April 11, 2013

WD2 Notebook: Quast Garnering Attention at Tiffin

by Mark Macyk LaxMagazine.com

Tiffin senior Alexandria Quast leads Division II with 92 points, and had a record-setting game against Walsh last Friday.
© Tiffin

Tiffin senior Alexandria Quast had never been face-guarded until her sophomore year of college. Opposing defenses have been making up for lost time.

“I’ve seen it every year since,” Quast said. “I’m used to it now. I’m face-guarded, doubled or tripled quite a bit. It’s not a big deal. It just means that someone’s open.”

All that attention paid to Quast meant plenty of open Tiffin teammates on Friday when Quast dished out a Division II-record 13 assists and NCAA-record 20 points in a 24-0 victory over Walsh. Through 11 games, Quast leads Division II with 92 points.

“A huge part of it is that my teammates are able to finish the shots,” Quast said. “Without them finishing the shots, it’s not an assist. I’ve been lucky to play with a good group of girls.”

How lucky Quast has ended up as a senior seemed a long way off four years ago, when the Lockport, N.Y. native walked onto the new program at Tiffin, a private school in Ohio.

She described the first year as “a blur.” Quast wasn’t double-teamed back then, but even if she was, it didn’t mean she’d find open teammates. Tiffin struggled to fill its roster and occasionally played a player or two down. Compounding matters, Quast played behind the cage and managed just 17 goals. Tiffin won just two games.

The next year coach Colleen Dixon came aboard and moved Quast to midfield, where she played in high school. Quast finished second in Division II in goals per game and Tiffin won seven games. Last year, Quast led Division II in goals per game.

“[Dixon] saw potential in me,” Quast said. “I’ve been put in the right places to succeed and that’s the job of a coach. I’ve come a long way from Buffalo to Tiffin.”

Dixon relocated with her family to Pittsburgh before this season, so Tiffin has its third coach in four years — former Lycoming coach and Wagner star goaltender, Erica Brown.

Despite the turnover, the Dragons (5-6) have already topped their win total from last season and are just two victories away from matching the best season in program history. At the center of all that has been Quast. Three coaches in four years don’t hurt so bad when the same captain has been there throughout.

“I treat it like it was my program,” Quast said. “I was there through all the girls who quit and coaches that came and went. It’s been tricky.”

Quast was named the Independent Player of the Year last season, but she has higher goals.

“That’s awesome but I knew there were bigger things,” Quast said. “At the end of the day, no one really cares about a team that has great players but loses.”

Those bigger things begin this year as Tiffin is independent no more. The Dragons are now members of the newly-formed Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. They're looking to make a splash right away.

“I keep telling these girls that I’ve waited four years to be in a conference,” Quast said. “Now that we’ve been given this opportunity, I truly believe we can win GLIACs. I know that’s going to take hard work. It’s not all going to be fun and games. I don’t think we’ve played a game yet when everyone has been on their game.”

The Dragons certainly seem capable. Quast leads the team with 54 goals and 38 assists. Freshman Emily Roussel has 38 goals and finished six of the goals during Quast’s record-breaking game. Sophomore Alexis MacMillan looks like a Quast in the making with 20 goals and 31 assists. 

Another big difference between this team and past Tiffin teams is the steadying presence of sophomore Jessica Bombard in goal. Bombard made 12 saves in Sunday’s 19-4 GLIAC victory Wheeling Jesuit.

“My goalie is an incredible stud,” Quast said. “I put so much pressure on her, but I’m never nervous with her.”

As Quast rattles off goals for the season and hopes for teammates, she sounds downright coach-like. No surprise there. That’s what she hopes to become after graduation.

“Being a captain and seeing throughout the years all these difference coaches coming in,” Quast said. “I want to impact players just like I was.”

Quast still has an impact to leave at Tiffin. The Dragons are 3-0 in the GLIAC, but this weekend brings home showdowns with two of the league’s top contenders: Grand Valley State and Notre Dame (Ohio).

Game of Last Week

Limestone 11, Pfeiffer 7

Jessie Aguglia scored off an assist from Chelsea Treat to give Limestone a 3-2 lead with 9:03 remaining in the first half and the Saints never trailed again. Chelsea Hargett scored with 3:50 remaining to give Limestone an 11-4 lead, but Pfeiffer closed out the game with three straight goals to make the final margin respectable.

What it means for Limestone: The Saints still rule Conference Carolinas. Pfeiffer was the closest contender to Limestone’s throne in recent memory and the Saints handled them with relative ease. After the Pfeiffer win, defeating Less-Mcrae on Wednesday to wrap up a ninth-straight regular season title was more of a formality. Limestone pretty much assured itself a spot in the NCAA tournament when it beat Rollins and now even in the unlikely event that the Saints stumble in the conference tournament or in the season finale against Florida Southern, they should still be dancing. Depending on what happens with West Chester the rest of the way, Limestone could be the South’s No. 1 seed.

What it means for Pfeiffer: The Falcons are having the best season in program history, but now they’ll likely need to beat Limestone in the Conference Carolinas tournament and hope for some pesky PSAC upsets to get in. Pfeiffer’s big wins over Le Moyne and New Haven established the program as one to be reckoned with, but cannot be counted for the NCAA tournament, since they were against North Region teams.

Up next: Pfeiffer wraps up its conference season against Queens on Saturday. Limestone visits Belmont-Abbey the same day. The Conference Carolinas Tournament begins on April 20.

Looking Ahead

No. 4 Rollins at No. 2 West Chester, Thursday
No. 2 West Chester at No. 1 LIU Post, Tuesday

It’s deja vu all over again for West Chester, which this week gets the team it beat in the 2012 South Region final, and the team it subsequently lost to in the NCAA championship game.

The Golden Rams (9-0) are fresh off their closest victory of the year, a 17-12 result over Shippensburg on Saturday that stood at 12-11 late in the first half before West Chester rattled off five straight scores. Seven of WCU’s nine wins have come by 10 goals or more.

Rollins (9-1) heads into West Chester with three straight wins since its one-goal loss to Limestone. It will be the third game of a five-game road swing for the Tars who won at Florida Southern and Shepherd last week and will head to the Midwest to take on Lindenwood and McKendree afterward. West Chester defeated Rollins, 19-10 in last year’s South Region final.

LIU Post (9-0) has won 12 straight since last season, with the closest result during that time coming in last year’s NCAA title game, when the Pioneers edged West Chester 17-6. This is a game West Chester has had circled since last year and, while both teams look like locks for the NCAA tournament, is a contest neither team will take lightly.

Game Balls

Tori Dugan, West Chester: Dugan, a senior from West Chester, Pa., had five goals and two assists and three goals and three assists in back-to-back impressive wins over the PSAC’s Erie contingent, Gannon and Mercyhurst, on Saturday and Sunday. Dugan, who was Lacrosse Magazine's Preseason Player of the Year, followed that up with four goals, including two during 5-0 run late in the second half that put the game away, as West Chester edged Shippensburg, 17-12, on Tuesday.

Sarah Oor, Limestone: One game after chipping in four assists against Pfeiffer, Oor racked up five goals and six assists for a career-high 11 points in Wednesday’s 22-3, Conference Carolinas-clinching victory Lees-McRae. Oor, a junior from Uxbridge, Ont., leads Limestone, and trails only LIU Post’s Jackie Sileo in Division II, with 52 assists. 

Ashley Olen, LIU Post: Olen, a senior from East Islip, N.Y., broke LIU Post’s career scoring mark with a seven-goal performance in a 19-7 victory over Merrimack on Saturday at the Battle of Bethpage. Olen then added eight goals in Wednesday’s 17-10 win over St. Thomas Aquinas. Olen, who leads the ECC with 56 goals, broke the record previously record of 216 goals set by Trish Moran (2001-04).

Miscellaneous

No. 11 Stonehill moved a step closer to the postseason with a 13-10 victory over No. 12 Bentley on Tuesday. Heather Sullivan and Kayla Green each had three goals to lead Stonehill (8-4), which has another huge North Region game on Saturday against No. 1 LIU Post... No. 4 Adelphi knocked off another ranked Northeast-10 opponent on Tuesday, pulling away from No. 15 New Haven for a 14-9 victory. Danielle Jaycox, Devan Crimi and Alexa Froccaro all had three goals for the Panthers (11-0), who host Saint Anselm on Saturday before heading to No. 9 Le Moyne on Wednesday... Indiana (PA)’s unbeaten start has caught the attention of the rankers, as the Crimson Hawks check in at No. 14 in this week’s poll. IUP (9-0) defeated Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg and Slippery Rock this week. A showdown with Mercyhurst looms on Saturday.

Mark Macyk has covered NCAA Division II and III women’s lacrosse for Lacrosse Magazine since 2011. He can be contacted at markmacyk@gmail.com.


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