Women's lacrosse ready to battle Cortland in NCAA game

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: May 14, 2010
Athletics Preview Photos

Sarah Warnke

WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College women's lacrosse team will attempt to do what no other Mule team before them has managed to do over the last five years --- advance past the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.

The ninth-ranked Mules, after an easy 16-5 opening round win against University of Southern Maine on Wednesday, take on fifth-ranked Cortland State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Hamilton College. The host Continentals meet Kenyon College in the other game at 11:30 a.m. The winners of the two contests meet Sunday at 1 p.m. in an NCAA quarterfinal game. All three games this weekend can be followed on live statistics at http://livestats.hamilton.edu/wlacrosse/xlive.htm

The Mules are making their fourth appearance in the past five years in the NCAA tourney, with the lone miss in 2007 a controversial one. Colby is 3-0 in first round games and last year had a first round bye. The Mules have fallen to Bowdoin College (2006), Hamilton (2008), and Middlebury College (2009) in second round games. The meeting with Cortland is intriguing since the two schools have never met in women's lacrosse play.

Colby has played well on the road over the past two years. The Mules are 19-1 in road and neutral site games, with the lone loss coming last Sunday against Williams in the NESCAC title game.

Senior All-American Amy Campbell continues to lead the Mules in scoring with 48 goals and 16 assists for 64 points. Claire Donegan (17 goals, 24 assists), Kathleen Kramer (31 goals, 5 assists), Kate Pistel (24 goals, 2 assists), Casey Thomas (13 goals, 6 assists), Caroline Atwater (12 goals, 7 assists), and Anne Geraghty (13 goals, 2 assists) are other leading scorers for Colby.

Caroline Duke has a team-high 43 caused turnovers and has 30 groundballs to lead the Mules' defense. She is up to 95 caused turnovers for her career and has 97 groundballs to go along with 50 draw controls. Junior defender Lexi Crook has 32 groundballs, 25 draw controls, and 24 caused turnovers. Mary Cummings also has 21 caused turnovers and 25 groundballs in front of junior goalie Sarah Warnke, who is 37-8 in her career in goal for the Mules.

Cortland, the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) champions, are in the NCAA tourney for the 14th time and have made it to the NCAA semifinals on one occasion. The Red Dragons, winners of nine straight games, have fallen to Hamilton (8-7) and William Smith (14-13) this season and own impressive wins against College of New Jersey (14-10), Washington & Lee (13-8), Union (13-12, OT), and Ithaca (13-8).

The Red Dragons have five players with 30 goals or more, including leading scorer Lindsay Abbott (49 goals, 33 assists). Kelly Radigan (47 goals, 25 assists), Maria Di Fato (40 goals, 18 assists), Jess Fritz (39 goals, 19 assists), and Nicki Mahoney (32 goals, 11 assists) are leading scorers. The Red Dragons have been tough on free-position shots, making 54-for-105.

Abbott has won 102 draw controls this year, while Di Fato leads the team in groundballs (68) and caused turnovers (65). Di Fato is an aggressive player, with a team-high 89 fouls (Colby's team leader has 35) and eight yellow cards.

Cortland goalie Ally Levy has played all but 89 minutes and owns a .471 save percentage and a 7.21 goals against average.

While Kenyon is playing in the NCAA tourney for the first time, Hamilton is making its sixth appearance overall and fourth straight. The Continentals are top-ranked in the country at 18-0 and won the NCAA title in 2008. Hamilton has won 36 straight home games and has not lost on its home field since April 2006.

The following is a capsule look at the four teams:

Location: Waterville, Maine
Overall record: 14-4
Road/neutral record: 8-1
Conference: NESCAC
Conference record (finish): 6-3 (Third)
National rank: No. 9
How they reached the NCAA tournament: Received an at-large bid.
Head coach: Karen MacCrate Henning, third year at Colby, 43-12 (146-33 overall)
NCAA tournament appearances (last): Fourth (2009)
NCAA tournament record: 3-3 (includes 16-5 win against Southern Maine in 2010 first round)
Goals per game: 11.5
Goals allowed per game: 7.78
Leading goal scorers: Amy Campbell '10 (48), Kathleen Kramer '10 (31), Kate Pistel '13 (24)
Assist leaders: Claire Donegan '12 (24), Campbell (16)
Starting goalie: Sarah Warnke '11 (7.96 gaa, .504 save pct., 14-3 record)

Location: Cortland, N.Y.
Overall record: 17-2
Road/neutral record: 8-1
Conference: SUNYAC
Conference record (finish): 8-0 (First)
National rank: No. 5
How they reached the NCAA championships: Defeated SUNY Brockport, 10-4, in SUNYAC tournament final
Head coach: Kathy Taylor, second year at Cortland, 31-9
NCAA tournament appearances (last): 14th (2009)
NCAA tournament record: 9-13 (includes 19-3 win against Norwich in 2010 first round)
Goals per game: 14.05
Goals allowed per game: 7.21
Leading goal scorers: Lindsay Abbott '12 (49), Kelly Radigan '12 (47), Maria Di Fato '13 (40)
Assist leaders: Abbott (33), Radigan (25)
Starting goalie: Ally Levy '13 (7.21 gaa, .471 save pct., 17-2 record)

: Clinton, N.Y.
Overall record: 18-0
Home record: 8-0
Conference: Liberty League
League record (finish): 8-0 (First)
National rank: No. 1
How they reached the NCAA championships: Defeated Union, 13-3, in Liberty League tournament final
Head coach: Patty Kloidt, eighth year at Hamilton, 110-30 (136-63) overall)
NCAA tournament appearances (last): Sixth (2009)
NCAA tournament titles: One (2008)
NCAA tournament record: 9-4
Goals per game: 15.28
Goals allowed per game: 5.83
Leading goal scorers: Liz Rave '10 (38), Rachel Friedman '13 (36), Anne Graveley '11 (34)
Assist leaders: Sarah Bray '11 (42),  Libby Schultz '12 (8)
Starting goalie: Kate Fowler '10 (6.31 gaa, .467 save pct., 18-0 record)

Location: Gambier, Ohio
Overall record: 15-2
Road/neutral record: 6-1
Conference: North Coast Athletic Conference
Conference record (finish): 5-1 (Second)
How they reached the NCAA championships: Received an at-large bid
Head coach: Meredith Buzzi, third year at Kenyon, 36-12
NCAA tournament appearances: First
NCAA tournament record: 1-0 (includes 19-14 win against Wooster in 2010 first round)
Goals per game: 15.06
Goals allowed per game: 8.35
Leading goal scorers: Emily Nichols '13 (54), Liz Hancock '10 (33), Leah Sack '13 (29)
Assist leaders: Sack (40), Margaret Sherwood '12 (15)
Starting goalie: Chase Kreuter '10 (8.63 gaa, .577 save pct., 14-2 record)

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