PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The 2012 BIG EAST women’s lacrosse championship field has been set and Syracuse has earned the No. 1 overall seed. The Orange (15-2, 8-0 BIG EAST) will host the tournament and face No. 4 seed Georgetown (9-7, 5-3 BIG EAST) on May 3 at approximately 8:15 p.m. ET. No. 2 seed Loyola (11-5, 7-1 BIG EAST) will face No. 3 seed Notre Dame (13-3, 6-2 BIG EAST) in the other semifinal at 5:30 p.m. ET. The winners will face off on May 5 at 1 p.m. ET for the league’s tournament championship and an automatic berth into the 16-team Division I NCAA Championship.
For the second straight year, all three games will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network. Play-by-play announcer Todd Harris and analyst Sheehan Stanwick Burch will call the action. CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable operators and nationally on satellite on DIRECTV channel 613 and Dish Network channel 158.
For Georgetown, Notre Dame and Syracuse, this marks the sixth consecutive year in which all three schools have advanced to the BIG EAST Championship. Loyola has participated in each of the last three championship tournaments. All four teams in the tournament are ranked in the top-20 of the national polls.
No. 1 seed Syracuse clinched the league’s regular-season crown for the second straight year and the fifth time overall. The Orange beat Loyola 13-12 on April 27 to earn the top seed in the Conference tournament. Syracuse is riding a school-record 14-game winning streak and is ranked No. 2/2 in the national polls (IWLCA/Inside Lacrosse). Junior attack Michelle Tumolo, the league’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, leads the team with 39 assists and has scored 40 goals totaling 79 points. Sophomore Alyssa Murray leads the team with 87 points and 59 goals. Defensively, junior Becca Block (41 draw controls, 28 ground balls) has teamed with goalkeeper Alyssa Costantino (7.99 GAA) to create the league’s top backline, allowing just 8.5 goals per game.
Loyola is the No. 2 seed and the defending tournament champion. The Greyhounds, who have been an associate member in the league since 2006, will face Notre Dame in the semifinals on May 3. Earlier this year, the Greyhounds knocked off the Irish 17-11 on April 1. Sophomore Marlee Paton leads the offense with 74 points, including 43 goals, while defensively, senior Kellye Gallagher has grabbed a team-high 52 ground balls. Loyola is ranked No. 12/10 in the national polls.
No. 3 seed Notre Dame is ranked No. 6/6 in the national polls under the direction of first-year head coach Christine Halfpenny. The Irish began the year 8-0, their best start to a season since 2004 and the second-best start in program history. Notre Dame has knocked off five ranked teams this season and is looking to avenge its loss to Loyola earlier this season. The Irish are led offensively by senior Maggie Tamasitis, who has tallied 76 points, including 56 assists. Defensively, freshman Barbara Sullivan has been solid, amassing a team-high 36 ground balls along with 26 draw controls.
No. 4 seed Georgetown enters the tournament following a 9-7 win over Rutgers on April 28 to clinch the final berth. The Hoyas have faced one of the toughest schedules in the country playing eight ranked opponents this season. The Hoyas and Orange met earlier this year on April 14. Syracuse won 22-11. Junior Sophia Thomas leads the team with 46 points, including 38 goals. The Hoyas are ranked No. 16/15.
The BIG EAST Championship began in 2007 and was first won by Syracuse. The Orange also won in 2008, while Notre Dame was victorious in 2009. Georgetown won the 2010 title and Loyola captured the tournament in 2011.