Women's Water Polo Begins 2007 Season This Weekend
Feb. 12, 2007
WASHINGTON, DC - The George Washington women's water polo team dives into the 2007 season this weekend, Feb. 17 and 18, at Maryland's Terrapin Invitational in College Park, MD. The Colonials will play three Top 20 program's during the two-day, four-game event.
GW, ranked eighth in the Feb. 7 CWPA Top 10 poll, opens with No. 14 Hartwick, the top-ranked team in the CWPA, on Saturday at 8:00 am. The Colonials then play No. 20 Indiana, ranked fifth in the CWPA, at 2:00 pm.
On Sunday, GW battles No. 13 Michigan, which narrowly trails the Hawks for second in the CWPA rankings, at 10:30 am, before rounding out the Invitational against Marist at 5:15 pm. The Red Foxes already dropped decisions to the Hoosiers (7-5) and Wolverines (12-5) at the Michigan Kick-Off on Jan. 27 and 28.
2007 Season Preview
Most likely to provide the biggest impact will be senior co-captains Jenna Burnett and Morgan Hooker, the Colonials' top point producers in 2006. Burnett finished her junior season with 23 goals and a team-high 23 assists to earn second team All-CWPA Southern Division status. "Jenna is our best all-around player. She scores goals, is solid on defense, and makes her teammates better," said Reed. Versatile junior Kathryn Shehan, who chipped in 14 goals and 22 points in 2006, will team with Burnett at the utility slot, as will freshmen Sarah Fitch and Tara Sullivan.
Hooker, GW's go-to offensive option at two-meter set, enters her final season on pace to become the program's all-time leading goal scorer. A first team All-CWPA Southern Division performer last season, Hooker added a team-best 40 goals in 2006 and is now 37 shy of eclipsing Kira Canon's three-year old record. Spelling Hooker at two-meter set will be sophomore Caitlin Vartain and rookie Emily Chereson, a third team All-American at McDowell High in Erie, PA.
After two seasons of playing backup to Amy Heinemann, junior goalkeeper Julie Jacoby is anxious and prepared to assume starting duties. Jacoby has been outstanding in a reserve role, posting the lowest career goals-against-average in program history (5.58) while turning away 60 percent of her shots faced the last two years.
Juniors Rebecca Stein and Greta Pedraza and sophomore Amy Moren return after combining for 46 goals and 65 points last season. That trio, along with returning sophomores Jackie Friedberger and Luciana Maggiolo and newcomers Marissa Stamler, a two-time All-American at Ransom Everglades High in Florida, and Bernadette Karandy, provide Reed with plenty of depth at driver.
Third-year performer Sarah Stimson is Reed's primary option at two-meter defense. Stimson scored 19 points in just 16 games last year and finished third on the team with 30 steals. Sophomore Kathleen Miles and freshman Danielle Mayer are expected to see time behind Stimson.
GW opens the 2007 season with back-to-back tournaments at conference members Maryland and Bucknell in February. Each invitational will feature several of the nation's top 20 teams and will provide Reed's team a tough test similar to what it will face at the CWPA Southern Championship in April. The Colonials also will make their annual trek to California in Mid-March for non-conference games against Cal Lutheran, Macalester, Occidental, California Baptist and the Claremont Invitational.