No. 16 Wesleyan Hosts No. 17 Ithaca in NCAA Second Round

No. 16 Wesleyan Hosts No. 17 Ithaca in NCAA Second Round

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The 16th-ranked Wesleyan University women's lacrosse team earned an at-large bid to the 2017 NCAA Division III Championships for the first time in program history, and is scheduled to host 17th-ranked Ithaca College in the second round on Sunday, May 14 at 1 p.m. on Smith Field.


2017 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET  I  NCAA DIGITAL PROGRAM


LIVE COVERAGE:

  • Sunday's game will feature live stats and live video broadcasted by the Northeast Sports Network (NSN) with play-by-play from Gene Gumbs. (Live Stats l Video)

TICKET INFORMATION:

  • Cost for admission is $6 for adults, $3 for students with a valid ID, and $2 for children ages 3-12. Children two or younger are free of charge.

SCOUTING NO. 16 WESLEYAN (11-5):

  • The Cardinals are riding a historic season, in which they set program records in overall wins (11) and conference wins (7) to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever.
  • After posting a 7-3 regular season record in the ultra-competitive NESCAC, Wesleyan earned the No. 5 seed in the conference tournament. It was the Cardinals' first appearance in the NESCAC Championships since 2009.
  • The team's success can be largely contributed to its senior class, and second-year head coach Kim Williams who was named the NESCAC Coach of the Year after leading Wesleyan to its first winning season since 2007.
  • On the field, the Cardinals have been led by All-NESCAC selections Caroline Sgaglione '19 and Rachel Aronow '17. Sgaglione is just the second Wesleyan women's lacrosse player to ever receive first team laurels, and the first since 2005. The sophomore defender leads the team in caused turnovers (26), draws (45) and ground balls (34). Aronow was named to the second team, and does a little bit of everything for the Cardinals. She ranks third on the team in points (37), is tied for third in goals (28), ranks fourth in ground balls (20) and caused turnovers (9), and ranks fifth in draws (11).
  • Also on the attack are seniors Meredith Smith and Liana Mathias, who have each registered their 100th career point this season. Smith currently ranks sixth all-time in program history with 121 points, while Mathias ranks tied for ninth with 109. Mathias currently leads the team in points (43), while Smith sits second with 40 and Smith also ranks No. 1 in the country in free position percentage (.824). Freshman Abby Manning leads all Cardinals with 32 goals.
  • Wesleyan is 6-1 at home this season, and is 4-5 against teams ranked in the top-20.  

SCOUTING NO. 17 ITHACA (13-4):

  • The Bombers earned an at-large bid after posting a 13-4 overall record. Despite going a perfect 8-0 in the Empire 8 to earn the top-seed in their conference tournament, Ithaca lost its first game against the eventual champions and fourth-seeded St. John Fisher, 17-10.
  • The team is led by Empire 8 Player of the Year, Ally Runyon, and Goalkeeper of the Year, Kimberly Presuto. Additionally, midfielder Morgan Cadwell and defender Molly Long were also named first team selections, while attack Allie Panara and defender Reid Simoncini garnered second team laurels. Midfielder Olivia Oppenheim was named a honorable mention.
  • Runyon, a fifth-year senior who missed the 2016 campaign due to injury, set single-season career-highs this year in points (75) and goals (64). She became the first player in program history to eclipse 70 points and 60 goals in the same season. Runyon also ranks 35th in the country in goals per game (3.76).
  • Presuto has been named the top goalie in the Empire 8 the past two seasons. She currently boasts an 8.10 goals-against average and .483 save percentage.
  • The Bombers also rely on Panara and Morgan Racicot for offense as they rank second (64) and third (61) on the team in points, respectively. Racicot also leads the team in assists (34), and Panara ranks second (30).
  • Ithaca is 1-1 against NESCAC teams this season and 2-1 against teams ranked in the top-20. The Bombers defeated then-No. 2 Trinity (11-10) during their Spring Break Trip in Tennessee, but lost to Hamilton on April 18 at home (13-12).
  • Ithaca is making its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, and second consecutive. The Bombers are 2-10 all-time in postseason play.

SERIES HISTORY:

  • Sunday's game will mark the first-ever meeting between Wesleyan and Ithaca.