Mass. College Lax: Emmanuel, Wheaton To Meet In First Round Of NCAA Tourney
The Emannuel College women’s lacrosse team will travel to Wheaton College on Wednesday, May 7 for a first round NCAA Division 3 Tournament matchup, which is slated for a 7 p.m. start. The winner will advance to Saturday’s second round contest against Williams College, a match that’s slated for a 1 p.m. opening draw.
Courtesy of the Wheaton College sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release about the Lyons’ NCAA Tournament appearance:
NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College women’s lacrosse team will play Emmanuel College for the first time in program history on Wednesday, May 7 on Nordin Field as the Lyons will clash with the Saints in the first round of the NCAA Division Tournament under the lights at 7 p.m.
WHEATON (13-6) – The Lyons enter the tournament on a four-game winning streak having outscored opponents 48-26 during that span. Wheaton earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament after defeating MIT, 15-5, in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Semifinals and Babson College, 8-5, in the title game. The Blue and White currently rank first in the conference in ground balls (362) and caused turnovers (189), second in assists (93), third in goals against average (9.16) and fourth in goals (188) and save percentage (42.0).
Sophomore Brooke Sabol (Landgrove, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy), who earned NEWMAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors last weekend, leads the squad in points with 74 on 50 goals and 24 assists alongside 45 ground balls, 36 draw controls and 21 caused turnovers. Classmate Allie Bush (Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk) is second on the team with 50 points (19g, 31a), while senior Leila Mills (Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick) is third (33g, 8a, 41p), sophomore Jenna Tewksbury (Concord, N.H./Concord) is fourth (28g, 10a, 38p) and junior Melanie Sharick (Amherst, Mass./Amherst) rounds out the top-5 point scorers (20g, 1 a, 21p).
Defensively, NEWMAC All-Conference first team selection Devon Soucier (Avon, Conn./Northwest Catholic) has anchored the Lyons all season. Soucier ranks first on the team in draw controls with 65 total in addition to 42 ground balls, 26 caused turnovers, two goals and one assist. Soucier will enter tournament play ranked second all-time in draw controls (165), third in caused turnovers (122) and ninth in ground balls (167) in program history.
Classmate Haley Bright (Cumberland, Maine/North Yarmouth Academy) has collected 28 ground balls, four draw controls and caused 12 turnovers, while junior Anna Viragh (Columbus, Ohio/Wellington School) has compiled 30 ground balls, three draws and 14 caused turnovers and sophomore Mia Cambi (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) leads the squad in caused turnovers with 27 alongside 29 ground balls and three draws. Junior goalkeeper Katy Ananian (Belmont, Mass./Belmont) is 13-6 overall between the pipes with a 9.16 goals against average (GAA), 126 saves and a .420 save percentage.
Bright, Mills and Sabol were named to the NEWMAC All-Conference second team along with Soucier’s first team selection last week. Head coach Emily Kiablick also earned NEWMAC Coach of the Year honors for the second time in her career.
EMMANUEL (15-2) – The Saints enter the NCAA Tournament on an 11-game winning streak having scored double-digit goals in every game but one during that span. Emmanuel scored a season-high 20 goals in its Great Northeast Atlantic Conference (GNAC) Tournament quarterfinal matchup against Saint Joseph’s (Conn.) en route to its first-ever conference championship with a 17-7 victory over Saint Joseph’s (Me.). Wednesday’s tilt with Wheaton will mark the Saints first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Emmanuel leads the GNAC in goals (246), assists (116), draw controls, GAA (7.64) and save percentage (50.2). Saints’ sophomore Kristen Tuleja (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) ranks second in the conference in points with 92 on 61 goals and 31 assists. Junior Sarah Wootten (Berlin, Md./Stephen Decatur) is second on the club with 58 points (30g, 28a), while sophomore Sarah Higgins (Groveland, Mass./Pentucket Regional) is third with 53 points (44g, 9a). In goal, sophomore Lauren White (Lynnfield, Mass./Lynnfield) is 15-2 on the year with a 7.64 GAA, 134 saves and a .502 save percentage.
The Saints had five student-athletes claim All-GNAC honors including Tuleja and Higgins who were both named to the first team. Wootten, White and Emily Baker (Stratham, N.H./Exeter) were all named to the second team. Emmanuel head coach Liz Goddard also received GNAC Coach of the Year accolades.
LOOKING AHEAD – The winner of Wheaton/Emmauel will play Williams College in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Williams on Saturday, May 10 at 1 p.m. The Ephs earned an at-large bid into the tournament with their 13-4 record on the season. Williams is 7-5 all-time in the tournament and finished second in both 1998 and 2000.