Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/27/11
Junior goalie Ashley Harman (Boyertown), a First Team all-league pick last year, will be a key for Denver as it gears for play in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
Denver was picked to finish second in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation after collecting 31 points in the 2011 MPSF Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Pioneers are coached by former Delaware great Liza Kelly.
Stanford collected the maximum totals of 36 points with six first place votes to earn the top spot. The Cardinal has won the last six MPSF Championships, making NCAA Tournament appearances in 2006 and 2010.
Denver had 31 points and one first place vote. The Pioneers return 17 student-athletes, including Harman, senior defender Kelsey McDowell (Penn Charter) and sophomore midfielder Kate Henrich (Germantown Academy) from a squad that finished 13-5 overall in 2010 with a 6-0 sweep of the MPSF during the regular season.
Harman posted 118 saves and an 8.94 goals-against average last year. Henrich started 14 of 16 games and had 24 caused turnovers, 21 groundballs and 18 draw controls while McDwell was a part-time starter and posted 13 groundballs.
As a player, Kelly was a standout midfielder at the University of Delaware from 1995-98, earning All-American honors in 1996, 1997 and 1998, before playing for the United States National team from 1997-2001. Kelly was inducted into the University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Baltimore Chapter of U.S Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2009.
California and Oregon tied for third place in the MPSF ranking, followed by UC Davis, Saint Mary’s and Fresno State.
The Pioneers begin their season at Jacksonville on Feb. 18. Denver’s home opener features St. Mary’s on March 4.
Rank Team Pts (1st) 2010 Overall/MPSF Rcd.
1 Stanford 36 (6) 15-6, 5-1 (2)
2 Denver 31 (1) 13-5, 6-0 (1)
3t California 23 8-10, 3-3 (t3)
3t Oregon 23 7-11, 3-3 (t3)
5 UC Davis 17 11-6, 3-3 (t3)
6 Saint Mary’s 11 4-12, 1-5 (6)
7 Fresno State 6 0-14, 0-6 (7)