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2008 Spring Training: Ireton Girls Lacrosse

Cardinals trying to build on 13-win season.

</b>Coach</b>: Cara Hurrin, first year

<b>2007 Record</b>: 13-9, 6-2 National District

<b>Season Ended</b>: Lost to St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes in the semifinals of the VIS tournament.

<b>Key Players</b>: A/MF Julianne Tela SR, D Sarah Squire, SR, D Claire Banta, JR

<b>Outlook</b>: It’s less than two miles from Bishop Ireton to St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes, but over the years, the girls lacrosse programs have been miles apart. That’s not to say that Bishop Ireton hasn’t been successful, but the Saints are almost in another realm.

The disparity between the Saints and the Cardinals was evidenced by St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes’ 18-2 victory in the semifinals of the Virginia Independent School state playoffs.

First-year Cardinals head coach Cara Hurrin wants that to change. After graduating from Mount Vernon in 2001, Hurrin played at Syracuse, one the nation’s elite lacrosse programs. She suffered an injury during her junior year and finished at George Mason.

Hurrin, who also lettered for four years in field hockey at Mount Vernon, coached lacrosse for Fort Hunt Youth Girls Lacrosse League, before joining Ireton’s coaching staff.

Hurrin has associate head coach Steve Tela, who has two daughters on the team, and Meredith Philipp, a member of the Northwestern’s 2005 National Championship team, on the coaching staff.

The trio of coaches will have 15 returning players from last season, highlighted by George Mason signee Julianne Tela. The senior part-midfielder, part-attack will look to build on her 2007 season when she had a team-high 48 goals and 21 assists, and was a first-team Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and all-state selection.

Another one of the three seniors for Hurrin is senior defender Sarah Squire, who will play for Sewanee next season. Squire earned a second-team all-WCAC honor in 2007, as did juniors Claire Banta, Lauren Gray and Heather Olson.

Junior Bridget Corridon is slated to be the starting goalie, while senior Alex Galdos and junior Rachel Gartlan should bolster a formidable defense.

On the offensive end, juniors Maria Bowman, Chesney Hellmuth, and sophomore Janet Tela should help to improve the 9.7 scoring average from last season. In the 13 wins, the Cardinals netted 11.8 goals, but in the nine losses, Ireton only notched 8.1 goals.

Juniors Ashton Hellmuth, Allie Fife and a healthy Brittany Barnwell, who missed much of the 2007 season with a concussion, should provide quality depth.

Ireton opened with two games at Fannon Field, the first a 13-2 victory over Sidwell Friends, before departing on a Spring Break road trip. The Cardinals will take on various teams during stops at Virginia Beach and Chapel Hill, N.C. During the four-game road swing, Ireton will take on Cape Henry Collegiate, the defending Division II state champions and undefeated Apex, the defending North Carolina 4A state champions.

The Cardinals open their eight-game WCAC slate at St. John’s College on April 1 before returning home for four of five games. Other games on the schedule include a cross-town battle with T.C. Williams and four-time four-time defending WCAC champion Good Counsel for Senior Day on April 29th. The WCAC tournament begins on May 5th and the Virginia State Championship Tournament May 16th.