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No. 17 Harvard Women's Lacrosse Opens Season at Stanford Sunday

Mariel Jenkins and the Crimson kick off the season at Stanford Feb. 24 (Gil Talbot).

The Storyline
The No. 17 Harvard women's lacrosse team will open its 39th season of play Sunday, Feb. 26, as the Crimson travels west to face Stanford at 6 p.m. EST. Harvard is coming off a 9-7 campaign, while the Cardinal sits at 0-1 this season after falling to No. 9 Notre Dame, 12-10, Feb. 16.

Follow From Home
Live statistics are available for Sunday's game at Stanford. 

Winning Ways
Harvard has posted three straight winning seasons under head coach Lisa Miller, who is entering her sixth year with the program. The Crimson has also advanced to the Ivy League tournament in each of the last two springs and returns four All-Ivy selections from last year's squad, including seniors Micaela Cyr, Mariel Jenkins, Danielle Tetreault and Jennifer VanderMeulen.

National Prominence
The Crimson is currently ranked 17th in the deBeer Media Poll and was listed as receiving votes in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Preseason Coaches Poll this week.

Climbing the Charts
Senior Jennifer VanderMeulen currently ranks in the top 10 in program history for multiple team records. VanderMeulen stands fifth on the all-time goals list with 130 and is eighth on the all-time points list with 148. VanderMeulen needs nine more goals to tie Kaitlin Martin '09 for fourth in team history in tallies (139) and is five assists shy of knotting Sarah Winters '95 for seventh in assists (153).

Previewing What's To Come
Head coach Lisa Miller recently sat down with GoCrimson.com to discuss the team's upcoming 2013 season.

Welcome Back
Harvard has welcomed back 16 members from last year's squad that posted a 9-7 overall mark and 5-2 conference record. Five of the Crimson's top six point scorers return from last year's team, including Danielle Tetreault (28-4-32), Jennifer VanderMeulen (26-5-31), Micaela Cyr (17-2-19), Chelsey Newman (8-4-12) and Kyleigh Keating (7-4-11). Tetreault was tabbed to the Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-America team.

Cyr led Harvard with 38 ground balls last season, while Tetreault paced the team with 32 draw controls.

Rank and File
Harvard finished its 2012 ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 7.81 goals per contest last season. Senior Micaela Cyr was 38th in the country in ground balls, picking up 2.38 per game. As a team, the Crimson was 41st in ground balls (15.75 per game).

Can't Stop Her
Senior Jennifer VanderMeulen has scored at least one goal in 42 of her 47 games played. VanderMeulen has registered multiple goals 35 times and has scored at least three goals on 25 occasions.

To Be the Best, You Have to Beat the Best
Harvard has knocked off at least one top 20 opponent in each of the last four seasons, and will have plenty of opportunities to do in 2013. Five of the Crimson's opponents this season are currently ranked in either the IWLCA Preseason Coaches Poll or the deBeer Media Poll, including Cornell (16/arv), Penn (11/11), Northwestern (1/1), Boston College (20/18) and Dartmouth (12/13).

Captaining the Ship
Senior Micaela Cyr was voted by her teammates as captains for the 2013 season. This marks the first time since 1987 that the Crimson have been led by one captain.

Historical Perspective
Harvard captured the program's first national championship in 1990 when it defeated Maryland, 8-7. The Crimson won four games that season by a single goal en route to a 15-0 record, with Jenny Walser '90 scoring the game winner in three of those four games, including the national title game. Four-year letterwinners Carroll Clark '90, Karen Everling '90, Julie French '90, and Walser graduated with a career record of 50-8-1, including a perfect 23-0 mark in the Ivy League.

The Crimson has made a total of nine NCAA Tournament appearances and has reached the national championship game three times. Harvard has also won 11 Ivy League Championships, tied with Dartmouth for the most in conference history.

Scouting the Cardinal
Stanford opened its 2013 season at home, falling to No. 9 Notre Dame, 12-10, Feb. 16. Rachel Ozer and Lucy Dikeou each had hat tricks for the Cardinal in the game, while Ozer also handed out two assists for a five-point performance. Goalie Lyndsey Munoz recorded seven saves and collected a team-best six ground balls.

The Cardinal jumped out to leads of 3-1 and 7-2, but Notre Dame outscored Stanford, 10-3, in the second half. The Fighting Irish outshot Stanford, 25-22, but the Cardinal had the edge in ground balls, 15-11. Stanford was 10-of-12 on clear attempts, while Notre Dame went 11-of-13.