The women's lacrosse team is the preseason pick for the 2009 Atlantic 10 Lacrosse Championship.
The squad will open its season with a home scrimmage against the English National Team at 3 p.m. on Feb. 9 in First Market Stadium. Seniors Mandy Friend and Alli Furstenburg are co-captains this season.
"Although we lost five starters, we are fortunate to bring back quite a potent attack anchored by Mandy Friend and Alli Furstenburg," head coach Sue Murphy said in a RichmondSpiders.com article. "Our younger players have gained valuable experience last season and this fall. I have been very impressed with our overall growth as a team."
InsideLacrosse.com named Friend, a native of Canandaigua, N.Y., in "Women's Names to Know for 2009." She started every game last season, had 53 goals, 36 assists and 89 points and was named midfielder of the year.
"Mandy does everything, is an absolute workhorse and is all over the field doing anything and everything she can for our team," Furstenburg said. "She does it all well."
Furstenburg, a native of Whitehouse Station, N.J., led the team with 54 goals last season and was second on the team with 28 assists and 82 points. She was named offensive player of the year.
"On the field they are an amazing duo with the focus of empowering others to play at a higher level," Murphy said in the article.
The squad won three straight A-10 Tournament titles from 2005 to 2007. Last year the team lost the championship tournament to the University of Massachusetts 10-9 in overtime during the semifinal round.
Furstenburg said the squad had a tough schedule for the beginning of this season but would use playing Atlantic Coast Conference teams such as the University of Maryland, Duke University, the University of North Carolina and the University of Virginia to its advantage to get prepared for A-10 play.
"We would love to take away a win, if not more than one, against some of them so we can gain confidence and really go in strong against our competitors in A-10," Murphy said.
"As the reigning 2008 A-10 regular season champion, our ultimate goal will be to capture the A-10 Tourney in 2009 and head back to the NCAA tourney."
Contact reporter Avril Lighty at firstname.lastname@example.org
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