The Oglethorpe women's lacrosse team returns this weekend, as they'll take on Southern Wesleyan Saturday at 1 p.m .from the Oglethorpe Track and Field. It'll be the first of 13 games on the season, which will see the team make a run through the rugged SAA schedule and take on seven teams in non-conference play.
The Stormy Petrels return 15 players from a team that went 3-9 overall in 2018 with wins over North Carolina Wesleyan, Brenau and Huntingdon. All three of those victories came in impressive fashion, including a 14-0 decision over Huntingdon which marked the program's first-ever shutout.
Reigning All-SAA second-team honorees Jill Czaplinski and Dreshona Mapps-Whitmore both return to the fold, with Czaplinski anchoring the midfield and Mapps-Whitmore holding down the defensive end. The pair of Petrel juniors are joined by goalie Jordan Chandler, attacker Samantha Chap, defender Autumn Johnson and midfielder Jalisa Kassam to make up the class of Oglethorpe third-year performers. Midfielders Caroline Chamberlain and Precious Buddington, attackers Madison Goss and Clarissa Hopkins, and defender Sedaries Mathis comprise the Petrel senior class, while the sophomore class is chock full of defenders, including Rebecca Bryant, Naj Ellison, Emilee Heffner, Olumeka Mejeidu and Caroline Stanfield. Katie Hanley serves as the lone attacker coming out of the sophomore class.
The Petrels welcome 10 freshmen into the fold, as well. Ahjinah Hunter, Audrey Mahoney, Indira Marquez Robles and Reign Quick will serve as attackers, with Grace Collier, Samanda Cox, Tatyana Harris and Jalina Rodriguez in the midfield. Nyah Coulter, Zoe Geiger and LeeAnne Green will look to bolster the Oglethorpe defense, with Geiger also serving as the team's backup goalie.
Oglethorpe gets their season started with a battle against Southern Wesleyan on Saturday to kick off the non-conference portion of the schedule, and they'll also receive visits from Montreat College, Brenau, and Point University. The Petrels will take on Dallas in a neutral-site game down the road in West Point and will pay visits to Piedmont and Palm Beach Atlantic in the non-conference slate. The Petrels will also play a pair of Division I club teams in exhibition contests, as they'll take on UCF in Florida in March and host Samford on April 13.
The Petrels kick off their conference slate on Feb. 16, when they'll host Sewanee. Oglethorpe will also host Birmingham-Southern and Rhodes in league play, while paying visits to Hendrix, Centre and Berry.
Oglethorpe will get things started on Saturday against Southern Wesleyan, looking to move up the conference standings and improve on their 3-9 record from the 2018 campaign.