Women's lacrosse ready for second round battle

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: May 11, 2012
Athletics Preview Photos

Katie Griffin scores Wednesday against Endicott. (Dustin Satloff '15 photo)

WATERVILLE, Maine --- A rested and sharp Colby College women's lacrosse team heads to Hartford this weekend, aiming to come home as a regional champion and securing the program's first-ever berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament Final Four.
The eighth-ranked Mules, who have come close the past two years in falling in national quarterfinal games, will take on 10th-ranked Messiah College in a second round game Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Trinity College. The host Bantams will entertain Buffalo State in the other regional semifinal at 11:30 a.m. The two winners will meet Sunday in a quarterfinal game at 1 p.m. All three games will be Webcast at http://www.trincoll.tv/broadcasts/index.cfm?fuseaction=usrbrd&broadcasterid=56246&mobi=0

Colby looked loose and ready to play during Wednesday's 21-5 opening round win against Endicott College on Bill Alfond Field. The Mules had played in five straight New England Small College Athletic Conference title games, but were upset in a league quarterfinal game this year. The loss gave Colby two less games to play heading into the national tourney and gave the Mules a nice break.
Colby (14-2 overall) meets a Messiah (16-3) squad which beat Rensselaer (18-8) in the first round Wednesday. The Falcons have scored 10 goals or more in 18 of their 19 games and average nearly 16 goals per contest.
While the teams have no common opponents, Messiah does have some results against NCAA tournament squads. The Falcons took a 13-10 win and fell 12-7 to Elizabethtown, who just lost 14-5 to College of New Jersey in a first round game. Messiah also had a 20-18 double-overtime loss to Catholic, which is in the NCAA second round.
The Falcons have a big-time scorer in Rachel Dirksen, who has 73 goals and 31 assists for 104 points. She also has 67 draw controls and 13 free-position goals. Lizzy Keeney leads Messiah in draw controls with 85 and is second in scoring with 57 goals and 20 assists for 77 points. Meghan Doolittle (37 goals, 5 assists) and Cecilia Kjellman (31 goals, 11 assists) are other leading scorers.
Falcon goaltender Taylor Phillips has a .451 save percentage and an 8.56 goals against average while starting most of the team's games. Rachel Coyle leads Messiah in both ground balls (52) and caused turnovers (35).
Colby All-NESCAC goaltender Michelle Burt leads the NESCAC in save percentage (.544) and has her goals against average down to 7.30. Kirsten Karis, who also made the All-NESCAC team, leads Colby in both caused turnovers (25) and ground balls (36). Kat McCarrick (16 CT, 24 GB), Lisa Hoopes (15 CT, 15 GB), and Meg Mooney (14 CT, 23 GB) have all been solid defensively for head coach Karen MacCrate Henning.
All-NESCAC attacker Lindsey McKenna reached 40 goals for the second straight season and raised her career totals to 83 goals and 11 assists for 94 points in just two years. She leads the Mules with 40 goals and seven assists for 47 points. Meanwhile, fellow attacker Sarah Lux has a team-best 25 assists and 11 goals for 35 points.
All-NESCAC midfielders Claire Donegan (20 goals, 19 assists) and Kate Pistel (24 goals, 8 assists) are both key players offensively and defensively for Colby. Donegan is second on the team in scoring, is second in draw controls, and has 14 caused turnovers. Pistel ranks fourth in scoring, second in caused turnovers (18), and is tied for third in draw controls (18).
Donegan and Pistel are the only active players above 100 career points, with Donegan at 69 goals and 81 assists for 150 points and Pistel at 79 goals and 26 assists for 105 points. McKenna is closing in on 100 points at 83 goals and 11 assists for 94 points.
Alex Mintz, who had four goals against Endicott, is sixth in scoring with 17 goals and seven assists for 24 points. She ranks first on the team -- of those with 15 shots or more -- with a nearly 61 percent shooting percentage. Katie Griffin (21 goals, 2 assists), Tess Petesch (16 goals, 6 assists), and Lane McVey (11 goals, 8 assists) are other leading scorers for the Mules.
NCAA bracket: http://www.ncaa.com/sites/default/files/external/gametool/brackets/lacrosse-women_d3_2011.pdf

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