While new faces may appear on the women’s golf roster this season, the goal from last season remains the same: another Ivy League championship.

The defending Ivy League champions kick off their season Sept. 27 at the Princeton Invitational in New Jersey. The Elis hope to match their strong performance of last season.

Although the team did not compete this summer, returning and incoming players continued to practice and condition to keep their play in top shape.

“Some played more than others, but I think we’re all fresh and strong and ready to tackle a new season,” Yale head coach Mary Moan said.

With the loss of team captain Jordanna Davis ’03 to graduation, the team looks to returning top finishers from last year’s championship squad, including Stephanie Wei ’05, Jeehae Lee ’06, and January Romero ’06.

Three freshmen will replace Davis and add strength to the team. Cindy Shin ’07 qualified for the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Amateur this summer. Carmen Zimmer ’07 and Marion Stanley ’07 were very successful in their home states of New Mexico and Illinois, respectively.

Both the players and coach Moan said this year’s freshmen will strengthen the Bulldogs’ standing in the Ivy League.

“We have three great freshmen who all add to the depth of our program. Although they are very different and come from different experiences, all three women are valuable assets to our program,” Moan said.

The new blood also adds a rejuvenating boost to the team.

“Since our team is small and young, the freshman should add much to our team. They have already stepped things up, and we are looking forward to seeing how they play,” Lauren Ressler ’06 said.

With over two weeks left before the first tournament, the Bulldogs are looking forward to the preseason. After the Princeton Invitational, Yale will host its own invitational tournament the following week at the Yale Golf Course.

While this may only be the preseason, the team has no intention to sit back and let their play slip.

“The team has goals that they want to reach in the fall, but the fall is also a time to get acclimated and work on the long term goals each team member has defined,” Moan said. “The fall is a time to work on mechanics and to get acclimated to tournament competition again. Although the championship season really won’t begin until next March, the fall is a time to build a solid foundation from which we can pick up on again in the spring.”

For the players, preseason tournaments are nothing to overlook.

“We need to practice winning, and we are going to tournaments not to just hit the ball around, but to win titles,” Ressler said.

Defending its Ivy League title may be one goal, but the team also looks to perform well in the regional NCAA tournament and qualify for the national tournament.