Lacrosse Playoff Preview: No. 4 Wilmington Begins CACC Tournament vs. No. 1 Holy Family
Friday, May 4, 2012 - New Castle, DE
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Junior Liz Case leads the team in goals and assistsJunior Kaitlyn Hallhas made 150 saves so far this seasonThe Wildcats are back in the CACC Tournament for the third time in the past four years
Live Stats starting at 1:00 p.m. http://livestats.prestosports.com/cacc/
After a brief absence last season in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference women’s lacrosse tournament, the Wilmington University Wildcats are back as the number four seed after finishing the regular season with a 9-7 overall record and a 6-6 showing in conference games.
The Wildcats will square off against the number one seed, Holy Family, on Saturday in the first of two semi-final matchups on the campus of Georgian Court University’s Lacrosse Field in Lakewood, N.J.
The first semi-final matchup will begin at 1:00 p.m. followed by the No. 2 Georgian Court University Lions and No. 3 Philadelphia University Rams at 3:00 p.m.
Scouting the No. 4 Wilmington University Wildcats:
Wilmington controlled its own destiny in the final regular season matchup of the year, but failed to convert on an opportunity to secure a playoff spot with a 17-11 loss at Chestnut Hill. But, since it won the one that counted four days earlier against Dominican, 16-15, the Wildcats earned a spot as the No. 4 seed when Philadelphia defeated Dominican on Sunday to end the CACC season.
The Wildcats have lost three of their last four games, but won the one that mattered most against Dominican. The teams finished tied with a 6-6 CACC record, but the Wildcats defeated the Chargers in both regular season matchups to earn the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Needing a win to secure a playoff spot, and a possible No. 3 seed if the cards were played right, the Wildcats fell flat against Chestnut Hill in the regular season finale. Wilmington cut the deficit to as close as 12-10 in the second half, but the Griffins retaliated with five of the next six goals to close out the game and take the win.
Wilmington had a league-leading seven members named to the All-CACC teams, on top of first year head coach Jackie Trainer who became the third Wilmington University spring head coach this season to be named the CACC Coach of the Year.
Junior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Hall, senior defender Jess Graybeal and junior attacker Liz Case were each named First Team All-CACC while junior midfielder Jaclyn Hall and senior midfielder Rebecca Guethler earned Second Team All-CACC honors. Sophomore defender Allison Kern and junior defender Brittany Rhodes were named All-CACC Honorable Mention to round out the Wildcats.
Case led the team with 34 goals, 29 assists and 63 points and was second in the CACC in assists while finishing 15th in goals and seventh in points. Kaitlyn Hall finished the regular season in the top three of all the major goaltending categories in the CACC. She finished second in goals against (186) and goals-against average (12.12) while placing third in the saves (150) and save percentage (44.6).
The Wildcats split the regular season series with Holy Family, winning the first matchup on March 20, 13-11, at home before falling at Holy Family, 15-2, on April 19. The Wildcats are the only CACC team to defeat the Tigers this season.
As a team, Wilmington is first in the CACC in groundballs (324) and caused turnovers (159). The defense has held steady all season, and is second in the conference in goals against (193) and goals-against average (11.81).
Scouting the No. 1 Holy Family University Tigers:
Holy Family (12-4, 11-1 CACC) comes into the CACC Tournament on a nine game winning streak, having not lost since a 19-11 setback at Queens College on March 24. The Tigers only loss in the CACC came to Wilmington in their second game of the CACC schedule, but has gone 1-3 outside of the CACC this season. The next closest contest in the CACC came on April 5 for the Tigers, as they edged Dominican, 16-15, in triple overtime in Orangeburg, N.Y.
The Tigers closed the regular season with a 16-11 win over Philadelphia on April 25 on Senior Day. Marissa Lawson led the offensive charge with four goals, while Brianna Lancetta, Gina Mansi, and Stephanie McNesby each recorded a hat trick with three goals apiece.
McNesby has been honored as the CACC Player of the Year while the Tigers have one First Team All-CACC member (McNesby), three Second Team All-CACC members and an All-CACC Honorable Mention.
McNesby is the first player in program history to be named Player of the Year and is earning first team honors for the first time in her career as she has compiled a career year this season. She has set new career marks in points (65), goals (48), assists (17), ground balls (42) and draw controls (119). McNesby, a two-time All-CACC selection and former Rookie of the Year, is ranked fourth in the conference in goals and fifth in total points. Her 119 draw controls are second most in the nation this season as she ranks first in Division II with 7.44 draw controls per game.
Goalkeeper Melissa Jenkins leads the conference with an 11.71 goals against average. She is also ranked second in total saves (176) and in save percentage with a career-best of .482. Jenkins is currently tied for fifth among the Division II leaders in total saves and is ranked 13th in save percentage. She will enter postseason play with exactly 700 career saves.
Holy Family (12-4, 11-1 CACC) has also put together a record-setting season as a team. The Tigers claimed the program's first-ever CACC Regular Season Title and will be the top-seed in this weekend's conference championship. The team's 12 overall wins and 11 conference victories also set new team standards. In addition, the Tigers' current nine-game winning streak is the longest in program history.
As a team, Holy Family leads the conference in goals against average (11.71) and goals against (189). The Tigers have scored 227 goals this season, which is fourth best in the conference.
All-time Series Record against Holy Family:
2009: March 24 at HFU, W 23-13; April 7 vs. HFU, W 20-7
2010: March 30 vs. HFU, L 6-12; April 6 at HFU, L 13-14 3OT; May 1 vs. #2 HFU, L 9-12 (CACC’s)
2011: March 30 vs. HFU, L 15-16; April 7 at HFU, L 8-17
2012: March 20 vs. HFU W 13-11; April 19 at HFU, L 2-15
Overall: 3-6 overall, 0-1 CACC Tournament since first meeting in 2009
All-Time Record at the CACC Tournament:
2009: April 25 at #1 Georgian Court University, L 7-23
2010: May 1 vs. #2 Holy Family University, L 9-12
Season Series vs. CACC Tournament Participants:
#1 Holy Family – split – 13-11 (W – K.Hall, 23 saves; J.Hall 3 goals); 2-15 (Taylor/Apgar 1 goal)
#2 Georgian Court – swept – 11-14 (J.Hall/Webster/Keffer 2 goals); 14-16 (J.Hall 4 goals)
#3 Philadelphia – swept – 15-16 OT (K.Hall 15 saves, Case/Kroll 4 goals); 13-17 (Case/J.Hall/McCurry 3 goals)
2012 CACC Women’s Lacrosse Tournament Game Schedule at Georgian Court University:
Saturday, May 5, 2012
(#1) Holy Family (12-4, 11-1) vs. (#4) Wilmington (9-7, 6-6) - 1:00 p.m.
(#2) Georgian Court (11-6, 9-3) vs. (#3) Philadelphia (8-9, 7-5) - 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
CACC Championship - 12 p.m.