Hartford, Conn. – Sophomore midfielder Caroline Hayes (Greenland, N.H.) tallied a career-high eight points with five goals and three assists to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 17-8 victory over the visiting Montclair State University Red Hawks in the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Championship First Round this evening on Sheppard Field. The defending NCAA Champion Bantams improve to 18-0 with their College-record 26th consecutive win, and advance to the NCAA Second Round this weekend. Montclair State closes its season at 15-5. The NCAA Second Round and Quarterfinals will take place on Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12 on Sheppard Field. The Bantams face the winner of tonight’s game between Redlands and Augustana (Ill.) on Saturday, while Eastern Connecticut plays College of New Jersey and Colby plays Lasell this evening with the winners advancing to the second round in Hartford.
“Our performance was great at times and we hit some lulls at other points during the game,” said Trinity Head Coach Kate Livesay (7th Season). “We converted our free positions, and maintained our composure against a feisty Montclair State team.”
Trinity led wire-to-wire, wasting no time getting on the board on the first shot of the game’s first possession by junior attacker Shea Kusiak (Longmeadow, Mass.) 22 seconds into the contest to ignite a 4-0 run. Hayes scored 2:04 into the game, followed by a goal by senior tri-captain midfielder Megan Leonhard (Summit, N.J.), and Hayes fed senior attacker Hadley Duncan (Rye, N.Y.) at the 22:15 mark to complete the spurt. Sophomore midfielder Jenna Bussiere (Dayton, N.J.) netted the first Montclair State goal 12:08 into the first half, and Hayes traded goals with Red Hawk senior tri-captain attacker Kailee Beal (Succasunna, N.J.) to make the score, 5-2, just after the midpoint of the opening period. The Bantams rattled off five of the last six goals before the break, including the last two by Hayes. Trinity first-year midfielder Martha Griffin (Exeter, N.H.) assisted a streaking Hayes for the last tally of the first half with one second on the clock.
Duncan scored from Hayes to open the second half, answered by the second of Beal’s three scores in the game, but rookie attacker Molly Cox (Norwell, Mass.) scored twice and Hayes once on free positions for a 14-4 Bantam lead with 16:24 left to play. The Red Hawks outscored the Bantams, 4-3, over the last half of the second half, including three Montclair State goals off assists by sophomore attacker Tierney Conlon (Caldwell, N.J.).
Trinity outshot Montclair State, 33-13, won the ground ball battle, 16-10, and won 16 of 26 draws while forcing 23 turnovers and committing 16. The teams combined for eight free-position goals in 17 tries, and Trinity scored three goals with an extra player. Leonhard scored four times for Trinity, while both Cox and Duncan had hat tricks, and senior attacker Kaitlin Hildebrand (Berwyn, Pa.) finished with a goal and two assists for the Trinity offense. Hayes added three ground balls and three draw controls to her eight points, while senior tri-captain defender Mallory Hinman (Longmeadow, Mass.) collected three ground balls, three draw controls, and a game-high three caused turnovers, and senior tri-captain goalie Olivia Whitney (Danvers, Mass.) made a pair of saves including a point-blank stop late in the first half. Conlon finished with four assists for the Red Hawks, while junior midfielder Kelly Schoneveld (Denville, N.J.) added two goals and one assist to go with her game-high seven draw controls. Montclair State senior backstop Tiffani Henderson (Landing, N.J.) made 10 saves.
“Mallory Hinman was big for us defensively today, breaking up plays and bothering their attacker,” added Livesay. “Caroline Hayes did a nice job finishing for us against an excellent goalie.”