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Women’s college preview: Swarthmore looks to raise the bar behind Penikis (Strath Haven)

Thursday, 23rd February 2012

Categories College, Girl's/Women's  

By Phil Bergman, Posted 2/23/12

Coming off its most successful season in recent years, the Swarthmore College women’s lacrosse team is poised for even bigger and better things in 2012.

With the return of two All-Centennial performers from a year ago and a strong complement of offensive and defensive players, the Garnet’s goal is to earn a place in the Centennial Conference playoffs (9-7 overall record) for the first time in since 2007.

2012 Swarthmore Women's Team

Leading the attack way for Swat in 2012 will be junior midfielder Annalise Penikis (Strath Haven). In her first season with the Garnet, Penikis recorded one of the best all-around individual seasons in program history, leading the team and the Centennial Conference in goals (63), assists (37), and points (100). By hitting the 100-point mark on her final goal of the season, the Swarthmore native became just the fourth player in Swarthmore history and ninth in Centennial Conference history to hit 100 points in a single season.

Penikis was named to the Centennial Conference First Team and the IWLCA’s All-Metro Region First Team — the first Swarthmore women’s lacrosse player to do so since Kristen English. Her stellar play will be no surprise to Centennial opponents this season, so Penikis will need to up her game if she plans on registering similar statistics in 2012.

Alongside Penikis, other important Garnet contributors on offense ranked as one of the Centennial’s best in 2011 include senior Marie Mutryn (36 goals, 13 assists), senior Annelise Mowry (18 goals, 2 assists), junior Nicole Vanchieri (39 ground balls, 37 draw controls) and sophomore Corinne Sommi (37 goals, 23 assists).

The defense this year will be led by senior Maddie Williams (Kennett), who was named to the All-Centennial team for the second-consecutive season and was honored as the Scholar Athlete of the Week for the week ending April 26. Helping out with Williams on defense are senior Camilla Seirup (17 ground balls, eight caused turnovers), junior Beth Martin (39 ground balls, 40 draw controls), junior Sam Panepinto (3 goals, 28 ground balls) and sophomore Caroline Murphy (37 ground balls).

Sophomore Michelle Ammerman will be between the pipes again for the Garnet this season, after posting a 9-6 record and saving 100 shots last year. Backing up Ammerman in goal is senior Hillary Santana.

The Garnet will open the 2012 season on their Spring Break trip in Clearwater, Florida, playing games against Marymount (Va.) on March 6 (11:00 AM) and Elizabethtown on March 8 (11:00). The squad returns home on March 13 to face Eastern (7:00), before squaring off against 320-rival Widener (March 15, 5:30). The Centennial schedule is highlighted by match-ups at conference power No. 5 Franklin & Marshall on April 7 (4:00), 2011 NCAA Division III National Champion No. 1 Gettysburg (March 31, 1:00), and Tri-Co rival Haverford (April 21, 1:00). Swarthmore closes out its home schedule with Senior Day against Dickinson on April 14.

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