Amherst Women's Lacrosse Receives NCAA At-Large Bid; Will Host Endicott This Wednesday at 5 p.m.


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AMHERST, MA – Amherst College will be one of 25 schools competing in the upcoming NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship. The Lord Jeffs will host Endicott College Wednesday at 5 p.m., with the winner taking on Washington & Lee in the second round this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on the campus of Franklin & Marshall College. Tickets for Wednesday’s game will be sold at the Gooding Field gates and will be $3 for adults and $2 for students with a valid ID.

This is Amherst’s ninth trip to the national tournament and the seventh in the last eight years. The Lord Jeffs have posted a 16-7 record in NCAA Championship games, including a perfect 8-0 mark at home. After losing to Middlebury College in the national title game in 1999 and 2001, Amherst came back with a vengeance to win the 2003 crown by defeating Middlebury in the finals.

Fifteen conferences have been awarded automatic qualification for the 2008 championship. Four teams are selected from Pool B, which consists of independent institutions and institutions that are members of conferences that do not meet the requirements for automatic qualification. The final six berths are reserved for Pool C, which are institutions from automatic-qualifying conferences that are not the conference champion and the remaining Pool B teams.

Although Colby College claimed the 2008 NESCAC title, three of the six Pool C selections for the NCAA Championship went to NESCAC teams, as Middlebury and Trinity will join the Jeffs and White Mules in the fight for a national title.

The Lord Jeffs began their season with an eight-game winning streak en route to a 13-3 record and a trip to the NESCAC Championship semifinals. Along the way, seven of Amherst’s 16 games were against teams that have qualified for the 2008 NCAA Championship, as the Jeffs defeated ECSU, Colby, Babson, Trinity and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, while dropping one game to each Middlebury and Trinity.

Amherst features three of the top 20 points leaders in the NESCAC in Amy Craig (43-8-51), Mary Noonan (27-17-44) and Maddie Hoeg (29-10-39). In addition, the Jeffs boast one of the best scoring defenses in the country, as they have allowed a mere 7.34 goals per game—the second lowest average in the NESCAC. Senior Linda McEvoy has been solid in net throughout the season, as she leads the conference in save percentage (.565) and is second in goals-against average (7.42).

Endicott qualified for the national playoff by posting a 15-5 overall record and perfect 10-0 mark in The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC), as the Gulls claimed their third straight conference crown by winning three TCCC tournament games in five days. Endicott was eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Championship in each of the past two seasons.

Endicott will enter Wednesday’s matchup boasting an impressive seven-game winning streak, outscoring its opponents 110-71 during that span. The Lord Jeffs will have to find an answer to TCCC Offensive Player of the Year Valerie Feldman, as the sophomore attacker has 52 goals and 21 assists for the Blue and Green.

Nine first-round games will be conducted May 7 at campus sites.  Eight second-round games will be conducted May 10, and four quarterfinal-round games will be conducted May 11. The second- and quarterfinal-round games will be contested at four regional sites on the campuses of participating institutions. Winners of the four regionals will advance to the semifinals and final, to be played May 17-18 at Donald J. Kerr Stadium at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. The Old Dominion Athletic Conference and the City of Salem will serve as hosts for the championship.


AMHERST IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: Ninth appearance / 16-7 all-time (8-0 home, 8-7 road)
~1996 (Fell to Trenton State, 20-9, in first round)

~1999 (Beat visiting Colorado College, 21-13, in first round… won at Bowdoin, 15-9, in national quarterfinals… beat The College of New Jersey, 11-8, in national semifinals… fell to Middlebury, 10-9, in national championship game)

~2001 (First-round bye… beat visiting Wellesley, 20-10, in second round… beat visiting Ithaca, 13-6, in national quarterfinals… beat The College of New Jersey, 11-10 in overtime, in national semifinals… fell to Middlebury, 11-10 in overtime, in national championship game)

~2002 (First-round bye… beat visiting Colorado College, 15-8, in second round… beat visiting Union, 13-6, in national quarterfinals… fell to The College of New Jersey, 10-7, in national semifinals)

~2003 (First-round bye… beat SUNY Cortland, 20-9, at Gettysburg in second round… beat regional host Gettysburg, 12-5, in national quarterfinals... beat The College of New Jersey, 12-10, in national semifinals... beat Middlebury, 11-9, in national championship game)

~2004 (First-round bye… beat visiting Scranton, 20-4, in second round… beat visiting Plymouth St., 21-6, in national quarterfinals… fell to Middlebury, 13-9, in national semifinals)

~2005 (First-round bye… fell to Washington & Lee, 11-9, in second round)

~2006 (beat WNEC, 19-3, in first round…beat Rowan, 14-9, in second round… fell at Gettysburg, 8-4, in national quarterfinals)

~2008 (drew Endicott in first round…)