Hamilton freshmen lead team to victory
Hamilton won the Division III Women’s Lacrosse title May 18 – the school’s first national crown in any sport – on the strength of two freshmen who scored more than half the teams’ goals. The Continentals beat Franklin & Marshall, 13-6, at Roanoke’s Donald J. Kerr Stadium.
Hamilton knocked off top-ranked Salisbury in the semifinals before Sarah Bray, named the tournament’s most valuable player, unleashed her career-high five goals against Franklin & Marshall. Bray, who didn’t play the first ten minutes of the game, also tallied an assist during the contest.
Fellow freshman Anne Graveley added three goals of her own, all in the second half.
The Continentals started off strong, with junior Kaillie Briscoe scoring before four minutes had elapsed in the game. When Briscoe got a penalty and was removed from the game, Bray replaced her and scored within two minutes.
The Diplomats responded quickly, tying the game with two goals in 65 seconds.
Hamilton, whose only loss was a one-point defeat at the hands of Franklin & Marshall earlier in the season, would not be quieted, answering with a 6-0 run (including four from Bray) to end the first half.
After a halftime pep talk from coach Anne Phillips, the Diplomats came out of the locker room ready to play, cutting their deficit with two free-position goals. But Hamilton quickly restored the cushion after two goals from Graveley.
Franklin & Marshall got one back with just under 15 minutes to play when senior Jen Pritchard scored her 200th career strike. Hamilton’s Bray put the game out of reach for the Diplomats with eight minutes to go, taking a pass from Briscoe in the center of the arc and forcing her way to the goal under heavy defense.
Two more goals from Graveley and Nicole Tetreault sealed the victory for the Continentals. Sarah Meisenberg made the final shot for the Diplomats.
Hamilton ended the season 21-1, while Franklin & Marshall closed out the year at 19-2. It was the first title game for both teams.
“Hamilton had a great season, and we could not be happier for them,” Phillips said. “We got to experience the same thing last season, and hopefully we will be back next year.”
The village of Clinton, New York welcomed the team home with a fire-truck parade and huge celebration.
“These kids work so hard, they are very dedicated to the program, they believe in each other they love to play and a this point they were fearless, they didn’t really care who they were playing they just wanted to play,” head coach Patty Kloidt said during the celebration, captured by WKTV-Utica.
TCNJ 6 6—12
Frank. & Marshall 7 7—14
Frank. & Marshall scoring: Sarah Meisenberg 5, Mary Blake Hargest 3, Jen Pritchard 3, Shannon Summers, Meredith Lussier, Sarah Veneski.
TCNJ scoring: Karen Doane 5, Katie Reuther 2, Alison Jaeger 2, Leigh Mitchell 2, Diane Haddeland.
Saves: Franklin & Marshall (Lidia Sanza) 11. TCNJ (Caitlin Gregory) 7.
Salisbury 4 6—10
Hamilton 7 4—11
Hamilton scoring: Kaillie Briscoe 2, Anne Graveley 2, Jen McGowan 2, Nicole Tetreault 2, Hilary Saverin, Liz Rave, Sarah Bray.
Salisbury scoring: Robyn Bishop 4, Sue Ackermann 2, Kim Cudmore 2, Courtney Sorensen, Jessica Liston.
Saves: Hamilton (Kate Fowler) 6, Salisbury (Sonja Stuart) 10.
Frank. & Marshall 2 4—6
Hamilton 8 5—13
Hamilton scoring – Sarah Bray 6, Anne Gravely 3, Kaillie Briscoe 2, Nicole Tetreault, Jen McGowan, Hilary Saverin.
Franklin & Marshall scoring – Sarah Meisenberg 2, Jen Pritchard, Meredith Lussier, Devi Hensch, Sarah Veneski.
Saves: Hamilton (Kate Fowler) 6. Franklin & Marshall (Lidia Sanza) 8.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association