May 12, 2006

Women's Lacrosse Readies For 2006 NCAA Tournament

May 12, 2006

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GAME #21 vs. #1 DUKE
NCAA TOURNAMENT - FIRST ROUND
Game information
Date:
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST
Location: Durham, N.C.
Stadium: Koskinen Field
Team Records:
Holy Cross 14-6 (Patriot League)
Duke 16-2 (Atlantic Coast Conference)
Series History: First Meeting
Last Meeting: n/a
Series Streak: n/a

Sunday's game is the first-ever meeting between Holy Cross and Duke in the 27 year history of varsity lacrosse at Holy Cross, and the first-ever NCAA Tournament game between the two schools.

NEWS & NOTES: Holy Cross advanced to its first-ever NCAA Tournament after a 14-8 win over MAAC Champion Le Moyne in last Saturday's NCAA Play-In game. The Crusaders also captured the program's first-ever Patriot League Tournament title after a 9-6 come-from-behind victory over Colgate on April 30. The Crusaders battled back from a 5-1 halftime deficit to score seven straight goals to start the second half and eventually seal the victory. Just 10 days earlier, Holy Cross captured its first-ever Patriot League Regular Season Championship with a 9-7 win over Colgate, snapping the Raiders' 22-game conference winning streak, which dated back to 2003. Colgate had won both the regular season and tournament titles in 2005 and 2004.

ON THE LINE: The winner of Sunday's contest will advance to the 2006 NCAA Tournament quarterfinal round, scheduled for May 20 at campus sites. The semifinals and finals are slated for May 26 and 28 at Boston University's Nickerson Field. The championship game will be broadcast live on College Sports Television (CSTV) at noon Eastern time, Sunday, May 28.

HOLY CROSS FIRSTS IN 2006:

  • Holy Cross is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.
  • This will be the first-ever meeting between Holy Cross and Duke.
  • No. 3 Duke will be Holy Cross' first-ranked opponent of the season.
  • Holy Cross won the Patriot League women's lacrosse tournament title for the first time in the tourney's six-year existence.
  • Holy Cross won the Patriot League women's lacrosse regular season title for the first time in program history this season.
  • Holy Cross won 14 games this season, marking the second consecutive season the team has finished with 10 or more wins. The Crusaders' 14 wins this season stand as the most successful season in Holy Cross women's lacrosse history.
  • Holy Cross went a perfect 6-0 in the Patriot League for the first time in program history.

    QUICK HITTERS:

  • Holy Cross' postseason berth marks the fifth-straight season, and sixth-time overall, that a Patriot League team has qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
  • The Crusaders have won four straight games and nine of their last 12.
  • The Crusaders are 14th in the nation in scoring defense, 17th in win percentage, and 19th in scoring margin.
  • Junior midfielder Patricia Sutton has 12 hat tricks this season and has scored three or more goals in six of her last eight games.
  • Sutton leads the team in goals (53 goals), assists (21 assists) and points (74 points). She also ranks first in the Patriot League in goals and second in the league in points.
  • Junior goalie Megan Orr leads the nation in save percentage (57.2percent) and is 15th in goals against average (8.73 gaa).
  • Holy Cross head coach Stephanie Pavlick was named the 2006 Patriot League Coach of the Year for the first time in her career.
  • Carolyn Smirti (Huntington, N.Y.) was named the Patriot League Tournament Most Valuable Player. Smirti was also a First Team All-League selection this season.
  • Patricia Sutton (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) was named the 2006 Patriot League Player of the Year. She was also a First Team All-League selection for the second straight season.
  • Megan Orr (Wilton, Conn.) was named the 2006 Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year. Orr also won the award in 2005. She was also a First Team All-League selection for the second straight season.
  • Darcy Wolcott (Concord, N.H.) and Nikki Bolduc (Exeter, N.H.) were named to the All-Patriot League Second Team.
  • Holy Cross is ranked 46th in the latest laxpower.com poll. The Crusaders have a power ranking of 85.07 and a Strength of Schedule of 53.
  • With its victory over Colgate on April 21, Holy Cross put an end to the Raiders' bid for a third straight regular season title and snapped a personal three-game losing streak to the Raiders. The Crusaders now own a two-game winning streak over the Raiders.
  • Holy Cross is 1-0 in May and 3-0 this season when playing on Sundays.
  • Last season, the Crusaders posted its first winning season (10-9, 4-2 Patriot League) in three years and advanced to the Patriot League championship game for the first time since 2001.

    CRUSADERS RECOGNIZED FOR ACADEMIC WORK: The Holy Cross women's lacrosse squad is one of 14 Holy Cross athletic teams to have achieved a perfect score of 1,000 in the NCAA's academic performance standard, the Academic Progress Rate (APR). The APR uses a series of formulas related to student-athlete retention and eligibility to measure the academic performance of all participants on teams at every Division I college and university.

    The other Crusader programs to post perfect scores were women's cross country, field hockey, men's golf, women's golf, men's ice hockey, women's rowing, softball, men's swimming and diving, women's swimming and diving, men's tennis, women's indoor track and field, women's outdoor track and field, and volleyball.

    Overall, the lowest APR for any Holy Cross team was 958, well above the NCAA's minimum score of 925. Teams which have an APR below 925 can be subject to sanctions and probation. The national average for all Division I institutions was 955.

    SUTTON JOINS HOLY CROSS ELITE: Patricia Sutton (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Saratoga Springs) recently became the second Holy Cross women's lacrosse player (Jen Amendola `01) to break the 200-point mark. Sutton is currently ranked sixth all-time in the Patriot League in both career goals (157 career goals) and career points (215 career points), and is tied for seventh all-time in career assists (58 career assists).

    Sutton was named the 2006 Patriot League Player of the Year and garnered First Team All-Patriot League accolades after leading the league in goals (53 goals) and ranking second in the league in points (74 points). The four-time Patriot Legaue Player of the Week also finished the regular season ranked among the nation's leaders in draw controls (ninth; 66 draw controls), points (37th; 3.65 points per game) and goals (40th; 2.65 goals per game).

    MORE ON ORR: Megan Orr (Wilton, Conn./Wilton) was named the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year for the second straight season after setting new school records for wins in a single season (14 wins) and saves in a single season (235 saves). Orr currently leads the nation in save percentage and ranks 15th nationally in goals against average. A two-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week this season, Orr leads the league in wins, saves, saves per game, save percentage and goals against average. She currently ranks eighth on the all-time Patriot League Top 10 list for career saves (635 saves), and ranks fourth on the all-time conference list for saves in a single season (235 saves).

    AROUND THE NATION: As a team, Holy Cross is ranked nationally in three different categories: scoring defense (14th), win percentage (17th), and scoring margin (19th). Individually, goalie Megan Orr leads the country in save percentage (57.2 percent) and ranks 15th in goals against average (8.73 goals against average).

    HOLY CROSS TAKES THREE MAJOR AWARDS: Five student-athletes on the Holy Cross women's lacrosse team earned spots on the 2006 Patriot League All-League Teams, and three Crusaders were named major award winners as announced by Patriot League Executive Director, Carolyn Schlie Femovich on Apr. 28. Holy Cross junior midfielder Patricia Sutton was named the 2006 Patriot League Player of the Year, marking the first time in Crusader women's lacrosse history a Holy Cross player earned such a distinction. In addition, junior goalie Megan Orr was named the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year for the second straight season, and head coach Stephanie Pavlick was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year.

    This is the sixth time in Patriot League history that the Player of the Year and Coach of the Year have come from the same school.

    Sutton, Orr and senior midfielder Carolyn Smirti (Huntington, N.Y./Cold Harbor Spring) all garnered First Team accolades, while junior Darcy Wolcott (Concord, N.H./Concord) and sophomore Nikki Bolduc (Exeter, N.H./Exeter) were named to the Second Team.

    A two-time First-Team selection, this is Sutton's first career Player of the Year award. The New York native earned the conference Rookie of the Year award and Second Team accolades in 2004.

    Orr earned her second consecutive Goalkeeper of the Year award this season, after taking home the same hardware a year ago. The two-time First Team All-League selection ranks first in the NCAA in save percentage (57.2 percent) and 15th in goals against average (8.73 goals against). The Connecticut native made more than 200 saves for the second straight season, and set a career mark with 20 stops against Yale on April 5. She was a two-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week this season and led the conference in wins, saves, saves per game, goals against average and save percentage. An IWLCA/US Lacrosse all-region pick last year, Orr was the backbone of a defense that ranks 14th nationally in scoring margin in 2006.

    In just her fourth year at the helm of the program, Pavlick became the first Holy Cross head coach to earn Patriot League Coach of the Year honors since 1996 and just the third in the 16-year history of the award. Pavlick led the team to the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament, Patriot League Tournament title and Patriot League regular season title.

    Pavlick coached the Crusaders to three top 50 national rankings, including scoring defense (14th), win percentage (17th), and scoring margin (19th), and led the team to 14 wins, marking the second consecutive season the team has finished with 10 or more wins and above the .500 mark. The team's 14 wins this season also stand as the most successful season in Holy Cross women's lacrosse history.

    Smirti served as the team's co-captain this season and produced 43 points on 34 goals and nine assists from the midfield, earning her first career Patriot League award in the process. A four-year letterwinner, she has 93 goals and 22 assists for 115 career points. This season, she is second on the team in both goals and total points, and is tied for third in assists. She is also listed in the Top 20 in the conference in points, assists and points per game.

    A two-year starter, this is Wolcott's first career award. The New Hampshire native started all 20 games for the Crusaders this season after missing all of last year with an injury. Wolcott totaled 28 groundballs and 10 caused turnovers, while helping anchor one the top defenses in the Patriot League.

    Bolduc is the youngest Holy Cross player to be honored this season. Just a sophomore, the New Hampshire native is also picking up her first career league award after a stellar second-year campaign. Bolduc started all 20 games this season and is currently fifth on the team in both goals and points, more than doubling her total from last season (13 goals). She is also ranked in the Patriot League Top 25 in both goals and points.

    SUTTON NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior midfielder Patricia Sutton earned four Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week awards this season. In three seasons, she has been named the conference Player or Rookie of the Week nine times.

    LAST TIME OUT (Recap from 5/6/06): Patricia Sutton, Carolyn Smirti and Amy Archambault combined to score 11 goals to lead the Holy Cross women's lacrosse team to the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament with a 14-8 drubbing of Le Moyne in an NCAA Play-In game on Saturday afternoon at the John Coughlin Memorial Stadium on the campus of Worcester State College. The Crusaders, who have now won four straight games and nine of their last 12, have officially earned a berth into the 16-team field of the 2006 NCAA Tournament.

    MAAC Champion Le Moyne, which enjoyed one of its most successful seasons in program history this season, concluded the year with a 15-4 mark.

    Both Sutton (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) and Smirti (Huntington, N.Y.) finished the game with four goals, while Archambault (West Hartford, Conn.) tallied three scores. Sophomore Kristine Corkum (Ipswich, Mass.) added two goals and classmate Cara O'Sullivan (Duxbury, Mass.) scored one. Sutton also had two assists on the day, while sophomore Nikki Bolduc (Exeter, N.H.) recorded one.

    Sutton wasted no time setting the tone of the game, as she scored the first of her four goals just 18 seconds into play, and added another less than five minutes later to give Holy Cross (14-6) a quick 2-0 lead. Corkum and Smirti then scored back-to-back goals in a span of two minutes and 14 seconds for a 4-0 Crusader lead with 19:56 on the clock.

    Le Moyne's Whitney Vecchio stopped the bleeding for the Dolphins when she took an Amanda Keegan pass and scored at the 17:55 mark, but Corkum responded with her second goal of the game and put the Crusaders back up by four (5-1) when she beat Le Moyne keeper Samantha Falcone with 15:33 remaining in the half. Keegan made things interesting with a goal just 11 seconds later that cut the lead to three (5-2), but Holy Cross strung together two more goals to take a 7-2 lead at the 9:42 mark. Le Moyne's Elizabeth Hewitt scored with 4:57 left to account for the 7-3 halftime score.

    The Crusaders started off the second half strong as well, scoring six straight goals, giving them a comfortable 13-3 lead with 16:18 remaining in the game. Keegan ended the Le Moyne dry spell at the 13:10 mark, which started a 5-1 Dolphin run that cut the deficit to six (14-8) but it was too little, too late.

    Holy Cross goalkeeper Megan Orr (Wilton, Conn.) had a solid game in net, turning away 14 shots. Falcone made six saves for the Dolphins.

    Vecchio finished the game with a team-high three goals for Le Moyne, while Keegan added two. Hewitt, Kylie Rosette and Lisa McCarthy also scored for the Dolphins.

    SUTTON NAMED CRUSADER OF THE WEEK: Junior midfielder Patricia Sutton (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) was named the Holiday Inn Express Crusader of the Week, for competition from May 1-7. Sutton led the Holy Cross women's lacrosse team to a 14-8 victory over Le Moyne in the NCAA play-in game, earning the Crusaders their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.

    During the victory over Le Moyne, Sutton led the team in scoring with four goals and two assists. She scored the first two goals of the game in the opening six minutes of play, as Holy Cross built an early 4-0 lead. Sutton later scored two of the Crusaders' first three goals in the second half, as they increased their 7-3 halftime advantage to an insurrmountable 13-3 lead.

    On the year, Sutton leads the team in scoring with 74 points on 53 goals and 21 assists, setting a new school record for most points in a single season. Over the course of her career as a Crusader, she has totaled 157 goals and 58 assists for 215 points.

    ARCHAMBAULT NAMED CRUSADER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore Amy Archambault (West Hartford, Conn.) was named the Holiday Inn Express Crusader of the Week, for competition from April 24-30. Archambault helped lead the Holy Cross women's lacrosse team to a pair of victories in the Patriot League Tournament, as the Crusaders captured the Patriot League Tournament title for the first time in history.

    In the conference championship game against Colgate, Archambault scored a team-high three goals in the 9-6 victory. After Holy Cross trailed 5-1 at halftime, she scored two straight goals to open the second half and start the Crusaders' rally for the win. Archambault's final goal came at the 10:36 mark of the second half, making the score 8-5 Holy Cross and helping to put the game away.

    In the Patriot League semifinal game against Bucknell, Archambault had a goal and two ground balls in the 13-7 victory. Her goal came late in the first half, giving the Crusaders a 6-2 lead at halftime.

    On the season, Archambault ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 34 points on 29 goals and five assists. Over the course of her career as a Crusader, she has totaled 63 points on 56 goals and seven assists.

    ABOUT THE BLUE DEVILS: Duke (16-2) will be making its ninth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils' 16 wins this season is the most by a Duke squad heading into the NCAA Tournament.

    Duke is led by Katie Chrest and Kristen Waagbo, who both have 70 points this season. Chrest leads the team with 56 goals, while Waagbo leads the team with 29 assists. In addition, Chrest is tied for 16th nationally with a 3.11 goals per game average, while Waagbo is tied for 20th nationally with a 1.61 assists per game average.

    The Blue Devils also have three players with 40 or more points, including Leigh Jester (45 points) and Carolyn Davis and Rachel Sanford (43 points each). Sanford is also tied for 10th nationally with 2.06 draw controls per game.

    Megan Huether has started all 18 games in goal for the Blue Devils and owns a 7.57 goals against average, which stands as fifth-best in the nation. Huether also posts a 50.6 percent saves rate, and has recorded all 16 wins this season.

    As a team, Duke is ranked nationally in four different categories: scoring margin (second; +6.94), win percentage (second; 88.9 percent), scoring offense (third; 14.83 goals per game), and scoring defense (sixth; 7.89 goals against per game).

    The Blue Devils are 6-8 overall (4-3 First Round) in the NCAA Tournament. Last year, they were eliminated in the semifinals by ACC-rival and eventual National Champion, Virginia, 15-13. Duke's only two losses this season have both come against the Cavaliers, who received the second overall seed in this year's tournament.

    Duke has not faced a Patriot League team since 1997 when it defeated Lehigh, 14-5, in Durham, N.C. Duke is 1-2 lifetime against the Patriot League.

    2006 CAPTAINS: Senior midfielder Carolyn Smirti (Huntington, N.Y.) and junior goalie Megan Orr (Wilton, Conn.) are team captains for the 2006 season.

    2004-2005 HONORS: Liz Frisoli, Megan Orr, Patricia Sutton and Amy Archambault all garnered First Team accolades last season. Orr also won the Goalkeeper of the Year award and Archambault was dubbed Rookie of the Year.