The Mount Ida women’s lacrosse team begins its quest for the 2018 Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship on Saturday afternoon, as the Mustangs are seeded third in this year’s league tournament and will host sixth-seeded Norwich in a quarterfinal round clash at Alumni Field beginning at 12:30 p.m. EDT.
Head Coach Nicole Poli’s squad finished the regular season with an overall mark of 11-4, including a 7-3 slate in GNAC action that was good for a tie for third place in the final standings. Mount Ida, which sports a 25-9 mark over the last two seasons combined, is making its fourth straight trip to the post-season and the program’s eighth overall since its varsity inception in 2010, as the Mustangs advanced to the league semifinals last spring as part of a school-record 14-win campaign.
Junior midfielder Alyssa Kelly (Lee, Mass./Lee) has enjoyed an historic season at Mount Ida, as she enters Saturday’s contest leading the conference in scoring with 75 goals and 38 assists for 113 points. Kelly, a two-time GNAC Corvias Player of the Week honoree this season, enters the playoffs ranked fourth nationally in NCAA Division III in points per game (7.50), ninth in goals per game and 23rd in assists per game. Alyssa now holds all of the Mustangs’ career scoring marks with 208 goals and 89 assists for 297 points in 51 matches, including 218 points combined in her last 34 contests dating back to 2017.
Kelly tops the GNAC scoring race over her teammate Brooke Scahill (Gales Ferry, Conn./Ledyard), as the junior midfielder has collected 55 goals and 37 assists for 92 points on the year. Scahill, who was named as the GNAC Corvias Player of the Week on April 2nd after setting a school single-game record with 13 points in a win over Wheelock, has registered 11 hat tricks this spring and is ranked third nationally in Division III action in free position goals per game (1.93) while also ranking 21st nationally in points per game (6.13).
Senior attack Hayley Napier (Fairhaven, Mass./Greater New Bedford Voke) follows on the Mustang scoring list with 26 goals and 10 assists for 36 points, while freshman attack Jordyn Ringuette (Colchester, Conn./Colchester) and senior captain Emily McConnell (Dracut, Mass./Greater Lowell Tech) have collected a combined 49 goals and 12 assists for 61 points. Scahill and Napier both joined Mount Ida’s 100 Goal Club during the season, while McConnell became the ninth member of the Mustang 100 Point Club on March 31st in a 15-10 triumph over rival Lasell.
Sophomore Meghan Sargent (Brattleboro, Vt./Brattleboro Union) paces Mount Ida’s defensive corps with a team-leading 25 caused turnovers to go with 46 ground balls, as she has chipped in with seven goals and eight total points on offense. The last line of the Mustang defense has been solid throughout the spring, as senior Eleanor Garvey (Elkridge, Md./Francis Scott Key) is ranked fifth nationally in saves percentage (.583) and 21st in Division III play in saves per game after amassing a league-leading 182 stops to date. A three-time GNAC Corvias Goalkeeper of the Week honoree, Garvey was tabbed as the IWLCA Division III National Defensive Player of the Week on April 11th after a 17-save performance in a 10-7 victory over Simmons.
Norwich enters the post-season with an overall mark of 7-7 (5-5 in GNAC play) under Head Coach Heather Faasse, and one of those wins came on April 17th here at Alumni Field when the Cadets posted a 14-11 triumph over Mount Ida. Junior midfielder Kathryn Albretsen leads a balanced Norwich attack with 40 goals and 43 total points, while sophomore attack Olivia Bloom and senior attack Meaghan McGrath follow with a combined 65 goals and 73 total points. Junior Janice Bolton has been solid in the Cadet cage, including a 14-save performance in the last meeting between the teams earlier this month.
Saturday’s quarterfinal round clash will mark the second all-time post-season meeting between Mount Ida and Norwich, as the Cadets posted a 13-6 home win over the Mustangs in the 2011 GNAC semifinals in their only other tournament match. The winner of Saturday’s match advances to take on either second-seeded Lasell or seventh-seeded Simmons in the conference semifinals on Tuesday at the site of the higher seed, as Saturday’s other quarterfinal round contests will pit top-seeded Johnson & Wales against eighth-seeded Rivier and fourth-seeded Regis entertaining fifth-seeded Saint Joseph’s (Maine).
For complete brackets and updated tournament information, please visit www.thegnac.com.