March 13, 2014

WD2 Notebook: Regis Battling on and off Field

by Mark Macyk | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter


Erin Todd had five goals against Vassar, helping the Rangers 2-2 start against tough competition so far this spring. (Regis Athletics)

Weather washed away Regis’ game at Limestone on Friday, but some members of its women’s lacrosse team still managed to leave the Carolinas with one more victory.

The night before they flew back to Denver, the Rangers held their traditional Spring Break rap battles. The judging panel awarded the Rangers’ defense the top prize. The attack took home people’s choice.

And so, while Mother Nature cost them a shot at the South Region’s best team, the Rangers’ trip east was undoubtedly a success. Before spitting their rhymes, they reminded the rest of Division II that the South Region doesn’t end until you hit Colorado. 

Regis opened its trip with a one-goal loss to No. 15 Pfeiffer and followed that up with an 11-6 victory over No. 14 Queens. The Rangers (2-2) used a nine-goal run to pull away at Queens and received multi-goal games out of Maribel Gallegos, Erin Steiner, Emily Behr and Emily Elkins. Gianni Lombardi made eight saves and held Queens, which earlier dropped 15 on Rollins and 11 on Limestone, to a season-low six goals.

“We had our best game to date,” said RU coach Sarah Kellner. “The defense started clicking and causing turnovers. We shot 25 times in the first half. That tells you how much possession we had.”

The Royals committed 18 turnovers that game, two of which were forced by Sierra Perella.

Back in Denver on Wednesday, Erin Todd scored five goals and Hilary Duda added four goals and two assists in a 19-8 victory over Division III Vassar. The Brewers were in town to play Colorado College, so the Rangers added them to their schedule. This tends to happen.

Regis opened the year against Division I Colorado (on CU’s football field) and will finish against D-III Colorado College. You take the opponents you can get when you play on Division II’s Western fringes. But it’s getting better, sort of.

“It’s only recently that we’ve had some local teams, if you can call eight hours in-state local,” Kellner said. “We make the most of it.”

And now, after two seasons in the lacrosse-only WILA, the Rangers are looking to make the most of their inaugural season in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The addition of lacrosse to the RMAC is something that’s been talked about for a while, but always seemed far off. 

“My former boss used to tell me ‘2014, just wait,’’” said Kellner, a Fayette-Manlius (N.Y.) and Cornell alum, who has run the Rangers for eight seasons. “It was really hard to think of in 2008.”

Some quirks of the WILA remain. The league was known for long home and home trips that would send their teams zig zagging across the Midwest. The Colorado teams will keep that tradition alive and play each other twice, but just one game will count for the league standings. 

Regis will get just one shot Lindenwood, which comes to the RMAC after winning the last two WILA titles, this season. That showdown will come on March 28, in Missouri, where Regis lost to Lindenwood by six last year. But the Rangers remain undaunted.

“We have players at every position that make each other shine,” Kellner said. “It’s something really special, and I think they know it. They’re starting to believe.”

Looking Ahead

No. 7 West Chester (0-0) at No. 14 Queens (4-2), Sunday 1 p.m.

West Chester, the only South Region team to win an NCAA title, is the last Top 15 team to get going this year. The Golden Rams will be thrown right into the fire against upstart Queens. Queens is the highest-profile South Region team West Chester will face before the PSAC season starts, so a win would be an important feather in WCU’s cap come playoff time. After last week’s loss to Regis, a victory against WCU could be essential for the Royals to remain in the playoff hunt.

Game Balls

Jackie Andersen, Dowling: Andersen had five goals and four assists in the Golden Lions’ 18-5 victory over local rival Molloy on Wednesday. In last week’s 16-4 blowout of Bridgeport, the junior out of William Floyd (N.Y.) paired two goals with six assists. Dowling, meanwhile, has raced out to a 4-0 record.

Kathryn Campbell, New Haven: The junior from Mansfield, Mass., helped make the Chargers’ home-opener a success by pairing three goals with four assists in a 15-5 victory over Southern Connecticut. It came on the heels of a three-goal, five assist performance in the season-opening victory over Molloy for unbeaten UNH.

Natalie Pachinger, Ursuline: The Arrows dominated in their program debut thanks in part to six goals and one assist by the freshman from Mentor, Ohio. Ursuline continues its inaugural season against local rival Notre Dame (Ohio) on March 21.

Miscellaneous

Two-time defending champion, and No. 1 ranked, LIU Post kept on rolling by defeating Bentley, 17-2, in Disney World on Wednesday night. Jackie Sileo led the Pioneers with two goals and five assists.

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Chelsea Borrino and Shannon Bissnette each dished out eight assists in No. 4 Lock Haven’s 27-8 thrashing of Findlay on Sunday. The 2-0 Bald Eagles return to action on March 20 when they visit Limestone in a battle of the South Region’s two highest-ranked teams

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No. 3 Limestone improved to 6-0 with a 20-8 victory over Tampa on Monday. The Saints have their biggest test of the young season on Thursday, when they visit No. 11 Florida Southern

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Elsewhere in Florida, No. 10 Rollins is rolling again after a 14-9 victory over No. 8 Stonehill…  Sam Yaro scored a career-high three goals as No. 5 Le Moyne got back in the win column with a 15-11 victory over Mercyhurst on Monday.

 


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