May 3, 2012

WD3 Notebook: Springfield Finds the Way Past Babson

by Mark Macyk | LaxMagazine.com

Springfield now prepares for the NCAA tournament after taking the NEWMAC title against Babson.
© Springfield

It's a running joke in The Simpsons that no one knows where the family's hometown of Springfield actually is. Springfield College is not as hard to find. It's in Massachusetts, two miles away from the National Basketball Hall of Fame.

But come late spring you're more likely to find Springfield's women's lacrosse team at a school NEWMAC teams have no problem locating: Babson.

The Pride has headed east to Babson for the NEWMAC tournament in four out of the past five seasons, only to watch the Beavers raise the trophy each time. Last year Springfield won the regular season and Babson actually had to find its way to Springfield before leaving with the title.

On Sunday, Springfield gave the NEWMAC a new champion with a 10-6 victory over Babson. The team that finally won it all had just five seniors and 14 freshmen and sophomores. The MVP of the tournament was a freshman defender.

"The whole season our goal was to win the NEWMAC," said Springfield coach Kristen Mullady. "It was just the mentality since my seniors have been through it every year. They know the history of our conference."

That history was re-written as Babson tied its lowest scoring output of the year and failed to top 10 goals for the first time since March 16. It also snapped the Beavers 12-game winning streak. Babson had defeated Springfield 15-12 on March 31.

The key this time was draw controls, of which Springfield won 13 out of 17. Michelle Dorsey, Brittany LeGuelaff and Meghan Flanagan had three draw controls each. Flanagan led all players with four goals and Jackie Moscardelli added three goals.

When Babson did manage to go on attack, it met a wall led by freshman defender Ellie Getchell, who was named the Tournament MVP. Getchell face-guarded Babson's second-leading scorer Jameson Spang and held her scoreless and managed three ground balls and three caused turnovers. Behind Getchell, her high school teammate, sophomore goalie Anne Versprille, made seven saves.

"[Getchell]'s instinct is so natural," Mullady said. "She doesn't think, she just does. You can't teach what she does. She has the height, the strength."

The defense was also fantastic in the semifinal against Wheaton, which Springfield won 7-6. Getchell marked NEWMAC Athlete of the Year Hailey Colburn and held her to one goal, while picking up four ground balls and two caused turnovers. Versprille made nine saves.

With Babson and the NEWMAC left in its rearview mirror, Springfield looks ahead to the NCAA tournament, a task the Pride may be suited for. Springfield played a brutal schedule this season that featured four NESCAC teams and two Top 20 teams from the Empire Eight.

"Now that we're going to the NCAAs the mentality can't be let's accept what's happened," Mullady said.

That doesn't mean Springfield didn't revel in its victory. The team got off Monday and Tuesday and returned to practice Wednesday with a week to go before the NCAAs begin.

"That was the talk at practice," Mullady said. "Okay, we enjoyed it. We should enjoy it. Now it's time to transition. We start a new season today."

CNU Honors Alumna's Mother

Christopher Newport held an ovarian cancer awareness game in the inaugural Debbie Cale Classic.
© Christopher Newport

Christopher Newport clinched its seventh straight trip to the NCAA tournament a few weeks ago. On April 17, during the three-week gap between the end of the USA South Atlantic season and the NCAA tournament, the Captains scored another victory - in the fight against ovarian cancer.

CNU hosted Randolph Macon in the inaugural Debbie Cale Classic. Cale, the mother of a former CNU field hockey player, lost her two-year battle with ovarian cancer in 2011. The event was held in order to raise money, raise awareness and promote education about the cancer.

The women's lacrosse team partnered with the Sigma Alpha Omega Sorority and the field hockey team for the event where t-shirts displaying CNU's women's lacrosse team's slogan 'Family' and others bearing the phrase 'You wouldn't be here without them,' were sold. There was also a 50/50 raffle and socks with teal ribbons made specially for the event. All proceeds were donated in Debbie Cale's name to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, which provided giveaways and materials about the organization and ovarian cancer.

"Being able to share the story and inspiration of Mama Cale warms my heart," said Jessica Weiss, CNU's assistant women's lacrosse and field hockey coach. "She was a beautiful woman, full of such love, kindness and joy."

The NOCC has benefitted from CNU's success all season. Ten percent of proceeds earned during the Captains' 2012 Goal-a-thon will go to the NOCC. During the Goal-a-thon, donors offer to pledge a flat amount or a certain amount based on every goal CNU scores. It's a worthy partnership for the charity. The Captains are averaging 17.24 goals per game, fifth most in Division III.

Salisbury Wins CAC

CNU is back in action this weekend, with one more non-league game before the NCAA tournament. Its opponent will be Salisbury (18-0), which is looking to put the finishing touches on a perfect regular season.

Salisbury captured the Capital Athletic Conference title with a 17-5 victory over York on Saturday. Kate Bollhorst had four goals and two assists and Allie Wheatley had three goals and one assist to lead the Sea Gulls, who held York to its lowest scoring output of the year.

York (14-4) still remains a good bet for an at-large NCAA tournament bid, after its best regular season ever.

Gettysburg Captures Centennial

Gettysburg won the Division III title last season, but this week the Bullets accomplished something they failed to do during their magical run, win the Centennial Conference championship.

Gettysburg defeated Washington College, which advanced to the finals after Franklin & Marshall canceled the remainder of its season, 15-5. Senior Hannah Church had three goals and five assists, one point off her career mark.

Washington College (10-6) was making its first appearance in the championship.

Redlands Best of West

Redlands (15-5) bounced back from its first loss of the season with back-to-back, 10-7, victories in the SCIAC playoffs, defeatin Pomona-Pitzer in the semifinals and Occidental in the championship.

It was the third time this season the Bulldogs have defeated Occidental (13-3), which did not lose to anyone else.

The SCIAC does not get an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament but last season's champion, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, and runner-up, Redlands, both reached the tournament.

Montclair State Has Chance at Hosting and Playing in Final Four

The Division III Final Four will be held at Montclair State on May 19-20, but the Falcons had to go on the road to win the Skyline Conference, which they captured with a 14-2 victory over Farmingdale State on Saturday.

Senior Maggie scored five goals, including the 100th of her career, in the victory and provided a crucial insurance goal with 39 seconds remaining. she now has 102 goals.

The win avenges a 13-7 regular season loss to Farmingdale for Montclair (13-5), which won its third straight title and sixth overall.

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


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