Season Preview October 2002

Senior Carol Schnepp will be looked upon to lead the Cardinals again this season.

Catholic made great strides last season in Maggie Lonergan's first year as head coach.

The 2001-02 season saw the women's basketball program's first winning record in 13 seasons, the most wins since 1985-86 and the most Capital Athletic Conference wins in the decade since CUA was a founding member. The Cardinals hosted a first-round conference tournament game and advanced to the conference semifinals for the first time since 1991.

The Cardinals lose two seniors to graduation; but return four seniors, two juniors, and two sophomores, each of whom saw significant playing time last year. There are also three freshmen that Lonergan is counting on to contribute this season.

With a sense of accomplishment and continued enthusiasm, the coaches are hoping that the returning players and incoming freshmen can build on the Cardinals' impressive 15-12 record from a year ago and improve upon their fourth-place finish in the CAC.

"Last year set the tone for this coming year and the years to come," said Lonergan. "Our returning players know what it takes to win and our freshmen are eager to do their part."

The Cardinals will look to senior tri-captains Carol Schnepp, Amy Tyluki, and, Jackie Yacenda for their experience and leadership. Each has been three-year starters and look to end their CUA careers by advancing the team to a higher level of play.

Tyluki, who set the CUA all-time career assist record last year, returns. Tyluki averaged 32 minutes per game last year and the senior point guard has started every game of her college career. From behind the 3-point line, Tyluki led the team in shooting accuracy (35%) and field goals (25).

Aime'e Meyer launches one of her 3-pointers against Mary Washington

The other two backcourt starting positions will be filled by junior Claire Flatley; sophomore Aime'e Meyer, the program's rookie of the year; or freshmen Lindsay DiRomualdo and Anne Maguire. Flatley was fourth on the team in scoring (8.2 points per game) before severely spraining her ankle with seven games left in the regular season last year. Meyer proved to be a shooter during a breakout game against Mary Washington on Feb. 13 when she shot 6-for-10 from behind the arc. Winning is nothing new to DiRomualdo, who comes to Catholic with back-to-back state championships. She will be splitting time between the wing and Tyluki's backup point guard. Maguire, a shooter with great range, will also work her way into the rotation. Senior Tara Petrolino will provide depth along with freshmen Katie Murtha and Rosalia Gaitan. Petrolino saw limited action in her first season, but looks to be another great spark off the bench.

"We went out and recruited two good shooters to add to the mix," said Lonergan. "With the addition of Anne and Lindsay to our already strong backcourt, we will look to spread our offense and take better advantage of our inside-out game."

The newest member of the 1,000-point club, Schnepp returns with a year's experience of splitting time between power forward and small forward. A versatile player, Schnepp will again be called upon to contribute from the backcourt as well as the frontcourt. Like Tyluki, Schnepp has started every game of her college career, including 26 last season. She led the team in scoring with 14.7 points per game and trips to the free-throw line with 172. She shot 73% from the charity stripe and was named First Team All-Conference.

A talented group of student-athletes will man the rest of the frontcourt positions. Dual-sport athletes Yacenda (soccer) and junior Kathleen McGlynn (volleyball) each saw action in all 26 games last year. Yacenda will be counted on for her rebounding and defense. As a sophomore Yacenda led the league in rebounding. McGlynn will look to continue her offensive prowess. She is the team's returning leading rebounder (5.4) and averaged 6.2 points.

Sophomore Haley Jones is looking to play significant minutes this season. At the end of last year Jones showed that she can be an important cog in the success of this year's team. Freshman Gloria Schnepp (Carol's sister) will begin the season in the frontcourt, but the coaches feel that Schnepp's future at CUA will be in the backcourt, where she will cause matchup problems for the opposition. Looking to compete for minutes in the frontcourt will be freshmen Jane Maybury and Laura Kaye.

"Carol proved to be our 'go-to' player last year," says Lonergan. "We will be looking to fill the void left by graduating Liz Mintzer. We have a couple of great options in Yacenda, McGlynn and Jones. All three saw valuable minutes last year and each has her own strengths. Gloria will add great athleticism to our frontcourt."

Lonergan likes the attitude the players have displayed. "The seniors are on a mission to finish their careers with a second straight winning season." With their leadership and the skill and the dedication of everyone on the team, this could be the year the Cardinals reach the next level.

Quick Facts

  Head Coach: Maggie Lonergan
Alma Mater: Catholic University '88
School & Career Record: 15-12 (1 yr.)
2001-02 Record: 15-12 (8-6 CAC)
Lettermen Returning/Lost: 9/7
Starters Returning/Lost: 3/2