Trinity Women's Lacrosse Hosts NCAA Regionals This Weekend, Bantams Face F&M Saturday

Morgan Strabley '20
Morgan Strabley '20

Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College women's lacrosse team, which downed Babson, 16-5, on Sunday in the NCAA Division III Championship Second Round to improve to 15-4, has advanced to the NCAA Regionals and will host the event on Robin L. Sheppard Field on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21. The Bantams will play Franklin and Marshall in the NCAA Third Round on Saturday at 11:30 a.m., immediately following by the other third round game between the Messiah College Falcons and the York College Spartans at 2:30 p.m., and the winners will advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Sunday's victor will advance to the NCAA National Semifinals and Finals, which Trinity has participated in each of the last five seasons, in Salem, Va. on May 27 and 28.  Trinity, coached by Katy Dissinger (3rd Season), is playing in its 10th NCAA Tournament in the last 11 years and also participated in 1995, 1997, and 1998. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for seniors and students with ID, and $2 for seniors children ages 3 to 12.  All Trinity students will be admitted free courtesy of the athletic department.

Game Notes

The Bantams received an at-large invitation to the 2017 NCAA Division III Championship Tournament, after finishing tied with Colby. Hamilton, and Middlebury at the top of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Standings, and had a bye in the NCAA Tournament First Round.  Trinity has now qualified for the NCAA Tournament 14 times, owning a 27-11 all-time record in the tourney and reaching the NCAA Quarterfinals in 12 of those years including the last seven in a row.  The Bantams won their first league crown in 2011 and entered the NCAA Tournament undefeated, before losing in the quarterfinal round.  In 2012, Trinity recovered from a 7-6 loss to Amherst in its regular-season finale to win the NESCAC and NCAA Championships with eight consecutive wins including an 8-7 win over Salisbury in the finals.  Trinity raced to a 21-0 record in 2013 before suffering its lone loss of the year, 12-5, in the NCAA Finals to Salisbury.  In 2014, Trinity outscored three early NCAA opponents, 48-17, and shocked undefeated and top-ranked Cortland State, 8-7, in the semifinals before falling to Salisbury, 9-6, in the championship game. Two years ago, Trinity lost its season opener, 11-10, at Colby, rattled off 21 consecutive victories to reach a fourth NCAA Finals in a row, but lost, 17-6, against Cortland State in the championship game.  Last spring, Trinity received a first-round bye, downed Ithaca, 11-8, in the second round, and defeated Mary Washington, College of New Jersey, and Franklin and Marshall by a combined score of 30-13 before succumbing to Middlebury in the NCAA Finals, 9-5, in Chester, Pa.

Trinity, ranked No. 2 in the New England Region and No. 10 nationally, overwhelmed Babson with 11 first-half goals en route to the 16-5 victory on Sunday, as junior attacker Abby McInerney (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) led the offensive onslaught with four goals.  Fellow junior attacker Kiley Coffey (West Newbury, Mass.) had a hat trick, while senior tri-captain midfielder Karly Simpson (South Hadley, Mass.) and sophomore midfielder Mary French (Gloucester, Mass.) scored twice each, and senior attacker Emma Malicki (Loudonville, N.Y.) contributed two assists.  Coffey and junior midfielder Allie Barrett (Concord, Mass.) also had three draw controls apiece, while senior Kathryn DeLillio (Wilmington, Del.) and junior Clare Nowlan (Needham, Mass.) combined for six ground balls and five caused turnovers on the back line on Sunday.  Trinity junior goalkeeper Zoe Ferguson (Ridgewood, N.J.) made five saves.

Trinity ranks third in the NESCAC in scoring defense (7.17 GAA), while Ferguson tops the conference rankings in saves with 145 and save percentage at .529 (20th in nation) and second in GAA at 7.11 (19th in nation).  Senior tri-captain attacker Clare Lyne (Concord, Mass.), a two-time All-American, is the league's second-leading scorer with 68 points on 46 goals (4th in NESCAC) and 22 assists (3rd in NESCAC) in addition to being Trinity's all-time leader in draw controls with 224 including a team-high 46 this season.  Coffey is top goal-scorer in the league with 52 goals and ranks second on the Bantams with 53 total points, while McInerney adds 35 goals and 13 assists and Simpson has 22 goals and 13 assists.  Barrett and classmate Grace O'Donnell (Yarmouth, Maine) have totaled 50 points between them to give the Bantams six players with 20 or more points this spring.  Lyne and McInerney have combined for 92 draw controls, senior defender Lara Guida (Mendham, N.J.) and Nowlan have a team-high 26 ground balls apiece, and Nowlan adds a team-high 23 caused turnovers.  Guida and Nowlan, and first-year Sarah Montalbano (Huntington, N.Y..) have been consistent all spring on the Trinity back line, while senior Kathryn DeLillio (Wilmington, Del.) has come back strong from an injury to round out the Trinity defense. Ferguson, Lyne, and Nowlan were named to the 2017 All-NESCAC First Team, while all three joined Coffey on the IWLCA All-Berkshire Region First Team, and McInerney and Simpson both also graced the All-Berkshire Region Second Team. 

Franklin and Marshall, coached by Mike Faith (5th Season), is making its 19th appearance in the NCAA Tournament overall and its 11th in the last 12 years, having won its second round game at home against Cabrini, 17-7, on Sunday after receiving a first-round bye.  Paige Moriarty is a lethal finisher for the Diplomats with 51 goals and 44 assists, while Maddie Hughes adds 34 goals and eight assists, and Gabby Frank boasts 29 goals 23 assists.  Vanessa Budd leads Franklin & Marshall defensively with 31 caused turnovers and 29 ground balls, while goalie Danielle Harrington has 108 saves for a .502 save percentage and a 6.38 GAA.  Saturday's game will be the third meeting between Trinity and the Diplomats, and the Bantams have won all three including a 11-6 win in the 2015 NCAA Semifinals and a 6-2 victory in the same round last season.  Franklin & Marshall finished ranked No. 5 in the Mid-Atlantic Region in the IWLCA National Poll.  Messiah is 16-2 and ranked No. 4 in the Mid-Atlantic and in the nation, while York is 15-3 and ranked No. 3 in the Mid-Atlantic and No. 11 in the nation.  The Falcons defeated Cortland State, 14-13, in their second round NCAA game and the Spartans won, 5-4, against St. John Fisher.  Trinity has never faced either of its potential Sunday foes.

NCAA Bracket