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Welcome to the 2009 Virginia women’s lacrosse blog! Below you will find weekly blog entries from volunteer assistant coach – and former Cavalier goalkeeper – Ginger Miles, in addition to weekly Q&As with current players, senior spotlight feature stories, photo galleries from select games, occasional video highlights and much more! Thanks for reading and Go ‘Hoos!

Katie Shannon: Award Winning Athlete and Nursing Student
Being a Division I student-athlete is challenging enough, but when you are also a student in one of the top nursing schools in the nation it can prove to be very challenging to find the successful recipe for a balanced athletic and academic career. Katie Shannon, a senior lacrosse player from Downingtown, Pennsylvania , has done just that. Shannon, who is living on the Lawn this year, was recently honored with the 2009 Jettie Hill Memorial Award which is given to a senior, female student-athlete with the highest scholastic average through four years at the University of Virginia. (Read More…)

Blog: Updates From Durham
The UVa women’s lacrosse team has loaded up the bus for Durham, N.C., for the first round of NCAA Tournament action against Duke on Sunday. I’ll be blogging regularly this whole trip, so be sure to check back for updates on the inside scoop! (Read more…)

Q&A: Jenny Hauser
Senior All-American Jenny Hauser has been a main force for the Cavaliers this season, ranking among the top attackers in the ACC and earning all-conference honors for her performances. (Read more…)

Blog: We’re In. Game On.
We made it in!!!

For the first time in a long time, our team sat around anxiously waiting on Selection Sunday to find out whether or not our season would be over. Some sat in front of computers, some found a place that had CBS Sports on TV and some just sat and waited to hear the news. Usually this time of year we’ve done enough to erase any doubt about our postseason chances, but this year’s rollercoaster season left us on the edge of our seats. This season, fraught with its ups and downs, could have ended last night. (Read more…)

Senior Spotlight: Ashley McCulloch
Next time Virginia scores a goal, listen carefully. Underneath the cheers and the overall excitement emanating from the sea of orange and blue nylon will come the sound of a kazoo. (Read More…)

Blog: Four Keys To Postseason Success…
We should have played a game today. Unfortunately, we fell to Maryland on Friday and had our first early exit from ACC weekend in a long time. I really rather not blather on about that, so let’s turn our attention to what’s next: the NCAA tournament. (Read More…)

Blog: AndSo The Postseason Begins…
ACC weekend always proves to be some of the best lacrosse in the country amongst teams with long-standing, bitter rivalries. There’s just something different about ACC games that’s hard to explain. Many of these girls played high school or club ball with their opponents on the other teams. These are teams we see multiple times in a year- and usually the same team doesn’t win twice (and certainly not three times if it gets to that). The competition is always so even. Usually every win is a hard fought battle. Every team has had a big win or a crushing loss at the hands of their ACC foes. Losing is that much worse, but winning is just that much sweeter. (Read More…)

Q&A: Kaitlin Duff
Junior Kaitlin Duff is the anchor to the Cavaliers’ midfield this season. Among the nation’s leaders in caused turnovers, Duff is five shy of becoming the fifth Cavalier to cause 100 turnovers during their career. (Read more…)

Blog: Horseshoes and Handgrenades
After a convincing win on Tuesday night against in-state foe George Mason, the squad turned all its attention to Northwestern. We went over just about everything in four intense days of preparation. We even sat as a team in the locker room and watched Northwestern play Hopkins on Friday. With four full days, we learned every in and out about Northwestern so when Sunday rolled around there wasn’t a single player unprepared to take on the No. 1, four-time reigning National Champions. (Read More…)

Blog: Laxossary… Laxtionary… Laxicon?
In our little universe of Virginia lacrosse there are a number of phrases/sayings that have worked their way into becoming a common place on this team. These are things we regularly say but to the outsider may seem nonsensical, absurd or even hysterical. To keep you in the loop, the following is a list of some of the inside lingo of the Virginia women’s lacrosse team. (Read More…)

Q&A: Molly McClintic
Molly McClintic is a sophomore on the women’s lacrosse team who hails from Charlottesville. Following a win at Boston College last Saturday, McClintic stepped up as a defender against Harvard on Sunday to help the Cavaliers defeat the Crimson, 13-9. (Read More…)

Senior Spotlight: Jenny Hauser
This May, when she walks down the lawn, Jenny Hauser will have come full circle. After all, it was her sister’s graduation ceremony two years ago that convinced the then-Boston University student to transfer to Virginia. (Read More…)

Blog: Beantown Quiz
Hello UVa lacrosse fans! This weekend the team made the trip all the way to Boston, Mass., for two showdowns with ACC rival Boston College and Harvard. The beautiful city of Boston is probably most well known for its rabid sports fans. Everywhere we went, folks were talking about opening day for the Red Sox or how well the Bruins were doing this year. Boston fans know all there is to know about Beantown sports. (Read More…)

Q&A: Liz Downs
Sophomore Liz Downs is a second-year starting defender on the ninth-ranked women’s lacrosse team. Downs is second on the team in ground balls, scooping up 20 and has become a major contributor to Virginia’s transition game. (Read More…)

Senior Spotlight: Blair Weymouth
Blair Weymouth knows the end is near. The clock is ticking and her days are numbered.
“There’s no life in lacrosse outside of college,” she acknowledges.
And so, as the weather gets warmer and May creeps closer, the co-captain is savoring every moment of this season. (Read More…)

Blog: Tough Pill To Swallow
Tonight we loaded the bus to headed over the mountain to play JMU. After a disappointing loss at home on Saturday to Princeton, the girls were eager to prove that they can put the ball in the back of the net and boy did we ever. The UVa fans that made the trip to Harrisonburg (mostly parents) were treated to a hearty 19 goals. After a close first half, the girls really hit their stride in the second half to pull away.(Read More…)

Q&A: Molly Millard

Prior to every women’s lacrosse home game, sophomore Molly Millard sings the national anthem – a tradition that was started a year ago. (Read More…)

Senior Spotlight: Sarah Hackman
Although senior Sarah Hackman has been a Wahoo for the past three years, her heart still belongs in Maryland. A Baltimore native, Hackman is a diehard Ravens fans and attributes her involvement in lacrosse to the recreational programs in her hometown. (Read More…)

Blog: We’re Not a State – It’s a Commonwealth
Virginia is one of four US states that consider themselves a commonwealth rather than a state. While not traditionally known as a hotbed for lacrosse, there are some great collegiate teams in the Commonwealth. The strength of our in-state teams has developed and grown over the years and presents us with some huge mid-week games and some fun rivalries. (Read More…)

Q&A: Yeardley Love
Yeardley Love is a junior midfielder on the Cavaliers’ women’s lacrosse team this year. She has tallied six goals, while scooping up nine ground balls and causing seven turnovers for Virginia. (Read More…)

Senior Spotlight: Katie Shannon
Every student attending the University of Virginia has, at one point in time, been referred to as “well-rounded.” Most UVa students volunteer in the afternoons, run races for medical research on the weekends, while making the coursework of one of the toughest schools in the country look easy during the week. (Read More…)

Blog: When it Rains, It Pours
This weekend we were off to North Carolina for a big game against the Tar Heels on Saturday. We left Friday night just as the rain started to dot the sidewalks, stopping for dinner along the way. While I have had many Italian, family-style dinners in my day, very few stack up to our dinner Friday night in Richmond. An attentive, well-trained wait staff took great care of us and the food was impeccable. After a great meal we were back on the bus in a little over an hour. (Read more…)

Q&A: Lauren Benner
Redshirt sophomore Lauren Benner is the Cavalier women’s lacrosse team’s goalkeeper this season after redshirting last year. Benner was named the National Defender of the Week after her performances in Virginia’s 16-7 win over Richmond and 14-11 upset against No. 3 Syracuse. She then came up big in Virginia’s overtime period against Penn State on Sunday, stopping the Nittany Lions’ only shot to keep them off the scoreboard as the Cavaliers went on to win 12-11. (Read more…)

Senior Spotlight: Jen Holden
It would be the average kid’s nightmare. But for Jen Holden, it was the best training for Division I lacrosse. Her mother, Joan Holden, was the headmistress for St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School during the years her daughter attended.

While St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes is a lacrosse powerhouse, usually producing the best lacrosse players out of high school, it was initially the school’s landscape that got Holden into the sport. (Read more…)

Blog: Spring Break ’09 – C’ville
**Spring Break Edition**:
It was an interesting week for the Wahoos. The Charlottesville doldrums kicked in as we returned to a half empty town from Syracuse last weekend. It was Spring Break week and most of the student body was headed off to Cancun or Palm Springs or some other such paradise to spend the week relaxing on some post card beach.

Not the Virginia women’s lacrosse team. (Read more…)

Q&A: Brittany Kalkstein
Junior Brittany Kalkstein won eight draw controls in the women’s lacrosse team’s 14-11 upset win over No. 3 Syracuse Friday night in the Carrier Dome. Kalkstein is Virginia’s single-season record holder in draw controls and is currently ranked third on the program’s career list – at just the beginning of her third year. Nationally, she ranks sixth this season, winning 18 draws in four contests. (Read more…)

Blog: Juice the ‘Cuse!

It was cold, rainy and everywhere you looked there were mounds and mounds of dirty snow. The pervasive grey of dreary Syracuse weather could be seen on every old building, warehouse and windshield. Syracuse was just like I had remembered it.

Tonight marked the return of the Virginia-Syracuse men’s and women’s doubleheader at the Carrier Dome (or just “The Dome” to those in the know). Today was huge test for both teams but at the end of the day and after many hard fought battles on the field it was a great day to be a Wahoo. (Read more…)

Q&A: Ainsley Baker
Redshirt freshman Ainsley Baker dished out her first collegiate assist in the Cavaliers’ season-opening win over Virginia Tech last Wednesday before notching her first career goal in Virginia’s victory at Loyola on Saturday. The Corning, N.Y., native missed last season due to an injury, but has joined the midfield this year and has helped Virginia to a 2-0 start. (Read more…)

Blog: Sleep is for the Weak
Life on the road can be pretty grueling for student-athletes. Lacrosse being a mostly East Coast sport means most of the women’s lacrosse team’s away trips come via Abbot Trailways and their buses. The familiar white bus with blue block lettering was waiting for us Saturday morning – just like every other road trip. And like all the others, this trip began with “start a count!” Once we hit 25 we know we’re ready hit the road. (Read more…)

Senior Spotlight: Whitaker Hagerman
Whitaker Hagerman was born for this.

It’s evident in her long legs, her quick reflexes, and her professional demeanor off the field. She speaks with the ease and fluidity of a head coach – all sports references and positive phrasings. And when she talks about her background, it’s easy to see why. (Read more…)

Blog: I’ll Take a Cheesesteak Over Roses Any Day
Helloooo women’s lacrosse fans and Happy Valentine’s Day!

This weekend brought the squad all the way to “the city of Brotherly Love.” That was as romantic as the day ever got though. Practicing this morning, we loaded the bus for Philadelphia, Pa. right after lunch. Practice was fun and the girls were full of energy and excitement for another round of scrimmages. This will be our last test before kicking off the season against Virginia Tech on Wednesday. Tomorrow we will be facing off against Towson and U. Penn at the prestigious Franklin Field. For those of you that haven’t followed Virginia lacrosse religiously like myself, this is where we had our infamous “comeback” two years ago against Duke. Will this weekend bring the same magic??? (Read more…)

Senior Spotlight: Sara Hairfield
Some people get nervous when you shove a tape recorder in their face, press record and ask them to encapsulate their personality in a few well-chosen words.

But Sara Hairfield, in the span of 10 minutes, revealed her laidback and cheerful attitude in the explanation of her nickname. According to the senior goalkeeper, teammate Whitaker Hagerman asked her early into their first year together if she could call her “Hairy,” an obviously humorous abbreviation of her last name. (Read more…)

Blog: How to Wear Shorts in January
Our season has officially begun with three great matches in sunny Orlando, Fla. Seventy-five and sunny it was NOT unfortunately, but when the breeze stood still it was almost warm enough for shorts…almost (the choice to wear shorts Saturday night was a bad one as I spent much of the game just trying to keep warm). (Read more…)

Season Preview
Coming off a third-straight Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, the Cavaliers return seven starters from the 2008 campaign and welcome the No. 2-ranked recruiting class in the nation to Charlottesville to help fill the void of last season’s departed seniors and create a squad full of talent. Boasting the nation’s third-ranked scoring defense a year ago, Virginia will look to the experience of its four senior All-Americans to win another conference title and make a run in the postseason for the 13th-consecutive season (Season Preview Video).

Q&A: Cavalier First-Years
According to Inside Lacrosse, this season’s Cavalier freshmen are ranked behind only four-time national champion Northwestern as a recruiting class. Included in the group are four of the top prospects from the state of Maryland, in addition to another Cavalier from St. Stephen’s/ St. Agnes in northern Virginia. Get to know each of the Cavaliers – Caroline Cochran, Bailey Fogarty, Julie Gardner, Josie Owen and Annie Taylor – as they look to use their talent to help Virginia win another ACC Championship and make a run in the NCAA Tournament.

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