Blogs and Commentary

posted 05.11.2012 at 10.48 p.m. by Mark Macyk

WD3 Second Round Offers Plenty of Intrigue

Sixteen teams remain after one day of Women's Division III May Madness. After this weekend there will be only four. Here are the most intriguing second round matchups:

Redlands vs. Catholic (at Salisbury): This is the upset all fans of western lacrosse will want to see happen. (Note: Western lacrosse here refers to anywhere west of Gettysburg, Pa.) Redlands has had a fantastic season, only lost once, and just defeated Occidental for the fourth time this year in a hard-fought, 15-14, victory. KK McCaslin had five goals to lead the Bulldogs (16-1) who led 7-2 early before Occidental fought back.

Redlands does not get an easy opponent for its cross country flight. Meghan Brady scored seven goals to lead Catholic past Christopher Newport, 18-5. The Cardinals (15-5) have won eight straight, and 13 of 14, with the only loss coming to Gettysburg by two.

The winner will likely face top-seeded Salisbury (19-0), which hosts St. John Fisher. Salisbury defeated Catholic, 17-7, on March 3.

Buffalo State at Trinity: Buffalo State easily dispatched NEWMAC champion Springfield, 18-10, on Wednesday. With its high-powered offensive duo of Karen Shaddock and Kendyl Clarkson, the Bengals could be a tough match for Trinity's Top 15 defense. Shaddock had 10 goals against Springfield, bringing her NCAA-leading total to 106, just nine shy of matching the DIII single-season record. Clarkson, who leads the nation with 86 assists and is just two shy of tying the DIII single-season record, had six assists setting the new D3 career mark at 238.

Even those record-breakers might not be enough against Trinity, which crushed Bridgewater State, 16-1. Caite Irvine had three goals and Liz Bruno had one goal and three assists to lead the Bantams (17-1). Trinity is in familiar territory. It was the top seed last year, but fell at home in the quarterfinals.

The winner of that gets the winner of Messiah vs. Colby. After a great regular season, Messiah (16-3) gets a really tough draw in the second round, heading to Hartford to face a Colby squad that's lost just twice all year. Messiah defeated RPI, 18-8, in the first round, behind four goals and two assists from Lizzy Keeney and four goals from Meghan Doolittle.

Colby (14-2) defeated Endicott, 21-5, on Wednesday. Alex Mintz led the Mules with four goals and Kate Pistel had three goals and two assists. It Colby can get past Messiah, it could get a shot at Trinity, which handed the Mules their first loss of the season back on April 6.

Amherst vs. TCNJ (at Cortland): The Lord Jeffs will attempt to become this season's Bowdoin and knock off TCNJ before the finals. Amherst (13-4) rolled past Keene State, 19-1, Wednesday, behind five goals from Alex Philie. Amherst's only loss in its past eight games came by one to Middlebury in the NESCAC semifinals.

TCNJ (15-3) had one of the first round's tougher tasks and dispatched Elizabethtown, 14-5. Alex Spark had five goals and Jen Garavente had four goals to lead the Lions, who will be facing a NESCAC team for the first time since Bowdoin's win in last season's Final Four.

No matter what, this region will have a great quarterfinal game. The winner faces either Cortland (18-1) or Mary Washington (14-4). Cortland defeated TCNJ, 9-8, on St. Patrick's Day.