Cavalier Lacrosse Opens 2002 Campaign
Feb. 26, 2002
Virginia Head Coach Julie Myers knows the right recipe for a winning team, and 2002 is no exception. This group of Cavaliers is seasoned, fresh, and hungry for the season. A solid core of veterans returns to center the Virginia team, and the addition of talented newcomers with the deep Virginia bench means that the Cavaliers possess the winning ingredients to what promises to be an exciting year.
The Cavaliers have all three goalies back from last year’s team, including starting keeper Liz McCarthy. McCarthy, Mary Beth LaVerghetta, and Andrea Pfeiffer all saw action last year and the veteran presence in the cage will be a help to the defense. McCarthy ranked third on the team with 49 ground balls while LaVerghetta notched wins in both of her starts last year.
The Cavalier defense will be led by fourth-year co-captain Tiffany Schummer, who missed the first half of the season last year but came back to start the last ten games of the season and still ranked among the team leaders in ground balls and caused turnovers. Courtney Muller, who started in the line defense for Virginia last season, also returns. Muller recorded 34 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers for the squad, both of which ranked in the top six at Virginia. Lauri Kenis, a consensus All-American last year, will redshirt the season due to elbow surgery. Kenis led the team last year with 30 caused turnovers and ranked second on the team with 52 grounds balls.
Virginia’s other captain, Gina Sambus, will patrol the defensive midfield and will be a key player in the transition game. Sambus, a member of the USA team, led the team in ground balls with 55 and was second on the team with 28 caused turnovers. She also ranked fourth for Virginia in draw controls. Second year Lauren Keller, who played in all 18 games and started 13 last season, also returns for the Cavaliers. Keller’s 18 draw controls ranked fifth for the Hoos in 2001 and she also scooped up 18 ground balls and caused eight turnovers. Second year Erin Sweeney also moves to the defensive midfield this season after playing last year on the offensive end of the field .
The Virginia midfield welcomes back USA team member Lauren Aumiller, Virginia’s other returning All-American from 2001. Aumiller, who led the team in scoring last year with 65 points, was an All-ACC and an All-Tournament selection as well as being named to the All-State team. Aumiller, who was the team’s starting center in 2001, led Virginia in draw controls with 45 and also ranked fourth on the team with 41 ground balls. She became the first person in school history to notch her 100th career point as a second year, and her 65 points as a second year set the record for scoring as a second year, which gives her the record for scoring both as a first year and a second year. Aumiller had nine hat tricks on the season and notched a point in 17 of the Cavaliers’ 18 games.
Molly Cangemi also returns for the Cavaliers in the offensive midfield. The fourth year was one of only two players for Virginia to reach 20 goals and 20 assists, Cangemi’s 23 assists ranked in the top 15 in the nation and she is poised to break into the top 10 in school history in career assists. Second year Morgan Thalenberg, who played in all but one of the Cavaliers’ games last year, also returns. Thalenberg, who possesses a quick first step, led Virginia first years in ground balls. The Cavaliers will gain depth in the midfield with the addition of first year Bridget Bradley.
Caitlin Banks, the ACC Rookie of the Year, brings back her 21 goals and 11 assists to help in the Cavalier offense. Banks, an All-State selection from last year, played in all 18 games and started the last 11 for the Hoos. She will be joined up front by two-time high school All-American Amy Appelt, who led her Garden City team to the state championship in 2001. First year Cary Chasney, also a two-time high school All-American, joins the rotation up high and will look to add her explosiveness. Veterans Anne Harvey and Carol Hotarek also return for the Cavaliers at line attack, and first-years Courtney Young and Ashleigh Haas look to join in the offense.
As is typical with the Virginia schedule, the Cavaliers face the nation’s elite all year long. Besides the very tough ACC regular-season schedule, the Hoos will also play every other in-state Division I team, including CAA Champion James Madison and NCAA participant William & Mary. Former NCAA champions Penn State and Temple are also on the slate, as are NCAA semifinalists Princeton and Loyola. Other top-20 competition includes Syracuse and Vanderbilt which bookend the Cavaliers’ 2002 schedule.