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Women's Soccer Preseason Prep Continues with Opener One Week Away

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 08/29/2013
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Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications
Lauren Lazo and Diane Metcalf-Leggette are among the most experienced returners for the 2013 season.
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The Princeton women's soccer team has two weeks between the student-athletes' arrival on campus and the season-opening game Sept. 6 against Richmond at Roberts Stadium. Here are five questions the Tigers will aim to answer in that time.

How will the team replace Jen Hoy's 18 goals?

Hoy's 17 goals in the 2012 regular season tied the program record for regular-season goals, and her 18 total goals were the second-highest total in program history. But, Hoy wasn't Princeton's only option last year. Eleven Tigers scored in the 2012 season, and eight return. Junior Lauren Lazo (11 goals) leads the group that's back, as she and Hoy were the third combo in program history where each player scored at least 10 goals.

Who will start in goal?

The Tigers have four goalkeepers on the roster, but the foursome has just one start between them as 2013 alumnae Claire Pinciaro and Kristin Watson combined for all but 136 of the team's 1,741 in goal last season. The three non-freshmen, including senior Cecilia Di Caprio and juniors Darcy Hargadon and MicKenzie Roberts-Lahti, have all seen time in goal with the Tigers. Hannah Winner is the lone goalkeeper in the nine-member freshman class.

Who's getting the ball forward?

Fourteen Tigers had an assist last season and 10 of those players return. Rachel Sheehy '13 co-led the team with seven assists, but five other players had at least five assists. Four of them are back, including juniors Jessica Haley, Lazo and Liana Cornacchio and senior Gabriella Guzman.

What does the freshman class bring?

The nine freshmen represent every position, from Winner in goal to four defenders. Nicole Loncar, a Canadian youth national team member, and New Jersey native Jesse McDonough are in the midfield, and Sarah Mendenhall and Tyler Lussi are forwards. Last season, Princeton had five freshmen and Jessica Lee had the most starts, finding her name in the lineup six times. Last year's team, however, had 23 of its 28 players as returners, while 19 of the 28 are returners this year.

How will the defense look?

The Tigers are long on defense numbers-wise, with 11 on the roster, and three of those players made 10-plus starts last season. Senior Kacie Kergides started the first 11 games last season before going down to injury, while classmate Diane Metcalf-Leggette had 14 starts last season and Gabrielle Ragazzo started all 19 contests in 2012. Princeton held opponents to a goals-against average of 1.60 last season on the way to a 14-4-1 campaign, an Ivy League title and an NCAA Round of 32 berth.

 Below, the team put together a video to introduce the 2013 season:

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