The Shoe Fits: Colorado State Wins WDIA Crown
by Brian Logue | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff
Colorado State's Katie Nepil was named the outstanding midfielder after helping the Rams beat Cal Poly 6-4 for the US Lacrosse WDIA National Championship.
© Cecil Copeland
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Colorado State rode a suffocating defense to its second national championship, as the Rams defeated Cal Poly 6-4 in the 2010 US Lacrosse Women's Division Intercollegiate Associates Division I National Championship.
The event, presented by Harrow Sports, was held at the Scottsdale Sports Complex and featured 24 of the top women's college club teams from around the country.
UC Berkeley Club defeated Loyola (Md.) Club 14-9 to win the inaugural Division II championship.
CSU goalie Annette Greenberg made 10 saves playing behind CSU's pressure zone defense and the Rams held Cal Poly to just one goal in the final 38 minutes of the game. Greenberg was named the tournament's outstanding goalie.
Cal Poly led 3-1 early after Ashley Royer scored back-to-back goals, but the Rams scored the final three goals of the first half, taking a 4-3 lead on Maddie Garcia's tally with just 30 seconds left in the half.
Jacki Cella's second goal of the game gave CSU a 5-3 lead just three and a half minutes into the second half, but Cal Poly answered quickly on Stacy Patch's second goal to cut the lead to 5-4 with 25:09 to play.
Both defenses took over from there, allowing few good shots. Katie Nepil finally scored with 10:21 to give CSU a 6-4 lead and Greenberg shut out the Mustangs the rest of the way.
The victory capped a Cinderella run for Colorado State, which entered the tournament as the No. 11 seed. CSU knocked off defending national champion Virginia Tech Club in the opening round, beat No. 3 seed UCSB in the quarterfinals and then topped No. 2 Lindenwood in the semifinals. CSU's defense gave up just 23 goals in four tournament games.
"This was really exciting to win because we weren't expecting it," said CSU senior Kristen Kasney, whose first half goal tied the game at 3-3. "We were ranked really low to start off it and we just came into it saying let's have fun and we did. It's a way better feeling to work all the way up."
The natioanl championship was the second for CSU in the last three years. CSU beat Cal Poly 8-5 in overtime in the 2008 USL WDIA championship in Denver. Cal Poly has now played in the USL WDIA national championship game nine times in the tournament's 10-year history, but has not won a title since beating Navy in 2007, which was its seventh straight.
Loyola took a 5-4 lead with under 10 minutes to go in the first half in the Division II championship game, but Cal scored four goals in the final 4:07 of the half to take an 8-6 halftime lead. Cal kept the momentum going by scoring four goals in the first six minutes of the second half for a 12-6 lead and cruised to a 14-9 victory over the Greyhounds.
"At the beginning I was a little nervous because they weren't taking care of the ball," said Cal head coach Rachae Perkins. "I think it was nervous jitters or something. But we pulled it together, played the game we know how to play and came out with a win."
Vanessa Royal, the tournament's outstanding midfielder, led the way for Cal with four goals and two assists. Mel Hong added four goals and Sophie Shevick had two goals and three assists. Erin Cawley led the Greyhounds with three goals and Colleen Hayes added two goals and an assist. The Greyhounds had to play most of the game without key offensive threat Jillian Reidy, who was injured after scoring Loyola's first goal of the game.
US Lacrosse WDIA Division I Results
Championship: Colorado State 6, Cal Poly 4
3rd place: Colorado 13, Lindenwood 8
5th place: Santa Clara 11, UCSB 9 (ot)
7th place: UC Davis Club 11, BYU 10
9th place: Florida Club 15, Boston College Club 8
11th place: Virginia Tech Club 15, Georgia 8
13th place: Minnesota 15, Texas 13
15th place: West Chester Club 20, Oregon Club 13
Division I Outstanding Players
Attack: Ashley Royer, Cal Poly
Midfield: Katie Nepil, Colorado State
Defense: Stephanie Shaffer, Cal Poly
Goal: Annette Greenberg, Colorado State
US Lacrosse WDIA Division II Results
Championship: Cal Berkeley Club 14, Loyola Club 9
3rd place: San Diego 20, SMU 9
5th place: North Carolina Club 16, Denver Club 10
7th place: St. Benedict 17, Oakland 12
Division II Outstanding Players
Attack: Erin Cawley, Loyola
Midfield: Vanessa Royle, Cal
Defense: Victoria Rainone, Loyola
Goal: Devon Combe, Cal