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About the Women's Lacrosse Program at Elizabethtown College:
Elizabethtown College announced in the spring of 2000 that it was adding men's and women's lacrosse as varsity sports beginning in the 2001-02 academic year.
Recruiting began in earnest in the summer of 2000 to field the first team, one that would be immediately competitive in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC), in the spring of 2002. At that time, nine teams competed in the MAC for four conference playoff spots. After an expansion to 11 teams and a subsequent contraction back to nine, the MAC will field 12 teams in women's lacrosse beginning in 2009.
The team made its debut in the 2002 season, jumping straight to the varsity level under the guidance of interim head coach Shelly Behrens. The young Blue Jay squad, consisting overwhelmingly of freshmen and having no previous seasons as a club team, made an immediate impact on the MAC, going 4-10 overall and 2-6 in the conference in its first season of existence. Four of the team's losses in 2002 came by just three goals or less, including a 9-7 conference loss to Lycoming and a 16-15 MAC loss to Messiah. At the conclusion of the season, attacker Liz Fretz '05 became the program's first conference all-star, earning a spot on the first team after scoring 60 goals in 14 games.
With a solid foundation established in the team's first season, the program took its next step toward its eventual goal of national prominence with the hiring of a full-time head coach, Aimee Seward, early in the summer of 2002.
In just its second season in 2003, Elizabethtown made its presence felt on the national level by capturing the NCAA Division III national statistical championship for most draw controls. That season, while just a sophomore, Fretz became Etown's first player to reach the 100 career goals scored plateau.
The Blue Jays continued to advance in 2004 as they finished with a .500 record in the MAC for the first time, going 5-5 in the conference. Etown finished the season with a 6-10 overall record while playing a punishing non-conference schedule that included as the season opener a game against Le Moyne, a Division I team that bowed out of the NCAA Division I tournament with a loss to Princeton University the previous year.
Meanwhile, Elizabethtown continues to recruit the student-athletes who, as part of the school's newest teams, will write the latest chapter in the highly successful history of Blue Jay athletics. Head coach Mike Faith took over the program in the fall of 2004 to guide the team to the next level.
In 2006, the Blue Jays advanced to the Middle Atlantic Conference playoffs for the first time in the history of the program. In 2007, the program reached another level entirely, going 13-4 overall and 10-0 in the MAC during the regular season, and knocking off nationally ranked opponents and eventual NCAA touranment participants in the process.
2008 saw the Blue Jays advance to the MAC championship game for the first time in program history, a season that included another victory over a ranked opponent as well as new program records for goals in a game and in a season.