Women's Lax To Host Ithaca In NCAA Tourney
May 5, 2008
The Middlebury College women's lacrosse team will make its 15th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance when they host Ithaca in a first-round game on Wednesday, May 7th at 4:00 p.m. The winner of the game will advance to an NCAA Regional at Hamilton, where they will meet Gettysburg at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Middlebury earned its way into the tournament with an at-large bid after falling to Colby 10-8 in a NESCAC semifinal game. The loss was the first NESCAC Tournament loss for the Panthers, who had won all seven previous tourneys with a combined 14-0 record. The loss was also the first at home for Middlebury in 88 games, a streak that dates back to April of '97.
The Panthers are 34-9 in NCAA play since they first qualified for the tourney in '94. Their .791 NCAA winning percentage is higher than all but one team (TCNJ) in the history of Division III lacrosse. Middlebury has also amassed an amazing 148-14 record over their last eight seasons.
Middlebury has advanced to the NCAA title game in four of the last seven years, winning NCAA titles in '97, '97, '01, '02 and '04. The Panthers have advanced to the final four every year they've entered the tournament (14). Head coach Missy Foote is in her 27th season at the helm of the program, sporting a career record of 329-76-1. Her .811 winning percentage is second all-time among her peers.
The Panthers enter the '08 tournament in a bit of a skid, dropping the season finale at Tufts before falling to Colby in the NESCAC semi's. Middlebury's other two losses came in March at the hands of #5 Gettysburg and #6 Washington and Lee. The seventh-ranked Panthers have now won 10 or more games for 19 consecutive seasons.
Middlebury finished second in the NESCAC with 14.07 goals/game this season, while the defense ranked third with a 9.36 GAA. Mimi Schatz leads the team in scoring with 47 points on 28 goals and 19 assists. Katherine Entwisle is the team's leading goal scorer with 42 in 14 games, placing her in a second place tie with 3.0/game among her NESCAC peers. Dana Heritage (27-6-33), Sally Ryan (21-11-32) and Chase Delano (22-4-26) round out the leading scorers. Reid Berrien has been all over the field this season, leading the team with 35 ground balls, 28 draw controls and 31 caused turnovers. Blair Bowie is 9-4 in goal with a 9.71 GAA and a .504 save percentage.
2008 NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Tournament
Wednesday, May 7th
Ithaca (9-7) @ Middlebury (10-4) - 4:00
Sunday, May 11th - NCAA Regional - Hamilton College
Regional Final - 1:00 p.m.