Women's Water Polo Hosts No. 19 Princeton in Opener Sunday
Feb. 12, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC - George Washington women's water polo begins its season at Smith Center Pool Sunday at 12:00 pm against CWPA Southern Division rival No. 19 Princeton. The Colonials return 11 letterwinners and boast three talented rookies to a roster with its sights set on its first Eastern Championship appearance since 2005.
GW will look to snap its 20-game league losing skid when it hosts nationally ranked Princeton Sunday. Seniors Luciana Maggiolo and Amy Moren and juniors Marissa Stamler, Bernadette Karandy and Emily Chereson will lead the Colonials in 2009. Stamler paced the team with 31 goals and 40 points last season to earn CWPA second team All-Southern Division honors.
Princeton (2-0) fell two spots to 17th in the latest CWPA Varsity Top 20 despite opening its season with convincing victories over Mercyhurst (14-2) and Villanova (14-0) last Saturday.
2009 Women's Water Polo Preview
George Washington women's water polo enters the 2009 season with one of the most balanced teams of 10th-year head coach Scott Reed's tenure. The Colonials return nearly three-quarters of their scoring to a lineup consisting of 11 returning letterwinners, including seven upperclassmen with two full seasons of experience, and three tough and talented freshmen.
Reed is confident this year's balance will translate into the team achieving its goals of improving on last season's 7-21 overall record and returning to the CWPA Eastern Championship for the first time since 2005.
Leading the returning cast is junior driver Marissa Stamler, who paced the Colonials with 31 goals and nine assists last season to earn second team All-Southern Division accolades from the CWPA. Stamler is GW's go-to player on offense and could even see time at two-meter set as needed this season.
Seniors Amy Moren and Luciana Maggiolo and junior Bernadette Karandy will help balance out the scoring at driver in 2009 after combining for 46 goals and 56 points last spring. Moren, a strong shooter who was second on the team with 20 goals last year, will need to assert herself in the attack, while Maggiolo and Karandy, who added 19 goals, will look to create opportunities in the counterattack. Sophomores Erin Delker and Rachel Wallace gained valuable experience during their rookie campaigns and will assist at driver, while freshman Allison Peotter, a second team All-Southern California selection, is expected to enhance the counter and defense immediately.
Junior Emily Chereson, sophomore Melissa Sesana and freshman Megan Walker will present opponents with differing styles of play and match-up problems at two-meter set this season. Chereson and Sesana combined for 60 ejections drawn along with 23 goals and 30 steals in 2008. Walker will provide another physical presence in the middle as well as the ability to score from the perimeter.
Utility junior Tara Sullivan will make the transition to two-meter defense after playing at two-meter set last spring. Sullivan, a long-armed defender with good speed, had 17 goals, 15 assists and 11 ejections drawn in just 13 games as a sophomore and is expected to produce similar numbers in 2009. Classmate Sarah Fitch, who chipped in 20 steals in 26 games in 2008, will team with Sullivan at the utility slot.
In goal, sophomore Charlotte Schou replaces the program's career saves leader Julie Jacoby and will be heavily relied upon in helping GW attain its goals. Schou made 52 saves in 25 quarters played as a freshman and has had a solid preseason in preparing to take over starting duties in net. Freshman Antonia Raris will back up Schou.
Along with rivalries against Southern Division foes Bucknell, Maryland and Princeton, the Colonials will focus on key intra-division contests against Michigan and during the Princeton Invitational and ECAC Championship to improve their chances for an Eastern Championship bid.