Trinity Women's Lax Hosts NCAA Regionals This Weekend, Opens Against Buffalo State
Hartford, Conn., May 11, 2012 –The Trinity College women's lacrosse team, which won easily against Bridgewater State, 16-1, on Wednesday in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament First Round to improve to 17-1 with its fourth victory in a row, has advanced to the NCAA Regional Championship Tournament and will host the event on Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13. The Bantams will play the Buffalo State College Bengals in the NCAA Second Round on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. on Sheppard Field, followed by Colby v. Messiah in the other second round matchup at 2:30 p.m., and the winners will advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals on Sunday at 1 p.m. Sunday's victor will head to Montclair State in New Jersey the following weekend for the NCAA National Semifinals and Finals. Tickets for this weekend's games will be $5 for adults, $3 for students, and children under 12 will be admitted free of charge. Buffalo State has a 14-6 record and defeated Springfield, 18-10, in its NCAA Opener Wednesday. Trinity is making its fifth trip in the last six years to the NCAA Tournament and also participated in 1995, 1997, and 1998. The Bantams will be competing in the Regional Championship for the seventh time, including most recently last spring when Trinity received the lone bye in the event and defeated Middlebury, 10-9 (OT), in the NCAA Second Round before falling to Bowdoin in the Regional Finals, 9-6, for its only loss of the spring.
Trinity, coached by Kate Livesay (6th Season), earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tourney due to an 11-10 win against Middlebury in the NESCAC Finals on Sunday for its second consecutive league crown. Trinity has a 6-1 record against the 31-team tournament field, having also won, 13-9, at Middlebury, 14-13, on a last-second goal at Catholic, beaten Colby, 11-9, on April 6 and won at Springfield, 12-6, on April 11. Trinity and Buffalo State, which earned its second win against six losses against the teams in the tourney on Wednesday, share five common opponents, as both downed Springfield, Hamilton, and Union, each squad lost to Amherst, and the Bengals dropped a 17-8 game against Colby.
Against Bridgewater State, senior co-captain Liz Bruno (Andover, Mass.) collected a goal, three assists, four ground balls, and five caused turnovers, while classmate Caite Irvine (Westwood, Mass.) recorded a hat trick, and junior Mallory Hinman (Longmeadow, Mass.) notched three caused turnovers to highlight the Bantam defense that held its opponent to just two shots and scoreless for the first 28:30 of the contest. Trinity ranks second in scoring among NESCAC teams with 12.29 goals per game, featuring a balanced attack with just Duncan appearing amidst the top ten in the league in points with 55 points on 50 goals (3rd in NESCAC) and five assists. Irvine has 43 goals and junior midfielder Megan Leonhard (Summit, N.J.) adds 42 goals. Bruno is the sixth-leading assister in the NESCAC with 26 to go with her 19 goals for 45 points, while Leonhard has six assists for a total of 48 points, and Irvine adds four assists for 47 points. Bruno is a three-time All-American and the 2011 NESCAC Player of the Year, while Leonhard and Irvine were 2011 First Team All-Americans and 2010 Third Team All-Americans, respectively, and both earned all-league honors this spring. Bruno leads the squad in ground balls, draw controls and caused turnovers with 43 of each, while Leonhard boasts 40 ground balls, 40 draw controls, and 20 caused turnovers.
Junior goalie Olivia Whitney (Danvers, Mass.) is fourth among conference goalkeepers with a 7.47 GAA on 120 goals allowed to go with 77 saves. Six different Bantams have 20 or more points this spring, as sophomore attacker Shea Kusiak (Longmeadow, Mass.) adds 14 goals and 12 assists, and first-year midfielder Caroline Hayes (Greenland, N.H.) is Trinity's top-scoring rookie with 22 goals and three assists. Junior attacker Kaitlin Hildebrand (Berwyn, Pa.), who had 20 goals in 2011, has provided scoring punch off the bench since returning from an early-season injury with nine goals and six assists in eight games, while junior Haley Thompson (Ipswich, Mass.) is a versatile and valuable attacker who contributes in all facets of the game. Senior co-captain defender and All-NESCAC First-Teamer Liza Beckler (Potomac, Md.) leads a tough and consistent Bantam defense that has four members who have each started all 18 games this spring. Hinman and Hillary McNamara (Milton, Mass.), who switched smoothly from attack to the back this season, and sophomore Lyndsey Shepard (Hamilton, Mass.) have combined for 114 ground balls and 70 caused turnovers, including 37 grounders and 28 turnovers caused by all-league honoree Hinman.
Buffalo State is 14-6 after an 18-10 triumph over Springfield on Wednesday in its NCAA Opener. The Bengals, coached by Meg Stevens, earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tourney after reaching the SUNYAC Finals with a 16-13 victory over Fredonia State only to fall to Cortland State, 12-5, in their league championship. In the Springfield game, Karen Shaddock totaled 13 points on 10 goals and three assists, while Kendyl Clarkson added two goals and six assists, and Colleen George made three saves in the Buffalo State cage. Shaddock is the Bengal scorer with 106 goals and 41 assists, while Clarkson adds 35 goals and 86 assists, and George has a 12.34 GAA and 129 saves in goal.