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Lacrosse Hits the Road Running
Harrington and the Bulldogs kick off their season on the road next Sunday.
Harrington and the Bulldogs kick off their season on the road next Sunday.

Feb. 8, 2013

By Kasandra Martinson

FRESNO, Calif.-The Fresno State women's lacrosse team kicks off its 2013 season next Sunday, February 17, 2013, taking on Presbyterian University on neutral turf in Los Angeles, Calif. The team looks to pick up right where they left off last season.

Coming off a record high three wins in 2012, the Dogs' have their heads held high as they head into their 15 game season under second year head coach Jessica Pausewang.

"I think last season went well, it had a large amount of growth for the team and showed them what they were capable of," said Pausewang. "I think us winning competitive games last year will give them the confidence that they are ready to make an even bigger impact this year."

The Bulldogs face competitive non-conference matches that will prepare them for the tough schedule they face in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

"I think our conference has gotten a lot stronger with the addition of USC, and San Diego State is in their second year now, so I'm excited for that," said Pausewang. "I think as far as our non-conference games, we are playing Albany and Stony Brook, they are two top 20 teams. We also play Columbia and Manhattan which will be competitive games on the east coast. It will be a nice trip for us to kind of measure up before we come back and really finish our conference swing."

With 10 returning seniors taking the field, the Bulldogs are looking to their experience to carry them into a successful year. Among the seniors are Sara Weber and Natalie Harrington. Harrington returns as the leader in assists and a 50% shooting average, while Weber picked up 29 draw controls in 2012. This dynamic duo looks to dominate on the attacking half of the field this year.



"I think our senior leadership is very evident all over the field. Our offense is much more fast paced this year and team oriented, many more assists to come," said Pausewang. "As far as defense goes we are trying new concepts and really want it to be exciting to watch."

Returning alongside the seniors are four returning juniors, including Briana Hetherington who looks to put the ball in the back of the net often after leading her team with a high of 16 goals last season.

On the defensive side of the field, the Dogs' look to leading defenders Ashley Phillips and Taylor Fiehler to get the stops. Fiehler led the team in caused turnovers, and Philips picked up 20 ground balls last season.

Katie Wilbur and Lisa Barnaba return in the cage this year after combining for 146 saves last year, averaging 11.2 saves per game.

Two returning sophomores, Holly Cisneros and Marcy Levatino along with eight freshmen look to add energy to the squad and spark some fire for the Dogs' this season.

"I think this freshmen class is really talented, and I'm really proud with the way they have come so quickly into making an impact on the team," said Pausewang. "I think that Sophia Aragon is going to do a great job on defense, she is already a big vocal leader for us. I think Anjelica Fuccillo has done a great job fitting into our attacking style, she really looks and helps pick up her other teammates with feds."

With nine days until their first game, the Bulldogs head to Palo Alto, Calif. this Sunday to participate in the Stanford Play Day.

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