NCAA women's lacrosse championship 1st/2nd round preview

NCAA women's lacrosse championship 1st/2nd round preview

Hamilton College hosts the first and second rounds of the 2017 NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship at Steuben Field on Saturday and Sunday, May 13 and 14.

Championship program

Regis College and Salisbury University square off in the first round on Saturday at 1 p.m. The two programs have never played each other. The winner takes on Hamilton in the second round on Sunday at 1 p.m. Salisbury is located in Salisbury, Maryland, and Regis is in Weston, Mass. 

Ticket prices for each day are $6 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens and $2 for children ages 3 to 12.

The Continentals (12-5 overall) are making their ninth appearance in the NCAA championship and they have a 14-7 all-time record in the event. Hamilton received one of the nine at-large bids to the championship after the Continentals tied for first place in the NESCAC standings with an 8-2 record during the regular season and defeated Bowdoin College in a 2017 NESCAC Women's Lacrosse Championship quarterfinal.

Hamilton is ranked 12th in the May 8 Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Division III Top 20 poll and third in the NCAA's New England Region. The Continentals have never played Regis but they are 2-3 against Salisbury. Four of those five meetings against the Sea Gulls have come in NCAA play, including 2015 when Hamilton edged Salisbury 9-8 in double overtime in the second round down in Maryland. In the Continentals' previous eight NCAA appearances, they have won at least one game every time.

Morgan Fletcher '17, who was voted to the NESCAC all-conference first team last week, leads Hamilton with 40 points, 15 assists, 35 ground balls and 27 caused turnovers. Darby Philbrick '18 and Kara Pooley '19 made the all-conference second team. Philbrick tops the team with 30 goals and 36 draw controls while Pooley has 35 points on 23 goals and 12 assists. Nora Klemmer '17 adds 34 points on 21 goals and 13 helpers, and Casey File '17 has scored 25 goals. Hannah Burrall '19 (7.65 GAA, .482 save pct.) made a career-high 18 saves in a NESCAC semifinal setback against Trinity College on May 6 and has started all but one game in goal. Head coach Patty Kloidt has a record of 187-76 in her 15th year with the Continentals. Hamilton averages 9.47 goals per game and has a 7.59 team goals against average.

Salisbury (13-5) is in the championship for the 18th time and the Sea Gulls have a record of 40-14 in the event. Salisbury earned the automatic bid out of the Capital Athletic Conference after the Sea Gulls won their 14th straight conference title on April 29. Salisbury finished second in the conference with a 7-1 record during the regular season, but defeated third seed University of Mary Washington 11-5 in a tournament semifinal and knocked off regular season champion York College of Pennsylvania 7-2 in the final.

The Sea Gulls are ranked ninth in the latest coaches poll and seventh in the NCAA's Mid-Atlantic Region. Dana King leads the team with 57 points on 32 goals and 25 assists. Kristen Murphy (18-23-41), Lindsey Wagner (22-18-40) and Gabbi Nieves (31-6-37) round out Salisbury's top four point producers. Kieran Kelleher has a team-high 26 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers and Allison Hynson has won 32 draws. Gianna Falcone (6.89 GAA, .474 save pct.) has started 16 games in goal. The Sea Gulls average 11.33 goals per game and have a 6.22 team goals against average. Head coach Jim Nestor has a record of 289-37 in his 16th year at Salisbury.

Regis (15-4) is in the championship for the third straight year after the Pride made their NCAA debut in 2015. Regis is still searching for its first win in this event. The Pride earned the automatic bid out of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) after they won the conference tournament for the fifth year in a row. Regis went 8-0 in the NECC during the regular season, cruised to a 13-5 win against Wheelock College in a conference semifinal and posted a 15-13 victory against Elms College in the NECC championship. Linsay Bumila was named the tournament's MVP.

Kerri Anselmo leads the Pride's offense with 82 points on 62 goals and 20 assists. Brooke Ross (29), Nicole Roche (23) and Mackenzie Cattaruzza (20) all have 20 or more goals this year. Taylor Assarian adds 36 points on 18 goals and 18 helpers. Bumila has scooped up a team-high 48 ground balls and won 51 draws and Cattaruzza has caused 22 turnovers. Maresa Malcolm (7.03 GAA, .442 save pct.) has started 16 games in goal. Regis scores 13.16 goals per game and has a 7.00 team goals against average. Head coach Courtney Duggan has a record of 54-20 in her fourth year with the Pride.