Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College women's lacrosse team, which downed Castleton State, 16-4, on Saturday in the NCAA Division III Championship Second Round to improve to 16-2 with its 12th victory in a row, has advanced to the NCAA Regionals at Gettysburg College's Clark Field on Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18. The Bantams will play the SUNY Fredonia Blue Devils in the NCAA Second Round on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., following the Gettysburg/Middlebury game in the other second round matchup at 11:30 a.m., and the winners will advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals on Sunday at 3 p.m. Sunday's victor will advance to the NCAA National Semifinals and Finals, which Trinity has participated in each of the last two seasons, at the same site on May 24 and 25. Trinity, ranked No. 3 in the nation, is making its seventh trip in the last eight years to the NCAA Tournament and also participated in 1995, 1997, and 1998. Tickets for this weekend's games will be $3 for adults, $2 for students, and $1 for children ages 3-12.
The 2012 NCAA Champion Bantams, coached by Kate Livesay (8th Season), won the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) title for the fourth consecutive year two weekends ago and received a bye in the NCAA Tournament First Round. Last spring, Trinity won its first 21 games before suffering a 12-5 setback in the NCAA Championship game against Salisbury in a re-match of the 2012 NCAA Finals. Trinity is making its third trip to Gettysburg for the NCAA Regionals, having lost, 12-5, to the Bullets in the 2007 quarterfinals and, 17-3, to them in the 2010 quarters after a 17-8 victory over Stevens at Clark Field the previous day.
Trinity has now qualified for the NCAA Tournament 10 times, owning an 15-8 all-time record in the tourney and reaching the NCAA Quarterfinals in eight of those years. The Bantams defeated Salisbury, 8-7, to win the first NCAA Women's title in College history in 2012, and downed, Montclair State, 17-8, Augustana (Ill.), 19-2, TCNJ, 12-7, and Cortland State, 8-6, to advance to the final game a year ago. Trinity has a 7-1 record against the 36 teams who made the tourney, having won, 17-6, against Wheaton (Mass.), 10-9 at Middlebury, 7-4, against Amherst, and, 8-6, against Colby during the regular season, while beating Colby again, 13-10, in the NESCAC Semifinals, and losing, 11-8, against Salisbury in Florida on March 18. Fredonia State has a 12-6 record and won, 9-8, in dramatic fashion over Rensselaer for the program's first NCAA win on Saturday in the first round of the tourney. The Blue Devils are 2-4 against the tourney field with a 17-8 loss at Stevenson on March 2, two losses to Geneseo State (9-8 and 12-9), a 14-2 setback against Cortland State, and the second round win over RPI.
Ten different players found the back of the net against Castleton State, led by sophomore midfielder Martha Griffin (Exeter, N.H.) who totaled a hat trick plus four ground balls and three caused turnovers. Junior attacker Molly Cox (Norwell, Mass.), junior middie Caroline Hayes (Greenland, N.H.), and rookies Betsy Craig (Kennebunk, Maine) and Emma Malicki (Loudonville, N.Y.) each scored twice, while senior tri-captain attacker Shea Kusiak (Longmeadow, Mass.) recorded a pair of assists, and Hayes and Craig added assists as well. First-year midfielder Meghan Collins (Marblehead, Mass.) collected team-highs of five ground balls and five caused turnovers on Saturday, while sophomore Emily Mooney (New York, N.Y.) and junior Bridget Kitchen (North Andover, Mass.) each made a save in goal.
Trinity leads the NESCAC in caused turnovers with 10.5 per game and ranks second defensively with a 7.18 GAA (9th in nation), while featuring a balanced scoring attack that includes eight double-digit point scorers. Griffin leads the Bantam offense with team-highs of 37 goals (T8th in NESCAC) and 15 assists for 52 points (9th in NESCAC), while Hayes adds 29 goals and 11 assists, Cox has 33 goals and four assists, and senior tri-captain attacker Kathleen Timmons (Branford, Conn.) contributes 15 goals and 14 assists. First Team All-NESCAC sophomore defender Ashley Stewart (Dover, Mass.) has a team-high 39 ground balls, Hayes leads the Bantams in draw controls with 44, and senior defender Midge Daniel (Wellesley, Mass.) adds a team-high 25 caused turnovers. Mooney has 77 saves and ranks second in the conference with a 6.82 GAA with a 15-2 record in 923 minutes in goal. The back line of First Team All-NESCAC senior tri-captain Lyndsey Shepard (Hamilton, Mass.), Daniel, Stewart, and first-year Kathryn DeLillio (Wilmington, Del.) has combined for 121 ground balls and 84 caused turnovers. Junior midfielder Lindsay Mullaney (Boston, Mass.) has been a consistent starter in all facets of the game, totaling 14 goals, 30 ground balls, 20 draw controls, and 23 caused turnovers, while Kusiak, an All-NESCAC Second Teamer, and junior attacker Renee Olsen (Ridgewood, N.J.) have 31 goals and 16 assists from the attack position between them this spring.
Fredonia State, coached by Chris Case (8th Season), entered the NCAA Tournament with a three-game losing streak but shocked Rensselaer with a 9-8 victory on Saturday thanks to a last-second goal by Juliana Kotas for the first post-season win in the 19-year history of the program. Marissa Cussins is the top Blue Devil scorer with 55 goals and 11 assists, while Katie Klein adds 25 goals and a team-high 28 assists, and Jessica Zagari has 74 saves and an 8.00 GAA in the Fredonia State goal. Fredonia is 0-1 all-time against Trinity due to a 31-4 defeat in 1999 in Hartford.