Cal Berkeley Women’s Lacrosse Faces Big Games At Home Early But Wants To Finish Lacrosse Season Strong And Capture Conference Tournament And Make NCAA’s


calberkeleywomenslacrossealysekennedy“We have a lot of games all over our schedule that are big games at home,” Sherry said. “It is always important to defend your home turf and use your home advantage in home field and home crowd. We want to win everything, though, not just the ones at home.”


“I think we improved last year as far as record, but these girls want to win every game,” Sherry said. “We did very well in the regular season last year. This year we want to finish that great effort and win the conference tournament. We want to make the NCAAs.”

 

http://www.dailycal.org/article/104165/sherry_optimistic_for_2009_despite_departed_talent

Cal lacrosse head coach Theresa Sherry is not adjusted to losing.

In four years at Princeton, Sherry-a four-time All Ivy League selection, three-time All-American and finalist for the Teawaarton Award (for the nation’s top women’s lacrosse player)-and her Tigers teammates lost at home three times over the course of four years.

To be fair, Princeton is a women’s lacrosse juggernaut, having won three NCAA titles since 1993 and appeared in the game seven times.

Conversely, the Bears are looking for their first winning season since 2005. If they want to take that next step, they must protect their house.

“We have a lot of games all over our schedule that are big games at home,” Sherry said. “It is always important to defend your home turf and use your home advantage in home field and home crowd. We want to win everything, though, not just the ones at home.”

Cal’s 2008 season was an anomaly of sorts. The team’s 6-3 away record was the best since 2002, but the Bears’ disappointing 3-6 total at Memorial Stadium allowed for only a 9-9 record.

Much like this year’s Cal football squad, the lacrosse team is looking to rebound from a late tumble. At one point in 2008, Cal had won five straight and boasted an impressive 9-5 record.

Four games later, the Bears were 9-9 and their season was over.

The 2009 season is a fresh beginning for a team that showed ample promise last season, but it will be without some integral players from last year.

Cal lost its statistical leader in nearly every category (attacker Danni Zuralow) and its second-leading scorer and assist leader (attacker Brittany Aungier), as well as its most stable defenders (Mary Downs and Cristen Andrews), all to graduation.

Junior Alyse Kennedy-whose 35 points were the third most on last year’s high-scoring squad-will now likely shoulder most of the scoring load.

“Our biggest threats will be Kennedy, (Alex) Tickner, and (Sam) Price.” Sherry said. “It’s going to be a very balanced attack, we hope this makes us harder to guard and shut down.”

Sherry also said that she will be looking for contributions from freshmen Tara Arolla, Vail Horn and Lauren Johnson.

Junior midfielder Tickner should be another key to the Bears’ offensive firepower and defensive intensity. The fifth-leading scorer from last season, Tickner posted the team’s highest shots-on-goal percentage last year.

Despite losing its minutes leader in Downs and another starter in Andrews, the Bears’ defense returns two experienced players in seniors DennaFaye Herald and Ghillie Little. Sophomore Taryn Olson is another member looking to step in for the graduated Downs.

“We lost some very key players and presences in Andrews and Downs,” Sherry said. “We have Herald and Ghillie on the defensive end, look for them to be big matchup defenders. Olson, who is a sophomore, is going to really need to step into a leadership role.”

Perhaps the most contested starting spot on the team will be the goalie position, where Cal received solid play from two different players last season. The Bears have two talented and proven keepers in senior Morgan Dyson and sophomore Allie Shropshire.

Dyson started 15 of 17 games last season, but Sherry is not hesitant to switch goalies given the nature of the game, evidenced by Shropshire’s 13 appearances in the 2008 season.

“It really is day to day with the goalkeeping, we’ll even take stats at practice because they are so close,” Sherry said. “Shropshire is very talented outside of the cage, her clearing ability makes her the eighth defender. Dyson has quick hands, and she sees the ball so well inside the cage.”

Despite the changes and uncertainty, one goal is clear entering this season.

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