Women's Lacrosse premiers at NCAA Tournament

Players chosen as Patriot League All-Stars

On the weekend of April 26-27, the AU Women's Lacrosse team celebrated a series of "first-evers." The team hosted their first-ever Patriot League Tournament, won their first-ever Patriot League Championship title and earned its first-ever berth to the NCAA Tournament. But before entering the coveted NCAA Tournament, the team had to face its league competitors.

However, the competition in the PL Tournament proved not to be a problem for the Eagles. In the first round AU slaughtered No. 4 seed Lehigh, 16-3, and then breezed by No. 3 seed Bucknell, 15-6, for the championship, thus earning the team a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

After hosting the PL Tournament, it was AU's turn to travel, visiting Virginia to battle No. 3 University of Virginia in the first round of the NCAA's on May 8.

The Cavaliers scored the first two goals in the opening three minutes of the game. Then, junior Nicole McCarthy drew a foul and scored off the free position shot, cutting the lead to one goal. Seconds later the Cavs scored again, making it 3-1. Virginia scored three more goals before AU called a time-out.

Before the half ended, Virginia fired in five more goals. The Eagles went into halftime down 11-1. The Cavs continued their scoring spree with five unanswered goals before sophomore Gina Riitano scored with 17:31 remaining. Riitano scored again, which would be the final goal for the Eagles, less than nine minutes later off an assist from junior Courtney Bennett.

Freshman goalie Kathleen Finnegan made eight saves facing 36 shots.

The Eagles ended their season with the best record in the school's history, 11-8, and posted new school records in goals, 227, and assists, 96.

The Patriot League honored five members of the Women's Lacrosse team at the Patriot League Banquet on April 25. Senior Robyn Mincher and sophomore Gina Riitano earned spots on the PL first team, while senior Nadia Harmsen, sophomore Becky Copeland and freshman Kathleen Finnegan were named to the second team. Coach Maureen Dupcak was also awarded the PL Coach of the Year.

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