NCAA women's lacrosse regional championship preview

Hamilton College is one of four regional hosts for the 2010 NCAA Division III women's lacrosse championship, which will be held at Hamilton's Steuben Field on Saturday and Sunday, May 15 and 16.

Nationally ranked No. 1 and undefeated Hamilton (18-0 overall) takes on Kenyon College from the North Coast Athletic Conference in the first regional semifinal at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. The Continentals have never played Kenyon in the program's history. Fifth-ranked SUNY Cortland plays No. 9 Colby College in the second semifinal at 2:30 p.m.

The semifinal winners meet in the regional final at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The winner of that game earns a spot in the national semifinals at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., on Saturday, May 22. Hamilton edged Cortland 8-7 at Cortland on March 23. The Continentals last played Colby in a 2008 NCAA regional semifinal at home. Hamilton won that contest by the score of 13-6.

The Continentals are making their sixth appearance overall and fourth in a row in this event. Hamilton -- with the No. 1 scoring defense in Division III -- is aiming for its third straight trip to the national semifinals. The Continentals won the NCAA title in 2008. Kenyon, which is in the championship for the first time, defeated conference rival College of Wooster 19-14 in the first round on May 12.

Cortland received an automatic bid as the SUNYAC tournament champion. The Red Dragons have advanced to the national semifinals once in 13 previous NCAA appearances. Cortland has won its last nine games, including a 19-3 rout of Norwich University in the first round. Colby received an at-large bid out of the NESCAC and the Mules are in the NCAA championship for the fourth time -- all since 2006. Colby hammered the University of Southern Maine 16-5 in the first round.

If any of the three visiting teams are going to win twice and move on to Gettysburg, they will have to accomplish something nobody has been able to do in more than four years -- defeat Hamilton at home. The Continentals have won 36 straight since their last home loss on April 22, 2006, at Campus Road Athletic Field.

A capsule look at all four teams in this weekend's regional can be found below.

Location: Clinton, N.Y.
Overall record: 18-0
Home record: 8-0
Conference: Liberty League
League record (finish): 8-0 (First)
National rank: No. 1
How they reached the NCAA championships: Defeated Union, 13-3, in Liberty League tournament final
Head coach: Patty Kloidt, eighth year at Hamilton, 110-30 (136-63) overall)
NCAA tournament appearances (last): Sixth (2009)
NCAA tournament titles: One (2008)
NCAA tournament record: 9-4
Goals per game: 15.28
Goals allowed per game: 5.83
Leading goal scorers: Liz Rave ’10 (38), Rachel Friedman ’13 (36), Anne Graveley ’11 (34)
Assist leaders: Sarah Bray ’11 (42),  Libby Schultz ‘12 (8)
Starting goalie: Kate Fowler ’10 (6.31 gaa, .467 save pct., 18-0 record)

Location: Gambier, Ohio
Overall record: 15-2
Road/neutral record: 6-1
Conference: North Coast Athletic Conference
Conference record (finish): 5-1 (Second)
How they reached the NCAA championships: Received an at-large bid
Head coach: Meredith Buzzi, third year at Kenyon, 36-12
NCAA tournament appearances: First
NCAA tournament record: 1-0 (includes 19-14 win against Wooster in 2010 first round)
Goals per game: 15.06
Goals allowed per game: 8.35
Leading goal scorers: Emily Nichols ’13 (54), Liz Hancock ’10 (33), Leah Sack ’13 (29)
Assist leaders: Sack (40), Margaret Sherwood ’12 (15)
Starting goalie: Chase Kreuter ’10 (8.63 gaa, .577 save pct., 14-2 record)

Location: Waterville, Maine
Overall record: 14-4
Road/neutral record: 8-1
Conference: NESCAC
Conference record (finish): 6-3 (Third)
National rank: No. 9
How they reached the NCAA tournament: Received an at-large bid.
Head coach: Karen MacCrate Henning, third year at Colby, 43-12 (146-33 overall)
NCAA tournament appearances (last): Fourth (2009)
NCAA tournament record: 3-3 (includes 16-5 win against Southern Maine in 2010 first round)
Goals per game: 11.5
Goals allowed per game: 7.78
Leading goal scorers: Amy Campbell ’10 (48), Kathleen Kramer ‘10 (31), Kate Pistel ’13 (24)
Assist leaders: Claire Donegan ’12 (24), Campbell (16)
Starting goalie: Sarah Warnke ‘11 (7.96 gaa, .504 save pct., 14-3 record)

Location: Cortland, N.Y.
Overall record: 17-2
Road/neutral record: 8-1
Conference: SUNYAC
Conference record (finish): 8-0 (First)
National rank: No. 5
How they reached the NCAA championships: Defeated SUNY Brockport, 10-4, in SUNYAC tournament final
Head coach: Kathy Taylor, second year at Cortland, 31-9
NCAA tournament appearances (last): 14th (2009)
NCAA tournament record: 9-13 (includes 19-3 win against Norwich in 2010 first round)
Goals per game: 14.05
Goals allowed per game: 7.21
Leading goal scorers: Lindsay Abbott ’12 (49), Kelly Radigan ‘12 (47), Maria Di Fato ’13 (40)
Assist leaders: Abbott (33), Radigan (25)
Starting goalie: Ally Levy ’13 (7.21 gaa, .471 save pct., 17-2 record)

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