With the loss of nine seniors, both of last year’s coaches, and two goalies that opted not to play this season, this season didn’t start out strong for the Pomona-Pitzer women’s varsity lacrosse team, who were also plagued by a string of injuries.It has even been a challenge to even find enough girls to field the team, but that’s not to say you should count this bunch of Sagehens out quite yet. Although the roster is small, comprised of 15 women, with 12 needed to field a team, they are under the strong leadership of captains Devon Haynes PI ’10, Kira Watson PO ’10, and Hannah “Tiki” T’Kindt PO ’11.T’Kindt has a hopeful outlook for the year: “I am really looking forward to this lacrosse season. It is going to be a rebuilding year since we lost nine seniors last year, but we have many talented freshmen and returning players. I can’t wait to see how we improve throughout the season and learn to play as a cohesive unit.” Personal issues aside, the year is exciting for women’s lacrosse in general. Because Occidental has formed a varsity team, SCIAC will finally have a specific league for women’s lacrosse.Martha “March Madness” Marich PO ’12 is excited for what is ahead. “It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but I am confident that we can compete well in SCIAC. Things are coming together in practice and we’ve already improved a lot.”Marich is one to look out for. Last year, with 91 goals, she was the highest scorer in Division-III in the Western region and the highest freshman scorer in all of Division-III.The team has many new faces this year. Julia “Wallace” Behr PO ’10, who has never played lacrosse before, stepped up to be the team’s goalie. It has not been an easy job to fill, as she has had to get used the many bruises that come along with the position. The team has also acquired seven new freshmen, including Jenny Miner PO ’13 and Emma Molloy PI ’13 who are likely to make a big impact on the field this year.“The freshmen are enthusiastic and athletic,” said Marich. “Even though some of them don’t have a lot of experience, they’re working really hard and picking it up fast.”The Sagehens also have a new coach, Katie Shannon, who played Division-II lacrosse at Stonehill College and coached at Emerson College for two years.Shannon is positive about the coming season.“I’m very optimistic about this year’s upcoming 2010 women’s lacrosse season and future seasons as well. Our numbers are not what I hoped they would be, but my players’ attitudes and dedication will help overcome that. We also have a fairly young team that will only benefit us in the future. I hope to use this season as a foundation in the new direction that this program is going in. This is the first year of us joining the SCIAC League and the first time that we have a chance to make the playoffs. This really gives the girls something to play for.”The Sagehens have expressed that they have learned a lot from her so far and are excited to have her as their new coach.The team had their first test of skill and especially of endurance last weekend at the Santa Barbara Shootout tournament. Despite having no substitutes, they swept all three games. The first was a nailbiter against the University of Las Vegas. After two overtimes, P-P won on a penalty shot by T’Kindt in sudden death.Next, the Sagehens went on to dominate San Jose State. In the final game, they were losing against UCSB’s B team at half-time but somehow still had some energy left and came back from behind to win it.“That is definitely a step in the right direction and hopefully a glimpse of what this season entails,” Shannon said of their performance. T’Kindt called it “a great start to the season” and hopes that they can carry this momentum into the game against CMS.Make sure to catch their first game versus CMS at home on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 1 p.m.