Women's lacrosse ready for NCAA regional

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: May 13, 2011
Athletics Preview Photos

Anne Geraghty (Charlie Spatz Photography)

WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College women's lacrosse team heads back to New York for the second straight year for an NCAA Division III Tournament Regional when the Mules travel to Cortland State for a 2:30 p.m. game with Hamilton College on Saturday in a second round game.

Tufts University and Cortland play in the other regional semifinal at 11:30 a.m. The winners of the semifinal games will play in a regional final Sunday at 1 p.m. for the right to head to the NCAA Final Four.

All three contests will have live statistics at http://www.cortland.edu/athletics/wlacrosse/live/xlive.htm

Colby (14-4 overall) could get the reverse of what they did last year at the regional finals at Hamilton College. The Mules took a hard-fought semifinal win over Cortland State and then fell to Hamilton in the national quarterfinal. Colby gets Hamilton first this season and could play against Cortland on Sunday.

The Mules won an NCAA first round game for the fourth time in four games with Wednesday's 17-4 win over Norwich University. Colby went 7-0 on Bill Alfond Field this season. The Mules are 3-1 in neutral site games, losing only to unbeaten Trinity College in a game in Florida.

Lindsey McKenna, the NESCAC Rookie of the Year, continues to put up huge numbers in her first season. She has 39 goals and four assists to lead the Mules in scoring with 43 points. McKenna has the 39 goals on just 70 shots (56 percent) and also has 17 draw controls.

Kate Pistel (25 goals, 13 assists), who earned All-NESCAC First Team honors, is in the top three on Colby in groundballs (28), draw controls (25), and caused turnovers (15). Sarah Lux is first on the Mules in assists (24) and has 11 goals for 35 points, Casey Thomas has 19 goals and 12 assists, Claire Donegan is at 13 goals and 15 assists despite missing six games due to injury, and Anne Geraghty is having her best season at Colby with 21 goals. First-year Katharine Eddy, who has 16 goals and four assists, continues to take draws for the Mules and leads the way with 33 draw controls.  

All-NESCAC First Team selection Lexi Crook had a dominating defensive game against Norwich on Wednesday. She had five groundballs, four caused turnovers, and two draw controls while also playing a key role in Colby's clear attempts. Crook has 122 career groundballs, 72 caused turnovers, and 83 draw controls.

Mary Cummings, an All-NESCAC Second Team pick along with McKenna, is up to 89 career groundballs and has 61 caused turnovers. Sophomore Lisa Hoopes added five groundballs and three caused turnovers in front of senior goalie Sarah Warnke, who moved to 52-13 in her career with the Mules.

The Mules have scored 229 goals this season and continue to get great scoring balance. Fourteen players have nine points or more on the season and nine players have scored 10 goals or more.

Hamilton advanced to the regional semifinals with a 14-7 win against Brockport State. The game was tied 6-6 at halftime before Hamilton took control in the final 30 minutes. The Continentals have been one of the most successful teams in the country over the past three seasons, making three trips to the NCAA Final Four. Hamilton won the national title in 2008, was a semifinalist in 2009, and lost in the final a year ago.

The Continentals (18-1), who fell 12-9 at home to Cortland earlier in the season, are loaded with offensive talent. Rachel Friedman has a team-high 68 goals and 16 assists for 84 points. Sarah Bray is one of the top all-around players in the country with 41 goals, 39 assists, 57 groundballs, 36 draw controls, and 31 caused turnovers. Libby Schultz (34 goals, 15 assists) and Ann Graveley (28 goals, 8 assists) are other leading scorers.

Hamilton goalies Nicole Nietlisbach, Dewi Caswell, and Sam Elie have all played at least 320 minutes. All three of the goalies have save percentages below 50 percent.

Cortland (19-1) cruised to a 21-3 first round win over Keene State on Wednesday to secure the opportunity to host the regional. Lindsay Abbott, the SUNYAC Player of the Year, has 52 goals and 65 assists for 117 points. Maria DiFato (58 goals, 21 assists) and Ashley Cook (48 goals, 25 assists) also have 70 points or more this season.

Red Dragon goalie Ally Levy is unbeaten this season while playing the majority of minutes and has a .511 save percentage.

Tufts (12-6) also heads to Cortland after posting a 17-6 win at Endicott College in the NCAA first round Wednesday. Lara Kozin leads the offense with 38 goals and 49 assists for 87 points, while Casey Egan has 38 goals and 25 assists for 63 points.

The Jumbos, who lost 11-10 at Colby early in the season, have had goaltending problems. Sara Bloom has just a 40 percent save percentage.

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