The Wheaton College women’s lacrosse team, which captured last season’s NEWMAC regular season crown, will look to earn its first win of 2014 tomorrow when the Lyons host Salve Regina at 3 p.m.
Below is a season preview video, featuring Noontime Sports’ Matt Noonan, who caught up with head coach Emily Kiablick to discuss the Lyons’ season outlook. The video can be found on Wheaton College Athletics’ YouTube Channel.
Courtesy of the Wheaton College sports information department, here’s today’s release about two women’s lacrosse players who were named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Berkshire All-Region team:
NORTON, Mass. – Wheaton College juniors Leila Mills (Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick) and Devon Soucier (Avon, Conn./Northwest Catholic) have been named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Berkshire All-Region team.
Mills and Soucier were both selected to the IWLCA Berkshire All-Region team for the first time in their respective careers. Mills was tabbed to the first team while Soucier collected second team laurels. The IWLCA honored 256 NCAA Division III student-athletes across eight different regions.
Mills picks up her second major award this season after earning New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Athlete of the Year honors. Mills is the fourth player in the history of the program to earn Athlete/Player of the Year honors joining Lauren Maynes ’04, Vanessa Pisano ’05 and Hailey Colburn ’12. Maynes was a three-time winner from 2002-2004 while Pisano captured Player of the Year honors in 2005 and Colburn was selected as the NEWMAC Player of the Year last season.
Mills ranked first on the Lyons in goals (44) and points (56) starting in 17 out of 18 games during the season. Among all student-athletes in the NEWMAC, Mills was eighth in markers and points and 12th in assists (12). Mills also added 15 ground balls, 20 draw controls and six caused turnovers. Mills was pivotal to Wheaton’s perfect 6-0 record in conference play scoring 16 goals, dishing out five assists and collecting 21 points in league games only. Against Babson on Tuesday, April 16, Mills scored a career-high seven points (five goals, two assists) to help the Lyons clinch their fourth regular season title in program history.
Soucier, who is a two-time All-NEWMAC first team selection, guided Wheaton’s defense leading the conference in caused turnovers (31), ninth in ground balls (34) and 15th in draw controls (31). Soucier ranks 110th overall, nationally, in caused turnovers while the Lyons are 73rd overall in scoring defense at 9.78 goals per game. In conference play only, Wheaton allowed a league-best 8.00 goals against average.
Wheaton finished its 2013 campaign with an 11-7 record and 6-0 mark in the NEWMAC. The Lyons captured their fourth regular season title in program history.
Courtesy of the Wheaton College sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release from the women’s lacrosse game against Drew University:
NORTON, Mass. – Wheaton College sophomore Melanie Sharick (Amherst, Mass./Amherst) netted the game-winning marker with 4:31 remaining in the contest to help the Lyons defeat Drew University, 11-10, in non-conference action at Keefe Field.
Wheaton used a balanced offensive attack as Sharick, junior Leila Mills (Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick) and freshman Allie Bush (Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk) all scored two goals, respectively. Junior Charlotte De Santis (Darien, Conn./Cushing Academy), seniors Amy Moreira (Bristol, R.I./Mount Hope) and Kristen Palmer (East Dorset, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy) and freshman Jenna Tewksbury (Concord, N.H./Concord) chipped in with one tally apiece.
Drew sophomores Nikki Kleiman (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) and Krysta Cento (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) both registered three markers to lead the Rangers. Junior Brooke Gagliano (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township) potted two scores while classmate Alexandra Mattiace (Montville, N.J./Montville Township) and senior Devon Affleck (Abington, Pa./Abington) found the back of the net once.
Trailing 10-8 with 12:44 left to play in the second half, the Lyons clamped down defensively to secure its second-straight one-goal victory and fourth win this season by two goals or less. Wheaton scooped up two ground balls, sophomore goalkeeper Katy Ananian (Belmont, Mass./Belmont) made two saves and the Lyons converted five clear attempts.
Offensively, Tewksbury jumpstarted a 3-0 run for the Blue and White with her only marker of the game at 9:54. Wheaton took hold of the momentum swing one minute and 33-seconds later as Sharick ripped a shot into the net to even the score at 10-10. Mills set up the game-winning tally nearly four minutes later (4:31) feeding Sharick in the middle of the scoring area for the Lyons first lead since the 10:10 mark of the first half.
Drew University erased a 6-3 deficit in the opening stanza as Kleiman buried back-to-back goals at 3:59 (free position) and 1:31 while Gagliano capped the scoring with 34-seconds left on the scoreboard.
Rangers’ junior goalkeeper CC Carlini (Amherst, N.H./Bishop Guertin) turned away eight shots. Ananian finished the contest with a game-high nine saves. In the past five-straight games, Ananian has recorded five saves or more.
The Lyons went 19-for-23 in clear attempts and won the ground balls matchup, 19-17. Drew outshot the hosts, 25-23, and also edged Wheaton in draw controls by a 12-11 margin.
Wheaton (8-5, 5-0 NEWMAC) hosts Babson College for a conference clash on Tuesday, April 16 at 4 p.m. Drew (5-8) takes on Merchant Marine on Wednesday, April 17 at 4 p.m.
Kerry Eaton’s four goals helped Tufts defeat Wheaton! (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)
By Matt Noonan
MEDFORD, MA – Coming off a conference setback to Middlebury College, Tufts University’s women’s lacrosse team rebounded with a 13-4 victory against Wheaton College on Thursday afternoon at Bello Field.
Kerry Eaton and Caroline Ross paced the Jumbos with four goals, respectively, while Eliza Halmo registered two strikes.
“We talked about making a statement at the beginning of the game,” said Tufts coach Carol Rappolli, whose team improves to 6-4 on the season.
“The first 10 minutes are really important and making sure the shots that we took were going to move the goalkeeper, and we added a little tweak to our motion offense and the kids responded and did exactly what we asked them to do.”
Tufts jumped out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back, but Wheaton trimmed the deficit with two tallies – one from Allie Bush and one from Leila Mills, which were both set up by Charlotte De Santis.
The Jumbos, who led 8-2 at the break, padded their lead with five more goals in the second to seal the win and earn their fourth victory at home.
“I think it’s still a great opportunity for us (to play Tufts), but I was disappointed with our first 10 minutes of the game and you can’t get down 7-0 against a nationally ranked team and think you can stay in the game,” explained Wheaton coach Emily Kiablick.
“This is a hurdle that we have to get over and so we can’t get over it unless we keep playing, so that’s what we’ll do.”
Wheaton Plans To Improve: Kiablick admitted there were some positives from her team’s fifth setback of the season, but she also eyed some areas the Lyons needs to improve prior to their conference tilt against Mount Holyoke on Saturday.
“We absolutely will build off this,” said Kiablick. “We’ve done a really good job all season of looking at parts (of our team’s game) and focusing on what aspects we really need to improve and for us it was really the opening 10 minutes and we were just playing a little scared coming out of the back and on attack, so that’s what we’ll talk about and that’s what we’ll focus on tomorrow.”
Prior to today’s game, Wheaton defeated Wellesley on Tuesday, 17-4, and according to their coach, there were a lot of positives from that game she plans to build on, too.
“There were some positive things to build off the Wellesley game, so we won’t get bogged down by this, but we’ll just talk about it, address it and move on.”
Tufts Returns To NESCAC Play On Saturday: With their final non-conference game in the books, the Jumbos will return to conference play on Saturday when they welcome Amherst College to Medford for a 12 p.m. face-off.
Tufts, who is 2-4 in a very competitive conference, plans to build off their 15-8 loss to Middlebury last Sunday against the Lord Jeffs, who’re 6-4 overall and 3-4 in the conference.
“I thought that the first half against Middlebury was terrific,” said Rappolli. “We could have been a little bit closer then we were, but you’ve got a young team against a very experienced team and we’re down 8-5 at the half, and then their experience came through and we were a little bit sloppier with the ball in the second half, but I would like to play that team again because I think that we can beat that team in a NESCAC tournament situation, I really do.
“If our kids played like they did on Saturday (against Williams College) and really the first half on Sunday – that was a good weekend for us even though we were just 1-1.”
The Jumbos lost to Amherst last season, 12-4, but beat them the prior year, 14-13.
Leila Mills Continues To Fuel Wheaton’s Attack: Mills, who ranks first on her team in goals (24), netted only one of two shots this afternoon, but despite a quiet day, the junior attack has been an important asset to Wheaton’s success this season.
“Leila was probably the best player coming out of Maine her senior year, so we knew she had it in her, but she’s certainly not the type to force a situation, she’s just going to wait until the opportunity is there and that’s what makes her so strong,” said Kiablick.
“She’s catching more and shooting better, and all the freshmen that she’s playing with love passing to her because they know it’s an assist on the (stat sheet) because she’s going to take a smart shot”
Mills’ best game of the season occurred two days ago against Wellesley as she netted five strikes. She’s recorded at least two or more goals in 11 contests this season, and is on part to match her goal total from last year of 28.
Wheaton’s Leila Mills (middle) will be one of many players to watch this afternoon! (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)
Our Wednesday “Game of the Week” has been pushed to Thursday as Noontime Sports will be in Medford this afternoon for a non-conference women’s lacrosse match between No. 17 Tufts University and Wheaton College.
As usual, here are our pregame notes, which we’ve provided below, and also, today’s game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start.
Last Meeting: The Jumbos defeated the Lyons in April of 2012, 13-6.
Tufts’ Weekend Summary: The Jumbos went 1-1 last weekend as they defeated Williams College on Saturday before falling to No. 3 Middlebury College on Sunday. Gabby Horner led the Powder Blue and White with a hat trick against the Panthers, while Kerry Eaton registered two goals and one helper.
Horner’s Recent Success: Horner, who returned to action last weekend for the first time in five games, tallied seven goals with one assist in two matches. The junior from Allentown, New Jersey, has appeared in five games this season and ranks third on the team in goals (12) and assists (4), and fourth in points (16).
Wheaton’s Conference Success: The Lyons enter today’s contest coming off back-to-back NEWMAC victories against Smith College and Wellesley College. Wheaton, who is 4-0 in NEWMAC play, has two more conference matches remaining against Mount Holyoke on Saturday and Babson College next Tuesday. The Lyons won four of their six conference matches last season, and finished 3-3 in 2011.
Leila Mills Nets Five Strikes Against Wellesley: Mills netted a season-best five strikes against Wellesley on Tuesday, which helped the Lyons defeat the Blue, 17-4. The junior from Brunswick, Maine, leads the Blue and White with 23 goals, which is one more than Charlotte De Santis, who’s recorded 22 strikes in seven contests.
Players To Watch: For Tufts, keep an eye on Horner, who’ll look to build off her weekend success. Yet, don’t overlook Caroline Ross or Eaton, who’ve combined for 35 goals in nine games.
For Wheaton, expect Mills to challenge the Jumbos defense, but don’t forget about Amy Moreira and Melanie Sharick. Moreira recorded five points (three goals, two assists) against Wellesley, while Sharick located the back of Wellesley’s cage on her only shot of the afternoon.
Quick History Note: Since 2007, Tufts is 6-0 against Wheaton. Yet, the Lyons, who first played the Jumbos in 1980, has earned two victories against their non-conference foe.