Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

Women’s lacrosse team returns to friendly turf

When the women’s lacrosse team takes the field Feb. 18 against Stony Brook at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium for its home opener, it’ll be playing on home turf for the first time this season.

The Pioneers started the season three weeks ago with a conference game in California and just returned from North Carolina and losses to highly ranked teams from Duke and North Carolina.

“We are a young, inexperienced team,” head coach Liza Kelly says. “The more we play, the better we will be.”

And the schedule won’t get much easier. The team has two more top-ranked teams in the offing with No. 18 Loyola (Md.) on March 3 and No. 13 Stanford on April 11.

The Pioneers also will host the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament (MPSF) April 29–May 2. The winner of the MPSF title will play the winner of the Atlantic-10 Conference for an NCAA tournament bid.

“We are very excited to host the championship,” Kelly says. “We have created a challenging schedule that should help our young team develop as we head into the MPSF tournament.”

The team is made up of 23 returning players from the 2009 squad, including Ali Flury, who was named to the all-MPSF team for the third time, and Ashley Harman, who was named MPSF co-newcomer of the year. The team also welcomes seven incoming freshmen.

DU finished the 2009 season with a 10-8 overall record and went 4-2 in the MPSF.

The Pioneers will be relying on their three senior captains for leadership, Kelly says. Seniors Natasha Davies, Flury and Lexi Sanders will help the rest of the team develop and play well quickly, according to Kelly.

“We have good senior leadership,” Kelly says. “No egos. Everyone wants to do well.”

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