April 22, 2009

Big East Women's Lacrosse Championship Preview

from press release

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The 2009 BIG EAST women's lacrosse championship field has been set and host Georgetown has earned the No. 1 overall seed. The Hoyas (11-4, 6-1 BIG EAST) will face first-time entrant and No. 4 seed Louisville (9-5, 3-4 BIG EAST) on April 24 at approximately 7:45 p.m. ET. No. 2 seed Syracuse (12-3, 6-1 BIG EAST) will face No. 3 seed Notre Dame (12-4, 5-2 BIG EAST) in the other semifinal set for 5:30 p.m. ET.
The winners will face off for the league's tournament championship and an automatic berth into the 16-team Division I NCAA Championship. The game will be televised live on the CBS College Sports Network on April 26 at 1 p.m. ET.
The championship will be held on the Multi-Sport Field at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Verizon FiOS1 will broadcast the semifinal games locally in the D.C. metro area available to Verizon FiOS customers. In addition, the semifinals will be streamed live online at www.BIGEAST.tv <http://www.bigeast.tv/>  for $7.95.
The 2009 championship will feature an impressive array of BIG EAST talent as all four of the league's Tewaaraton Trophy nominees will be in action, as well as the league's top two all-time leading scorers. In addition, the championship will feature four of the six BIG EAST teams ranked in the top 30 of the latest NCAA RPI rankings <http://web1.ncaa.org/app_data/weeklyrpi/2009WLArpi1.html> . The BIG EAST has more teams in the top 30 (six) than any other conference (No. 6 Syracuse, No. 7 Georgetown, No. 8 Notre Dame, No. 20 Loyola, No. 25 Louisville and No. 27 Rutgers).
Georgetown tied for the regular-season crown along with Syracuse, but took the league's No. 1 seed by winning the regular-season meeting between the teams 11-10 in four overtimes on April 3. It is the Hoyas first regular-season title since 2007 when they also tied the Orange atop the BIG EAST standings.
The Hoyas are led by junior Tewaaraton Award nominees Ashby Kaestner and Molly Ford. Kaestner has totaled 51 points, including 36 goals and 15 assists while Ford has compiled a team-leading 56 points, including 43 goals and 13 assists. Kaestner also leads the Hoyas with 36 draw controls and 30 ground balls. Georgetown enters the championship having won six of its last seven games and is looking for its first tournament title in the three-year history of the event.
Syracuse earned the league's No. 2 seed and clinched its third straight regular-season title. The Orange are led by Tewaaraton Award nominee Katie Rowan. The senior has totaled a league leading 84 points, including 45 assists in 15 games this year. Rowan also is the league's all-time points leader with 134 points, including 65 assists in 22 career conference games. The Orange won each of the first two tournament titles and are currently riding a four-game win streak in BIG EAST Championship play.
Notre Dame will face Syracuse in the semifinals for the first time in the league tournament. The Orange won a thrilling 14-13 decision during the regular-season on April 11 as the Irish rallied from a 12-3 halftime deficit falling just short. Notre Dame is led by senior Tewaaraton Award nominee Jillian Byers who has totaled 82 points, including a conference-best 64 goals along with 18 assists in 16 regular-season games this year. She has scored a conference-record 78 goals over 22 games in her BIG EAST career.
Louisville rounds out the field making its first appearance in the league tournament in its first year of BIG EAST membership and its second year of Division I play. Louisville is led by sophomore attack Bergan Foley who leads the team with 49 points, including 45 goals. The Cardinals lost to Georgetown 15-11 on April 11 at home.

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