March 2, 2012

Mary Washington's Senior Class A Special One

by Mark Macyk | LaxMagazine.com

Catherine Kennedy, one of a talented group of Mary Washington seniors, is the program's all-time leader in goals and points and is on the 2012 Tewaaraton Award watch list.
© Mary Washington

Even if they never played their senior season, the members of Mary Washington's Class of 2012 could be considered huge successes.

In the past three years the Eagles went 41-22 and reached three NCAA tournaments. Catherine Kennedy rewrote the program's record books. Allie Kimmelman broke its assist record. They've been nationally ranked, defeated ranked teams, but, until Wednesday, no current Mary Washington player had ever defeated Catholic.

That's five losses in three years against Catholic, which last season knocked Mary Washington out of the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years. Thanks greatly to the senior class, that streak is over.

No. 18 Mary Washington downed No. 11 Catholic 14-10 on Wednesday, rallying from a two-goal halftime deficit to defeat the Cardinals for the first time in six years.

UMW (3-1) scored four of the first five goals in the second half, taking the lead when senior Lauren Callison made it 9-8, seven minutes into the frame. Catholic's Mary Swarthout scored seven minutes later to tie it for the final time. Callison scored off an assist from Kennedy and gave the Eagles the lead for good with 14:07 remaining.

Callison finished with four goals, Kennedy five goals and two assists, and Kimmelman one goal and five assists.

Last season Catholic (0-1) defeated Mary Washington 12-8 in the regular season and 18-10 in the NCAA tournament.

"There are two things that have occurred this year that we were lacking last year," said Mary Washington coach Dana Hall. "We were lacking depth in midfield... We have eight solid midfielders and our midfielders wore them down. And the biggest change, our goalie had over a 50 percent save percentage."

Catholic outshot Mary Washington 39-22, but junior goalie Kathryn Stiltz made 13 saves to negate any advantage.

Stiltz was the backup for most of last season but was pressed into action in the NCAA tournament against Catholic.

"She got in right off the bat with Catholic," Hall said. "She's done an incredible job. She's earned that job as a junior."

Making things easier on Stiltz is the veteran presence up front. Kennedy is a four-time All-American, who holds UMW records in goals and points and is on the Tewaaraton Awarad watch list. Sophomore Jenna Petrucelli switched from attack to midfield this season and has 10 goals. Callison has nine goals already this season.

"Last season she had 52 goals," Hall said. "On any other team that's incredible. For us it's like fourth."

And all this scoring is set up by Kimmelman, UMW's all-time assist leader who has 13 this season, and Keller Torrey, a 6-2 attacker who plays the crease well and has seven goals and 10 assists.

"It's a good mix," Hall said. "They're really working well together."

The Eagles head to Puerto Rico this week for Spring Break where they'll face Roanoke on Tuesday. When they return home they'll host Salisbury in a huge conference game on their brand new field, on March 15.

The schedule doesn't get easier. In March the Eagles head to No. 13 Washington & Lee and undefeated York. In April they host 2011 NCAA tournament team Christopher Newport.

But if they get through that, another trip to the NCAA tournament likely awaits.

"We aspire each year to win our conference and get an NCAA bid," Hall said. "We had back-to-back Final Fours in '01 and '01. We'd like to get back there again. It's been 10 years."

No. 1 (Still) With The Bullets

Gettysburg ended last season as the best team in Division III. Now at the start of 2012, the Bullets, who defeated Mary Washington 17-4 last Wednesday, look like... the best team in Division III.

Gettysburg (1-0) erased an early three-goal deficit by scoring 17 of the last 18 goals and the final 13 goals of the game. Senior Hannah Church posted career bests of seven goals and nine points and sophomore Loren Pruitt tied her career mark with four goals.

The key for Gettysburg was draws, which they won 16-of-22.

"They have an incredible tandem," Hall said. "A six-foot draw control specialist [Mairead McGuirk, who had three draw controls] and No. 7 [Kelsey Markiewicz, who had eight draw controls], I've never seen someone with such a quick first step. In the game there's only two inside, you can't double her. I changed people taking my draw, I changed who was marking her up, I changed everything I possibly could. It was ridiculous."

Alex Casey helped Gettysburg hold Mary Washington scoreless in the second half, with four caused turnovers and three ground balls.

The 13-goal victory margin was Gettysburg's highest in an opener since it defeated Kenyon 14-1 to begin 1997. The Bullets face their second-straight ranked opponent when they head to No. 20 Elizabethtown (1-1) on Saturday.

Occidental In Hunt for NCAA Bid

Occidental gave its early-season resume a boost this week with two wins over 2011 NCAA tournament teams.

The third-year program from Los Angeles stunned then No. 19 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 14-9, on Feb. 22 for the program's first-ever win over a ranked team. Sarah Kessler and Isabel Osgood-Roach had four goals each in the victory.

The Tigers followed that up with a 7-6 victory over SCIAC opponent Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday, then defeated Adrian, which received a Pool B bid to the NCAA tournament last season, 7-6 in overtime on Monday. Tori Larson scored what proved to the game-winner in that one, one minute into the first OT.

It's early, but Occidental has put itself in good position for a Pool B bid. Two SCIAC teams, Redlands and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, reached the NCAA tournament last season.

It's been a strong season overall for the SCIAC, Redlands is 5-0 and only Whittier (0-3) has failed to record at least one win.

Occidental plays at Whittier on Saturday, then begins a run of six straight home games. The Tigers postseason potential could hinge on their last three games, which feature a trip to Redlands and home games against CMS and Pomona-Pitzer.

Centre Setting Records

Centre (3-0) has dominated its early-season competition. The Colonels defeated Augustana, 15-7, Tennessee Wesleyan, 13-7, and Alma, 21-3.

The victory over Alma set a record for the second-year program, surpassing the mark of 19 established last year in a victory over Birmingham Southern. Nine different Colonels had goals in that game, with Meg Hawthorne leading the way with four goals, three assists, five draw controls and two ground balls. Against Augustana Hawthorne, Sarah Mastey and Audrey Powers each had four goals.

Centre hosts 2011 NCAA tournament team Denison on Sunday.

Susquehanna Grabs Top 20 Victory

Dickinson (2-1) cracked the top 20 this week, at No. 19, but Susquehanna could take its spot after defeating Dickinson 11-9 in its home opener on Tuesday.

The Crusaders (1-0), trailed 6-3 at halftime but used an 8-3 second-half burst to capture the comeback win. Brynn Reid scored the game-winner, her second goal of the game, on a free position with 9:05 remaining. Reid had tied it at nine three minutes earlier. Michelle McGinniss, who led Susquehanna with three goals, provided the insurance goal with 2:58 remaining.

Susquehanna takes on King's (Penn.) on Monday in Maryland.


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