK
The Stanford University women's lacrosse team opens the 2004 season this Saturday when the Cardinal host the UC Davis Aggies at Maloney Field at 1:00 PM (PT). Stanford opened the 2003 season with a 12-8 win over the Aggies in Davis at Aggie Field.

ON THE HORIZON
The Cardinal will have little time to rest after their match versus UC Davis as Saint Mary's comes to town on Monday, February 16th for a 7:00 pm (PT) game. After its match with the Gaels, Stanford will make the short trip to Berkeley to face Cal on Thursday, February, 19th.

STANFORD GARNERS FIRST-EVER PRESEASON RANKING
The Stanford University women's lacrosse team earned the program's first-ever preseason national top 20 ranking, coming in at No. 14 in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll and No. 19 in Lacrosse Magazine's annual preseason listings. Stanford is the only west coast school to ever earn a top 20 national ranking (preseason or regular season). The Cardinal, who return 18 letterwinners from last year's 14-4 team, captured its sixth consecutive league title in 2003 and finished the season ranked No. 15 in the final IWLCA poll.

SCOUTING THE AGGIES
The Aggies return 11 letterwinners including a trio of All-Americans (Leslie Kado, Jackie Milhoan, and Kelly Albin) from last year's 9-8 squad ... Last season Attacker Leslie Kado set the school record for assists with 26 ... The Aggies, who played with Stanford in the Mountain Pacific Lacrosse League (MPLL) last season, will join the Cardinal in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) ... UC Davis is currently making the transition from Division II to Division I ... Last season, the Aggies were one of the top Division II schools in the country, posting wins over Stonehill College, the eventual NCAA Division II champion and Longwood University, the D-II runner-up.

STANFORD'S UHLFELDER HONORED
Stanford University women's lacrosse Head Coach Michele Uhlfelder was inducted into the Greater Baltimore Chapter of U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Uhlfelder, one of 11 inductees, was honored with a Hall of Fame Banquet and induction ceremony on Saturday, January 31st at The Grand Lodge and Masonic Temple in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Each year, the Greater Baltimore Lacrosse Chapter inducts men and women who have made significant contributions to the game of lacrosse in the Baltimore area. Uhlfelder has strong ties to the area with the majority of her family still living there. She grew up in Baltimore and played lacrosse at Pikesville High School in Baltimore and at the University of Maryland, where she was selected a First Team All-American in 1991.

A QUICK LOOK AT THE CARDINAL
Stanford returns 18 letterwinners from last year's team that posted a 14-4 overall record and captured its sixth straight conference title ... The Cardinal, who ended the 2003 season with their highest final ranking in program history, enter the 2004 season with their first-ever preseason ranking (#14 IWLCA; #19 Lacrosse Magazine's) ... Stanford returns its top five goal scorers from a year ago, and 10 players who started 13 or more contests ... The Cardinal boast a deep, experienced nucleus at midfield, led by standout juniors Nina Pantano and Kelsey Twist. Twist, a Baltimore, MD native, turned in a dominant sophomore season, leading the Cardinal in six different categories, most notably goals (43), assists (28), and draw controls (46). Pantano, a Wayne, PA native, was also a force for the Cardinal, scoring 31 goals and adding nine assists, while starting all 18 games ... Leading the attack for the Cardinal is 2003 Mountain Pacific Lacrosse League Rookie of the Year, Megan Burker. As a freshman last season, Burker started all 18 games and enjoyed one of the finest seasons (38 goals, 17 assists) in Stanford women's lacrosse history ... The Cardinal defense should once again be solid with the return of the core defensive unit from 2003. Senior Katie Grube, along with junior Anthea Tjuanakis, started all 18 games and should once again anchor the Cardinal defense in 2004 ... Stanford also returns senior goalkeeper Chrsitina Saikus, who started in 15 of the 17 games that she appeared in during the 2003 campaign. Last season, Saikus logged 893:46 minutes in goal and registered a team-high 147 saves, good for fifth most in a single season in program history.

CARDINAL NEWCOMERS
The Cardinal welcome five dynamic freshman to the program in 2004 in Michelle DeChant (Annapolis, MD), Bryanne Gilkinson (Mississauga, Canada), Elizabeth Piselli (Rockville Centre, NY), Carly Posner (Owings Mills, MD), and Jessica Verrilli (Seattle, WA). As a senior at Annapolis Senior High School, DeChant scored 52 goals and added 24 assists and earned first team All-American honors. Gilkinson brings international experience, having participated in the 2003 U-19 World Championships and helping Canada capture the bronze medal with a 16-10 win over England. Piselli earned All-American status while at South Side High School and is a member of the U-19 US National Team. She enjoyed a stellar career at South Side, culminating in a stellar senior season in which she scored an amazing 76 goals and registered 32 assists. Posner, a freshman goalkeeper from The Park School, was a four-year letterwinner in lacrosse. Posner, a two-time team captain, posted over a 60 percent save percentage in both her junior and senior seasons. Rounding out the freshman class is Verrilli, a graduate of Seattle Preparatory School, who was selected as an All-American in 2003 and earned all-state first team honors in 2002 and 2003.

THE UHLFELDER FILE
Michele Uhlfelder, entering her fourth season as the head coach at Stanford, has been a pioneer for the sport of lacrosse. In 2001, under Uhlfelder's guidance, Stanford became the first west coast university to ever garner a top 20 national ranking. Uhlfelder has built the Cardinal program into a top 20 team and has Stanford on the brink of earning its first-ever NCAA Tournament bid. The Baltimore, MD native was also recently honored by being inducted into the Greater Baltimore Chapter of U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Uhlfelder isn't just attracting the best and the brightest student-athletes to The Farm, but has also assembled one of the best coaching staffs in the country. Last season, Uhlfelder's staff made history when they became the first lacrosse program ever to boast three World Cup players as coaches. As a player, Uhlfelder has participated in the game at the highest collegiate and international levels. She is a two-time member of the USA Women's National Team (1997, 2001) and was a key player on the 2001 U.S. squad that won a gold medal at the World Cup. She started all seven games and was the third highest scorer on the American team, ranking sixth among all scorers at the World Cup. Uhlfelder is still very much involved with the U.S. Lacrosse as she was chosen as a selector for the U-19 National team in 2003. She has also served as a coach at US Development camps from 2001-03.


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