May 6, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Three BIG EAST women’s lacrosse teams have been selected for the NCAA Championship, tournament champion Loyola, at-large selection Syracuse and at-large selection Notre Dame. It is the fifth time in league history the conference has had three teams selected (2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2002).
Loyola (13-5) earned the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championship and is making its 15th appearance in school history. The Greyhounds beat Syracuse 13-7 in the title game of the BIG EAST Championship on May 5 in the Carrier Dome. Loyola, the No. 6 overall seed, will host Penn (9-7) in the first round on May 13 at 1 p.m. ET. With a win, Loyola would play either No. 3 overall seed Maryland or Massachusetts. The Greyhounds are 12-14 all-time in the NCAA Championship and making their second straight appearance.
Loyola sophomore Marlee Paton, the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year, leads the offense with 84 points, including 50 goals. Senior Kellye Gallagher, the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, has grabbed a team-high 60 ground balls. Goalkeeper Kerry Stoothoff, the BIG EAST Tournament Most Outstanding Player, holds a 9.79 goals-against average.
Syracuse (16-3) earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Championship, its 10th appearance overall. The No. 4 seed overall Orange will host Dartmouth (12-4) in the first round on May 13 at 4 p.m. ET. Syracuse beat Dartmouth 22-4 on April 9. With a win, Syracuse would play either No 5 overall seed North Carolina or Navy.
The Orange are ranked No. 2/2 in the IWLCA/deBeer Inside Lacrosse polls and earlier this year, had a program-record 15-game winning streak. The Orange won the BIG EAST regular-season title with an 8-0 league record and advanced to the title game of the BIG EAST Championship. Syracuse is 6-9 all-time in the NCAA Championship and making its fifth straight appearance. The Orange have advanced to the Final Four twice in the past five years (2008 and 2010). Junior attack Michelle Tumolo, the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year, leads the team with 40 assists and has scored 43 goals totaling 83 points. Head coach Gary Gait is the BIG EAST Coach of the Year.
Notre Dame (13-4) earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Championship, its seventh appearance overall. Notre Dame will travel to No 2 overall seed Northwestern (17-2) in the first round and play on May 12 at 4 p.m. ET. The Irish lost to Northwestern 17-7 on April 25. With a win, the Irish would take on either No. 7 overall seed Duke or Virginia. 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 is under the direction of first-year head coach Christine Halfpenny. Notre Dame is 4-6 all-time in the NCAA Championship.
The semifinals and final of the NCAA Championship will be held at Stony Brook University on May 25 and 27.