Liberty League women's lacrosse championship preview

Nationally ranked No. 3 Hamilton College will host the 2011 Liberty League women's lacrosse championship at Hamilton's Steuben Field on Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7.

No. 1 seed Hamilton plays No. 4 Skidmore College in the first semifinal at 2 p.m. on Friday. No. 2 Union College takes on No. 3 Rensselaer in the second semifinal at approximately 4. The winners meet in Saturday afternoon's final at 3. The championship winner earns the league's automatic bid to the 2011 NCAA Division III championship.

The top-seeded Continentals (15-1 overall) have won 13 straight games, and captured their fourth league regular season title in the last five years with an 8-0 league record. Hamilton has won four straight league championships and has been in the final five years in a row. The Continentals are 47-1 against league opponents since the start of 2007. Hamilton has appeared in all nine league championships.

Union (9-7) enters the championship with three losses in its last four games. The Dutchwomen tied with Rensselaer for second place in the league at 6-2, but edged the Engineers 10-8 back on April 2. Union has advanced to the final seven years in a row, and won it all in 2005 and 2006. The Dutchwomen have appeared in every championship except the first one in 2003.

Rensselaer (10-4) has won five games in a row coming into the weekend. The Engineers are in the championship for the second consecutive year after missing out on the first seven. In 2010, Rensselaer lost 12-3 to Hamilton in the semifinals.

Skidmore (10-7) has lost three of its last four games, and finished the regular season with a 5-3 league record. The Thoroughbreds are making their fifth trip to the championship, but its their first appearance since 2006. Skidmore has played in one final -- a 9-6 loss to William Smith College in 2003.

A capsule look at all four teams can be found below.

Overall record
: 15-1
Conference record (finish): 8-0 (1st place)
National rank: No. 3
Head coach: Patty Kloidt, 9th season, 128-32 (154-65 overall)
Conference tournament appearances: Ninth
Conference tournament titles: Four (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
Conference tournament record: 9-4
Last win vs. Skidmore: 13-7 (April 29 at Skidmore)
Record at home: 7-1
Goals per game: 14.19
Goals allowed per game: 6.38
Leading goal scorers: Rachel Friedman ’13 (61), Sarah Bray ‘11 (38), Libby Schultz ’12 (23), Anne Graveley ’11 (22)
Assist leaders: Bray (33), Schultz (12), Martha Plack ’14 (12)
Starting goalie: Dewi Caswell ‘14 (5.61 gaa, .545 save pct., 4-0)

Overall record
: 9-7
Conference record (finish): 6-2 (2nd place)
Head coach: Abigail Jackson, 1st season (44-37 overall)
Conference tournament appearances: Eighth
Conference tournament titles: Two (2005 and 2006)
Conference tournament record: 9-5
Last win vs. Rensselaer: 10-8 (April 2 at Rensselaer)
Road/neutral record: 4-6
Goals per game: 10.75
Goals allowed per game: 9.13
Leading goal scorers: Kristin Joyce ‘11 (53), Chelsea Charette ’11 (35), Melissa Hine ‘11 (25)
Assist leaders: Hine (32), Joyce (12)
Starting goalie: Alexis Deeb ‘11 (9.13 gaa, .390 save pct., 9-7)

Overall record: 10-4
Conference record (finish): 6-2 (2nd place)
Head coach: Leslie DeLano, 9th season, 58-68
Conference tournament appearances: Second
Conference tournament titles: None
Conference tournament record: 0-1
Last win vs. Union: 8-6 (March 25, 2005 at home)
Road/neutral record: 7-3
Goals per game: 12.13
Goals allowed per game: 10.63
Leading goal scorers: Alissa Peterson ’13 (30), Stephanie Caouette ’11 (26), Afton Marshall ’11 (25)
Assist leaders: Marshall (16), Caouette (14)
Starting goalie: Allie Arnal ‘13 (8.12 gaa, .462 save pct., 10-4)

Overall record
: 10-7
Conference record (finish): 5-3 (4th place)
Head coach: Elizabeth Ghilardi, 1st season
Conference tournament appearances: Fifth
Conference tournament titles: None
Conference tournament record: 1-4
Last win vs. Hamilton: 8-7 (April 23, 2005 at home)
Road/neutral record: 5-4
Goals per game: 11.41
Goals allowed per game: 9.07
Leading goal scorers: Lindsay Stavola ’11 (50), Lauren Madden ’12 (35), Kimberly Segalas ’11 (28)
Assist leaders: Stavola (31), Segalas (13)
Starting goalie: Rachel Klein ’12 (9.11 gaa, .449 save pct., 10-7)

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