For years, Fairfield Warde field hockey coach Jodie Shannon has lamented her lack of depth.

However, that may have changed for this year's team.

On the heels of a 10-5-1-2 season in 2012, the Mustangs boast their largest roster to date, boasting 33 players on their varsity squad.

And among those players is a core of returning varsity forwards and defenders.

Two-thirds of the Mustangs captains this year will enter as four-year starters, as they strive to post their third winning season in four years.

Warde returns its top scorer from 2012 as well, senior forward Erin Hines.

"[Hines] continues to provide strong stick skills and the keen ability to have great shot selection that will make an impact against our toughest competition," Shannon said.

Erin's twin sister, Megan, will lead a defense that surrendered 16 regular-season goals in 16 regular-season games last fall.

Megan Hines and Becca Mitri provide support by playing in front of returning goalie Katie Stepsis.

"[Stepsis] has been playing year round and continues to develop," Shannon said.

Offensively, Shannon expects All-FCIAC East Division selection Emily Allen will join Erin Hines in trying to put balls in the opposition's net.

Warde has a collection of other returning forwards, featureing Darci Byington and Kelly Milicia.

"We have some speed in our forwards," Shannon said.

Captain Casey Palmer and Liz Gallucci will anchor Warde's midfield, helping the offensive attack and the defensive efforts in front of Stepsis.