13th ranked Cardinals open season on Tuesday at home

13th ranked Cardinals open season on Tuesday at home

WASHINGTON – The No. 13 CUA women's lacrosse team welcomes Randolph-Macon to town on Tuesday afternoon for the Cardinals 2011 season opener.  CUA is coming off a year in which it won its third straight Landmark Conference championship and won an NCAA Tournament game for the third straight season.

CUA returns three All-Americans in Kate Robinson, Becky Borrell and Mary Swarthout.  Robinson, who missed most of last season due to injury, is one of the top players in the entire nation and holds nearly every career record at CUA, including goals, points and draw controls.

One of the top defenders in the country, Borrell is an extremely quick and competitive player, who scooped up 49 ground balls and caused 32 turnovers a season ago.  Swarthout meanwhile, is just the second underclassmen in school history to receive All-American recognition, and in 2009 she became the first-ever freshman to achieve that honor when womenslacrosse.com named her to the third team.

In addition to its trio of All-Americans, CUA brings back six other all-conference performers, including Meghan Brady, Meghan Murray, Kelly Ryan, Katie Buonpastore, Christina Rogers and newcomer Mary Robinson.  Mary, who is Kate's sister, is a transfer from Bridgewater College, where she earned a pair of All-ODAC selections.

Randolph-Macon will also be playing its opener on Tuesday.  The Yellow Jackets went 8-6 a season ago, including a 4-3 mark within the ODAC, and are under the direction of first-year head coach Caitlin Erickson.

Leading the way for RMC on the field will be Erin Clare Cassidy, who totaled a team-leading 47 points on 33 goals and 14 assists in 2010 and was named All-Region and All-ODAC.  Goalkeeper Alex Flammia also earned All-ODAC honors after posting a 9.13 goals against average and a save percentage of .482.

The Yellow Jackets were selected fourth in the preseason ODAC poll with 68 points.

Tuesday marks the fifth time these schools have met in women's lacrosse with the series knotted at two wins apiece.  The last meeting took place in 2008 when CUA came away with a 20-12 win.

Tuesday's game gets going at 4 p.m. from Cardinal Stadium.