CENTERVILLE, Mass. (May 6, 2013) - The 2013 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) New England Championship field has been announced and the Mount Holyoke College lacrosse team has earned the second-seed in the five-team tournament, which will be hosted by Western New England University - the top overall seed. The Lyons will face the third-seeded University of Southern Maine on Saturday at 1pm.
This is the fourth ECAC Championship appearance for the Lyons and the first since 2010. During that campaign, MHC posted a 20-7 victory over Husson in the semifinals, but fell in the title game versus Keene State by an 18-17 margin. The winner of Saturday's semifinal match-up between the Lyons and the Huskies will advance to Sunday's championship (1pm) to face the winner of the second semifinal betwen top-seed Western New England and either fourth-seeded Curry College or fifth-seed Worcester State (4pm). The four/five will have a play-in game on Wednesday to determine the fourth team for the weekend action.
Mount Holyoke, which is coached by Miriam Esber - the NEWMAC Coach of the Year, is currently 11-4 overall. The squad posted a 4-2 mark in the NEWMAC, but fell to the eventual conference champion, Springfield, in the tournament semifinals. The Lyons currently lead the conference in assists (107), goals per game (13.67), fewest goals allowed (143) and are second in goals (205), goals against average (9.47) and save percentage (.478).
The Lyons are led offensively by first year Julia Bell (Longmeadow, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson), who has 49 goals with 22 assists for 71 points. The NEWMAC Rookie of the Year and an All-NEWMAC First Team selection has added 25 ground balls, 51 draw controls and a team-best 17 caused turnovers as a starter in all 15 games.
Senior attack Molly Macdonald (Milton, Mass./Milton Academy) is the team and conference's leading goal scorer, producing 58 goals as a starter in all 15 contests. An All-NEWMAC First Team honoree, she has added nine assists and is second in points with 67. First year midfielder Catherine Ryan (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) rounds out the top-three, notching a league and team-high 39 assists to go along with 15 goals for 54 points.
Defensively, the Lyons are backstopped by senior Liz Malenfant (Nantucket, Mass./White Mountain School), who is 11-3 overall. She boasts a 9.49 goals against average and a .488 save percentage, making 126 saves over 834:30 minutes of action. The All-NEWMAC First Team selection is the conference's leader in victories and winning percentage (.786), while ranking second in save percentage and third in GAA.
Among the four other teams in this year's championship field, Mount Holyoke has faced two this season. The Lyons suffered a 15-14 loss at Western New England on March 7 and recorded a 16-8 victory against Southern Maine on March 22 during its spring break trip.
Southern Maine enters this weekend's action with a 12-7 record. The squad was 5-1 in Little East Conference play, advancing to the title game where they shouldered a loss to Eastern Connecticut State. Junior midfielder Rosie Forster leads the Huskies in scoring with 37 goals and 21 assists for 58 points, while junior goalie Kim Vogel (11-7) has a 12.85 goals against average and a .446 save percentage, making 174 saves over 18 contests.
2013 ECAC New England Championship Schedule
|First Rnd. at Curry College||Wed., May 8th|
|#5 Worcester State vs. #4 Curry College||6pm|
|Semifinals at Western New England||Sat., May 11th|
|#2 Mount Holyoke vs. #3 Southern Maine||1pm|
|#1 Western New England vs. #4/#5 Winner||4pm|
|Championship at Western New England||Sun., May 12th|
|Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner||1pm|