Mass. College Lax: Amherst Looks To Capture First Crown Since 2003

By Matt Noonan 

Amherst College’s women’s lacrosse team will look to capture its first national title this weekend since defeating NESCAC foe Middlebury, 11-9, in 2003 at St. John Fisher.

In order for the Jeffs to reach the championship on Sunday, they’ll have to defeat Salisbury, who captured their second Division III crown last season with a 12-5 win over Trinity (Conn.).

Tomorrow’s semifinal matchup, which will take place in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, will be the fourth meeting between the Jeffs and Sea Gulls, according to the Salisbury website/game preview. Their last meeting occurred in 2007 with Salisbury claiming an 11-4 win.

“Postseason – it’s about execution (and) it’s about decreasing your unforced errors and it’s about just playing smart,” Amherst head coach Chris Paradis said in an interview following the Jeffs’ 8-5 win over TCNJ last weekend. “I think we’re doing that.

“We’ve been talking about (how) every game is going to get more challenging from here on in, so you’ve got to increase your ability to read a situation and make sure you’re making the right decision before you have the ball leave your stick.”

The Jeffs, who commenced their current campaign winning 14 straight contests, have won 19 games this season, a program-record (their most wins in program history was 18, which was set by the national championship unit from 2003). Amherst punched its ticket to the NCAA Division III semifinals by defeating TCNJ in the quarterfinals, York in third round and Bridgewater State in the second round. The Jeffs earned a first-round bye, as well as an automatic bid to the playoffs.

According to the weekend preview, which can be accessed on the team’s athletic page, Amherst has participated in the NCAA Tournament 11 times, including this season. They’re 22-9 in postseason play and making their first trip to the semifinal round since 2004.

Rachel Passarelli leads the Purple and White in points (52) on 41 goals and 11 assists, while Krista Zsitvay, who’s registered 51 points in 20 contests, ranks first in goals (43). Against TCNJ, Zsitvay led all scorers with four markers. She recorded three points against York and Bridgewater State, netting two tallies and assisting on one strike in both contests.

Amherst has outscored their opponents this postseason, 40-12, and averaging 13 goals per game. They’ve also outshot their foes, 71-39. Goaltender Christy Forrest has turned away 20 shots, including 11 against York.

Excluding their point leaders, the Jeffs will lean on their senior class this weekend, according to Paradis, who commended each player for their effort this season, both on and off the field.

“I think they’ve set the tone all year,” said Paradis. “They’ve held each other accountable, they’ve set the bar high in terms of their leadership of vocally and how they carry themselves, and they’ve just all been just phenomenal – phenomenal leaders just right down the line, all five of them.”

The Amherst senior class is made up of Zsitvay, Alex Philie, Annelies O’Dea, Caroline Holliday and Elizabeth Ludlow.

Salisbury, which is ranked second in the nation, is making its seventh appearance in the semifinals in the last eight seasons. They’ve won championships in 2010 and 2013, but came up short in 2012 against the Bantams. The Sea Gulls concluded their regular season slate undefeated for the 12th consecutive year, and earned postseason wins against Farmingdale State, Augustana (Ill.) and Franklin & Marshall.

The winner advances to Sunday’s championship against SUNY Cortland or Trinity at 2:30 p.m. The Bantams and Red Dragons will meet in the first semifinal contest, which is scheduled for 1 p.m.

“I think all along this season we knew we had something special,” said Paradis. “We knew it was within our grasp (of reaching the semifinals). The challenge was to stay focused; one game at a time and this team has managed to do that. They’ve played with a lot of heart and a lot of determination.

“It’s a dream, but at the same time I think we knew it was also definitely that was something realistic for us.”

Quick Note: Quotes for this post were courtesy of the Amherst College Athletic Department’s YouTube Channel (AmherstSports). The video was ‘Amherst vs. TCNJ.’

Mass. College Lax: Local Players Selected To IWLCA D3 Al-America Teams

By NoontimeSports.com 

The Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) honored 48 student-athletes yesterday with a selection to the IWLCA Division III All-America teams.

Below is a list of five local players that earned spots on either the First, Second or Third teams.

Alex Philie (Amherst College) – First Team

Rebecca McGovern (Williams College) – Second Team

Brigid Bowser (Tufts University) – Third Team

Emily Wright (Tufts University) – Third Team

Krista Zsitvay (Amherst College) – Third Team

Mass. College Lax: News & Notes From Yesterday’s Amherst, Tufts NCAA Victories

By Matt Noonan 

Additional notes on yesterday’s NCAA Division III Tournament victories by Amherst College and Tufts University.

* Amherst College’s women’s lacrosse team will be making its sixth appearance in the NCAA Division III semifinals on Saturday when the Jeffs take on Salisbury University in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The last time the Jeffs competed in the semifinals was in 2004.

* Amherst’s 19 wins are the most the Jeffs have recorded in program-history. The Jeffs’ 18 wins – recorded by the 2003 national championship squad – was the most victories recorded in a season prior to yesterday’s win over TCNJ.

* The Jeffs, who started the season 14-0, finished 10-0 in Amherst. They’re also 22-9 all-time in 11 NCAA Tournament play and 6-2 in quarterfinal contests.

* Yesterday’s win for the Jeffs against the Lions was their fourth in seven postseason meetings with TCNJ. The Lions previously defeated the Jeffs in the second round in 2012.

* Tufts University’s men’s lacrosse team will be making its third appearance in the championship on Sunday when the Jumbos meet Salisbury University at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore Maryland, the home of the Baltimore Ravens.

* Tufts has faced-off against Salisbury twice in the title game with the Jumbos prevailing in 2010, while the Sea Gulls captured the 2011 meeting.

* According to the Tufts Athletics Website, the Jumbos’ 21-11 victory snapped RIT’s 30-game home winning streak (spanned the last three seasons). Also, the last time the Tigers surrendered 20 goals in a game was on March 3, 2010, a 20-10 setback to Stevenson.

Media Coverage:

* From the Democratic & Chronicle’s coverage of yesterday’s RIT-Tufts semifinal contest: “We know there’s a certain amount of plays in a lacrosse game and we made more of them today than they made. They ended our season last year and we remember that and remember what that felt like. What they’re going through right now, we know hat that feels,” Tufts head coach Mike Daly said.

* The Daily Hampshire Gazette recaps the Jeffs’ quarterfinal win in their ‘Weekend Colleges’ roundup

Mass. College Lax: Tufts, Salisbury To Face-Off In NCAA D3 Championship

Tufts' Beau Wood recorded seven goals and one assist today against RIT in the NCAA Div. III semifinals. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan)
Tufts’ Beau Wood recorded seven goals and one assist today against RIT in the NCAA Div. III semifinals. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan)

By Matt Noonan 

Tufts University’s men’s lacrosse team will take on Salisbury University next Sunday, May 25 at 1 p.m. in the NCAA Division III Championship, which will be held in Baltimore, Maryland at M&T Bank Stadium (the home of the Baltimore Ravens).

The Jumbos, who have appeared in the title round twice, earned its third trip in program history to the finals by knocking off RIT in this afternoon’s semifinals, 21-11. Beau Wood paced the Jumbos with eight points on seven goals and one assist, while goaltender Patton Watkins turned away 20 shots.

The Sea Gulls (Salisbury) defeated Washington (Md.) this evening, 13-8, in the other semifinal matchup, which was hosted by Salisbury. The Sea Gulls led, 6-5, at the break and then netted seven goals in the final two stanzas to secure the win.

Both Tufts and Salisbury have met twice in the finals with the Jumbos winning the first contest in 2010 (Tufts’s only national championship), while the Sea Gulls won the following season in 2011. The Sea Gulls also won the championship in 2012, their 10th National Title in program history, but fell short of a three-peat last year when they lost to Stevenson in the semifinals, 12-6.

For more on the NCAA Division III Tournament – HOP HERE

Mass. College Lax: Amherst, Tufts Caps Weekend With NCAA Tourney Wins

Tufts' men's lacrosse team advanced to its third NCAA Tournament Championship next weekend with a 21-11 semifinal victory over RIT this afternoon! (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)
Tufts’ men’s lacrosse team advanced to its third NCAA Tournament Championship next weekend with a 21-11 semifinal victory over RIT this afternoon! (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Both Amherst College and Tufts University punched their tickets to the final weekend of the 2014 college lacrosse season with tournament semifinal and quarterfinal victories this afternoon. The Jeffs rallied to defeat TCNJ, 8-5, while the Jumbos defeated RIT, 21-11.

Below is each contest’s summary.

Amherst 8, TCNJ 5: Trailing the Lions, 5-4, in the second half, the Jeffs rallied with a 4-0 run, sparked by Krista Zsitvay that helped the hosts claim its 22nd NCAA Tournament victory, as well as a trip to next weekend’s semifinal against Salisbury.

Zsitvay led the Purple and White with four markers, Rachel Passarelli recorded four points on three goals and one helper and Alex Philie capped the scoring with one tally at 1:24 in the second session.

Amherst goaltender Christy Forrest turned away six shots and improved to 19-2 overall.

Tufts 21, RIT 11: The Jumbos improved to 3-1 all-time against the Tigers as they overcame a 4-2 deficit in the opening session to go onto win their semifinal matchup in Rochester.

Beau Wood paced the Powder Blue and White with eight points on seven tallies and one helper, while Cole Bailey chipped in five markers and one assist. John Uppgren and Ben Andreycak each recorded hat tricks and goaltender Patton Watkins finished with 20 stops and bumped his record to 19-1.

With the win, Tufts (20-2) advances to next Sunday’s NCAA Division III Championship against the winner of Salisbury-Washington College. This will be the third time Tufts has competed in the finals. They won the championship in 2010 against Salisbury, but lost to them the following season.

Mass. College Lax: Amherst, Williams To Compete In NCAA Third Round

Williams' defense will be ready to challenge Colby in the third round of the NCAA Div. III Tournament on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)
Williams’ defense will be ready to challenge Colby in the third round of the NCAA Div. III Tournament on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The Amherst College and Williams College women’s lacrosse teams will be competing this weekend in the NCAA Division III Tournament’s third round. Both teams earned second round victories last Saturday as the Ephs defeated Wheaton College, while the Jeffs topped Bridgewater State.

Amherst will be the host of the third and quarterfinal rounds, beginning Saturday, May 17. The Jeffs will play York (Pa.) at 4 p.m. with the winner advancing to Sunday’s (May 18) quarterfinals against either TCNJ or Washington & Lee.

Williams will travel to Cortland, New York to take on New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) foe Colby College. The winner will advance to the quarterfinals and face either SUNY Cortland or Redlands.

Below is the third round schedule, courtesy of the NESCAC website. Check back later this week for Sunday’s times.

NCAA Third Round Schedule (Saturday, May 17): 

* York @ Amherst, 2:30 p.m.

* Colby vs. Williams @ Cortland, New York, 2:30 p.m.

Mass. College Lax: Highlights From Amherst-Tufts (VIDEO)

By NoontmeSports.com 

MEDFORD, Mass. – The Tufts University men’s lacrosse team captured its fifth-straight NESCAC crown this afternoon as the Jumbos defeated the Amherst College Lord Jeffs, 20-13, in the conference tournament championship.

Below is a highlight package from the game, which was produced by Noontime Sports’ Matt Noonan. For more information on today’s contest – HOP HERE