Cardinals head to Washington College for 2012 opener

Cardinals head to Washington College for 2012 opener

WASHINGTON – CUA opens defense of its Landmark Conference championship this weekend when the Cardinals begin their 2012 season.  CUA returns five All-Conference performers and three All-Region selections from last season, when the Cards tied the school record for wins with 17.

CUA reported for preseason camp on Sunday, August 19 and has been hard at work ever since.

"Camp has been great," explained sophomore Maura Campbell, one of those All-Region performers.  "We've had a high level of intensity the whole time and our freshmen are adjusting really well."

She continued, "I think we have a lot of strong offensive and defensive players, so it's a lot of good competition out there in practice."

Senior captain Erica Guenthner offered her thoughts on the team's preparation for the upcoming season.  "I think we've had a good preseason. We've had a few double sessions and a few scrimmages, so we've had a chance to see each other play and it's great to bring in the new freshmen."

Head Coach Gia Cillizza, now in her 11th season, is looking forward to seeing who will step up after losing a strong senior class last year. 

"We had great leaders last year, we had two All-Americans, so there are definitely some big shoes to fill.  Our two senior captains, Catherine Mirsky and Erica Guenthner, are phenomenal girls and I think they'll step up and lead the team."

CUA returns five of its top seven scorers from a season ago, led by Colleen Harwood, who scored 14 goals and handed out five assists.  Also returning are Kim Hermann (13 goals), Katie Bertrand (seven goals) and Rebecca Lukaszczyk (four goals).

The Cardinals travel to Washington College on Saturday, September 1 for their season opener.  Start time is set for 1 p.m.  Live stats and video can be found here.

CUA has won its last six season openers, including last year when it downed Washington & Lee 3-1.

Washington College is coming off a year in which it went 10-8 overall and 6-4 in the Centennial Conference.  The Shorewomen return eight starters, including five seniors, while sophomore Claire McAuliffe is the leading returning scorer after finding the back of the cage 11 times in 2011.

Campbell, Guenthner and Cillizza offer their thoughts on the upcoming season in the video below.