PROVIDENCE, R.I. - 2011 BIG EAST women's lacrosse champion Loyola University is the league's lone entrant in the 2011 NCAA Championship field announced Sunday evening. The Greyhounds (16-2, 6-2 BIG EAST) were seeded No. 6 in the 16-team NCAA tournament and will host unseeded Massachusetts on Saturday, May 14 at 1 p.m.
Loyola is making its 14th appearance in the NCAA Championship and first since the 2004 season. "This means a lot to our program and our school," third-year head coach Jen Adams said. The 2011 BIG EAST Co-Coach of the Year continued, "We have worked very hard to get to this point, and we are excited to start the tournament."
Loyola placed a conference-high eight players on the All-BIG EAST teams, led by first-team honorees Grace Gavin and Abby Rehfuss. Gavin also was named the BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year for the second season in a row.
Meg Decker, Kellye Gallagher, Ana Heneberry, Mary Heneberry, Marlee Paton and Kerry Stoothoff each were named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team. Stoothoff also was named the Most Outstanding Player of the BIG EAST Championship after making 10 saves in the title game. It was Loyola's first league tournament title.
The Minutewomen (17-2, 7-0 Atlantic-10) are under the direction of former UConn head coach Angela McMahon, who is in her first year at UMass. In her two years with the Huskies, Loyola won both matchups. McMahon posted a 12-21 overall record and a 4-11 record in the BIG EAST in two seasons at UConn after taking over as head coach prior to the 2009 campaign.
The winner will advance to play either No. 3 seed North Carolina or Virginia in the quarterfinals May 21 or 22.