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Women’s Lacrosse Returns to NESCAC Tournament, Earns No. 5 Seed

Photo by Jonas Powell '18
Photo by Jonas Powell '18

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – For the second year in a row, the Wesleyan University women's lacrosse team has qualified for the NESCAC Tournament, as the nationally-ranked No. 14 Cardinals (10-5, 6-4 NESCAC) earned the No. 5 seed and will play at fourth-seeded and No. 13 Bowdoin College (11-4, 6-4) this Saturday, April 28 at 12 p.m. on Ryan Field.

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Bowdoin, Wesleyan and Trinity all finished with identical conference records of 6-4. In head-to-head competition, all three teams went 1-1. In results against the top four, all three teams were 1-4. In results against the top eight teams, all three teams were 3-4. In comparing results against teams in rank order, all three teams lost to Middlebury, Amherst and Tufts, and posted wins against Colby, Hamilton, Bates, Williams and Connecticut College. A random action was used to determine Bowdoin as the No. 4 seed, Wesleyan as the No. 5 seed and Trinity as the No. 6 seed.

AT A GLANCE: NO. 5 WESLEYAN

  • The Cardinals, who snapped a seven-year postseason drought a year ago, return to the conference tournament as the No. 5 seed for the second-straight season as third-year head coach Kim Williams has revitalized the program.
  • Ranked No. 14 in the country, Wesleyan is 3-5 against top-25 teams this season and 4-3 on the road.
  • The Cardinals average 9.93 goals per game but allow just 8.86.
  • Sophomore Allegra Grant, who is also the starting goalie for the women's ice hockey team, has been spectacular between the posts. The Winnetka, Ill. native ranks second in the NESCAC in saves (134) and save percentage (50.2), and is fourth in goals-against average (8.84).
  • Grant has received help defensively from All-American Caroline Sgaglione '19 and freshman Jordan Ansell. Sgaglione leads the team in draw controls (48) and ground balls (38), and is tied for the team-lead in caused turnovers alongside Ansell with 16 each. Sgaglione's 38 ground balls are also fourth-most in the conference.
  • Offensively, three players have 30 or more points this season—Abby Manning '20 (36), Abigail Horst '19 (33) and Caitlin Wood '19 (30).
  • Horst leads the team in goals with 32 while Wood ranks second with 28.
  • Manning and freshman Sydney Prokupek lead the team with nine assists each.
  • Wesleyan is seeking its first NESCAC Tournament win in eight tries.

AT A GLANCE: NO. 4 BOWDOIN

  • The Polar Bears also return to the NESCAC Tournament for the second consecutive season as they earned their first-ever four seed.
  • Bowdoin's perfect home record came to an end Wednesday, as did its five-game winning streak, when it lost to Tufts, 11-10. The Polar Bears are 7-1 on Ryan Field this season.
  • One of the most prolific offenses in the conference, Bowdoin ranks second in scoring with an average of 14.07 goals per game while allowing 9.67 per contest. The Polar Bears also rank second in the NESCAC in draw controls, averaging 15.07 per game.
  • Offensively, freshman Katie Miller leads the team in points (53) and goals (43). Her 53 points are also fifth-best in the conference.
  • Freshman Eliza Denious and senior Hannah Hirschfeld have 31 and 30 goals, respectively, while Hirschfeld also leads the team in assists (16), ground balls (27) and caused turnovers (17).
  • Sophomore Morgan Pinado leads the team in draw controls with 53 and classmate Kara Finnerty ranks second with 50.
  • In net, senior goalie Kayli Weiss ranks fourth in the conference in save percentage (48.3) and fifth in goals against (123).
  • Bowdoin is 7-14 all-time in 14 NESCAC Tournament appearances. The Polar Bears have reached the finals twice but are still seeking their first conference championship.

THE SERIES:

  • Bowdoin leads the all-time series, 30-11-1.
  • Last year, Wesleyan snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Polar Bears. However, Bowdoin won 13-11 at home less than two weeks ago.
  • Saturday's game marks the second meeting between the two programs in the NESCAC Tournament, with Bowdoin claiming the first game in the 2005 quarterfinals, 13-6.