Women's Lacrosse Championship Preview

Weekly Release in PDF
Bracket in PDF
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Championship Central
May 3, 2011
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The 2011 BIG EAST women's lacrosse championship field has been set and Georgetown has earned the No. 1 overall seed. The Hoyas (9-7, 7-1 BIG EAST) will host the tournament and face No. 4 seed Notre Dame (9-8, 6-2 BIG EAST) on May 5 at 8:15 p.m. ET. No. 2 seed Syracuse (10-7, 7-1 BIG EAST) will face No. 3 seed Loyola (14-2, 6-2 BIG EAST) in the other semifinal at approximately 5:30 p.m. ET. The winners will face off for the league's tournament championship on May 7 at 1 p.m. and an automatic berth into the 16-team Division I NCAA Championship.
For the second straight year, all three games will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network. Veteran play-by-play announcer Jason Knapp and analyst Sheehan Stanwick Burch will call the action. CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable operators and nationally via satellite on DIRECTV channel 613 and Dish Network channel 152.
For Georgetown, Notre Dame and Syracuse, this marks the fifth consecutive year that all three schools have advanced to the BIG EAST Championship. Loyola has participated in each of the last two championship tournaments.
Revenge will be a factor for Thursday's games as the regular-season meetings between the semifinalists were both upsets decided by a total of four goals. Notre Dame upset then-No. 16/17 Georgetown 13-10 on April 23, while Syracuse knocked off then-No. 7/5 Loyola 10-9 on April 29.
Georgetown enters the BIG EAST Championship on the heels of its 10th regular-season title in the past 11 years. The Hoyas also are the No. 1 seed for the fourth time in five years of tournament play. The Hoyas are led by senior Jordy Kirr with 49 points, including a team-best 25 assists. Sophomore Sophia Thomas also is a key contributor in the midfield having amassed 43 points, including 35 goals. Thomas also has totaled a team-high 39 ground balls, along with 23 draw controls. The Hoyas won their first league tournament title last year and are the defending champs.
Syracuse enters the BIG EAST Championship as one of the hottest teams in the country having won five in a row and seven of its last eight games. That stretch includes
a win at Loyola last week. The Orange are paced by sophomore Michelle Tumolo who leads the team with 60 points, including 33 assists. Senior Tee Ladouceur adds 51 points, along with a team-high 34 goals. Senior goalkeeper Liz Hogan also is a key cog for the Orange. She has made 136 saves this season and holds a 9.67 goals-against average. The Orange won the first two league tournament titles in 2007 and 2008.
Loyola is making its second appearance in the BIG EAST Championship and is under the direction of third-year head coach Jen Adams. The Greyhounds began the year 12-0, their best start since 2003. With BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and senior Grace Gavin leading the charge, Loyola is looking for its first win in the tournament. Gavin leads the league in scoring with 80 points and leads her team with 59 goals and 21 assists. Junior goalkeeper Kerry Stoothoff anchors the defense having made 109 saves and holding a league-low 8.52 goals-against average.
Notre Dame enters the BIG EAST Championship having won three of its last four, including a thrilling 16-15 victory at Louisville on April 29 to help lock up the No. 4 seed. Earlier in the year, the Irish handed Georgetown its only loss in conference play, a 13-10 decision  at Notre Dame on April 13. The Irish are powered by junior Maggie Tamasitis who had a team-high 60 points. The attacker also leads Notre Dame with 39 assists. Senior Shaylyn Blaney anchors the midfield (39 points, 37 draw controls and 36 ground balls), while classmate Jackie Doherty leads the defense (48 ground balls and 36 draw controls). Notre Dame captured the 2009 league tournament title also held at Georgetown's Multi-Sport Field.