Mules beat Cortland, advance to Great Eight

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: May 15, 2010
Athletics Preview Photos

Anne Geraghty

CLINTON, N.Y. --- The Colby College women's lacrosse team is in the Great Eight.

The ninth-ranked Mules (15-4) are one of eight teams remaining in the NCAA Division III Tournament after a thrilling 10-9 victory over fifth-ranked Cortland State on Saturday in a second round game at Hamilton College. Colby is in an NCAA quarterfinal game for the first time in program history after going 0-3 in previous second round contests.

The Mules will battle for a spot in the NCAA Final Four when Colby plays top-ranked Hamilton (19-0) in a quarterfinal game Sunday at 1 p.m. The game can be heard on audio at or followed on live stats at Sunday's winner gets a trip to Gettysburg, Pa., for a national semifinal game at 11 a.m. Saturday against either Franklin & Marshall or Mary Washington at Gettysburg College.

Trailing 9-6 after allowing five straight goals, Colby scored four goals by four different players in the final 12:53 of the second half to secure the victory. Anne Geraghty scored the biggest goal of her collegiate career with 4:37 to play off an assist from Caroline Atwater for the game-winning goal.

Colby's top three leading scorers --- Amy Campbell, Claire Donegan, and Kathleen Kramer --- combined for just one goal and one assist in the game. The Mules, though, had a big team effort and received some fine performances from other players.

"That's what was so exciting," Colby head coach Karen MacCrate Henning said. "They tried to checkdown our top scorers and that meant different people needed to step up --- and they did. Our defense was a total team effort as well, really working together as a unit."

First-year attacker Kate Pistel, Colby's fourth-leading scorer with 27 goals and four assists, had three goals and equaled her assist total for the season with two. Casey Thomas also had three goals, including the key goal with 12:53 remaining to start the 4-0 scoring run to end the game. Atwater finished with three assists, Lane McVey had two goals, and Geraghty also had an assist.

"Caroline was very poised and very patient with the ball. She did an awesome job," MacCrate Henning said. "Kate played very smart. When they came to double her, she found the open player and didn't force anything."

Cortland (17-3) seemed to be in control with five straight goals to take a 9-6 lead with 16:02 to play in the game. Thomas, though, scored her third goal of the game from Donegan with 12:53 to play to give Colby life. Pistel followed that up just 46 seconds later with an unassisted goal and suddenly the Mules were down one goal. McVey, who entered the game tied for 11th on the team in scoring, got the tying goal off a pass from Geraghty with 7:29 to play. Atwater then found Geraghty for the winner with 4:37 to play.

Campbell's goal in the first half gave her 49 for the season and 135 for her career. Pistel also finished with two draw controls, two groundballs, and one caused turnover.

"They face guarded Amy and marked her all over the field," MacCrate Henning said. "She still did a great job and also created some space for her teammates."

Sarah Warnke improved her career record in goal at Colby to 38-8 with five saves in net. Ally Levy stopped three shots for Cortland. Lexi Crook led Colby's defense with two caused turnovers and one draw control, while Lisa Hoopes had three groundballs. Crook forced a key turnover in the final three minutes of the game.

Jess Fritz had three goals and two assists to pace the Red Dragons, while Kelly Radigan had two goals and two assists.

Hamilton won the 2008 national championship and last year won a regional at Colby to advance to the NCAA Final Four. The Continentals have won 37 straight home games dating back to the 2006 season.

"We need to continue with our total team effort (against Hamilton)," MacCrate Henning said. "We need everyone involved in the game. We can't have one or two players taking a break. We need to win all the little battles on the field – fighting for groundballs, winning draw controls."

For the latest updated NCAA bracket:

Colby 10, Cortland 9

Colby...............  6  4 - 10

SUNY Cortland.......  6  3 -  9

Colby SCORING: GOALS: Kate Pistel 3; Casey Thomas 3; Lane McVey 2; Anne Geraghty 1; Amy Campbell 1. ASSISTS: Caroline Atwater 3; Kate Pistel 2; Claire Donegan 1; Anne Geraghty 1. SUNY Cortland SCORING: GOALS: Jess Fritz 3; Kelly Radigan 2; Lindsay Abbott 2; Erin Kollar 2.  ASSISTS: Jess Fritz 2; Kelly Radigan 2; Lindsay Abbott 1.

SHOTS - Colby 20; SUNY Cortland 18. TURNOVERS - Colby 15; SUNY Cortland 14. CLEARS - Colby 13-15; SUNY Cortland 13-16. GOALIES - Colby: Sarah Warnke 15-3 (60:00 minutes, 14 shots-5 saves, 9 GA); Cortland: Ally Levy 17-3 (60:00, 13-3, 10).

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