Sarah Willis leads the Retrievers with six draw controls this season.
Women’s Lacrosse Opens America East Schedule at Binghamton Friday
BALTIMORE—The UMBC women’s lacrosse team (1-2) hits the road for the first time this season to take on America East foe Binghamton (1-1) Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex. Follow the game on your computer with LiveStats.
Last Time Out: The UMBC women’s lacrosse team picked up its first victory of the season, 11-10, by defeating cross-town rival Loyola for the first time in 34 years. Senior attack Ali Levendusky (Baldwin, Md./John Carroll) scored a season-high four goals in the game, including the game-winner with 5:17 remaining. The game was tied five times, including 6-6 at halftime. Junior Susie Sweeney (Madison, N.J./Madison) made her first start of the season and was outstanding in goal for the Retrievers with 15 saves in 60 minutes. Junior midfielder Kara Dorr (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) posted her first hat trick of the season. Six different players accounted for the Retrievers’ 11 goals.
On the Bearcats: Binghamton is 1-1 after a 12-11 home win over Colgate on Feb. 22, which followed a season-opening 21-9 loss at William and Mary. Freshman attack Ali Castiglie posted a hat trick and added an assist to lead the Bearcats over the Raiders, and she was named America East Rookie of the Week for her efforts. Freshman goalie Lauren Scott also came up big against Colgate, making six saves and allowing just three goals in the second half to allow the Bearcats to mount their comeback. Castiglie leads the team with four goals, three assists and seven points, while midfielder Kelsey Pieper has recorded a team-best eight ground balls and five draw controls. Binghamton finished last season 1-11 overall and 0-6 in America East play, with its sole victory coming over Niagara. New head coach Tony Zostant was a two-time Atlantic-10 Conference Coach of the Year with St. Bonaventure. The Bearcats were picked to finish seventh in the America East Conference Preseason Poll.
Last Time vs. the Bearcats: Last season, the Retrievers defeated Binghamton, 18-3, for one of their two America East victories. Senior attack Jen Kasper scored three times and added two assists during UMBC’s 11-0 opening spurt. She finished with a game-high four goals and six points. Kasper scored the Retrievers’ first goal just 30 seconds into the game, as UMBC tallied five times in the first 6:45 of play. Erika Travis put the Bearcats on the board for the first time with the first of her team-high two goals at the 8:08 mark, and the Retrievers took a 12-1 lead into halftime. Senior midfielder Kelly Fahey tallied just 10 seconds into the second half before Kate Gromatsky scored Binghamton’s second goal of the game at 26:43. But the Retrievers scored four straight and five of the final six goals of the contest for the 18-3 win.
UMBC vs. Binghamton All-Time: UMBC leads the all-time series 4-0. The teams first met in 2004, the Retrievers’ first season in the America East, and have met each year as conference rivals.
Taking on the Best: UMBC will face four teams in 2008 that were ranked in the top 20 in the most recent IWLCA Coaches’ Poll, including No. 11 Vanderbilt (Feb. 22), No. 13 Yale (April 13), No. 14 Johns Hopkins (April 9) and No. 16 Boston University (April 19). In addition, Hofstra (Feb. 17) and California (March 30) received votes in the rankings. In the current Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, Yale was ranked 10th, Vanderbilt 11th, Johns Hopkins 14th and Boston U. 15th, while Delaware (March 10), Towson (March 15) and Hofstra received votes. Vanderbilt, Yale, Boston U., Johns Hopkins and Hofstra all advanced in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
UMBC Picked Fourth: The UMBC women’s lacrosse team was predicted to finish in a tie for fourth place in the America East standings, according to a vote of the league’s head coaches. Both the Retrievers and Albany received 19 points apiece in the America East Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Three-time defending champion Boston University is the preseason favorite to win its fourth straight league title. The Terriers received four first-place votes and 35 total points. New Hampshire and Stony Brook each received one first place vote, but the Wildcats edged the Seawolves in the preseason standings, 29 points to 27. UMBC (19), Albany (19), Vermont (11) and Binghamton (6) round out the seven-team poll. The top four teams in the conference will advance to the America East Championships April 25-27. The Retrievers look to return to the America East Tournament after missing the postseason for the first time since UMBC joined the league in 2004.
Beasts in the America East: Senior attack Ali Levendusky is tied for second in the America East with 3.33 goals per game this season, while junior midfielder Abbey Swift (Baltimore, Md./Towson) is tied for seventh with 2.0 gpg. Levendusky also ranks third in the conference with 3.67 points per game. In addition, Levendusky and Swift are first and second in the league, respectively, in shots per game. Junior goalie Susie Sweeney ranks second in save percentage (.547) and third in goals-against average (11.88) and saves per game (9.67).
Dawg Bites: Senior attack Ali Levendusky leads the Retrievers with 10 goals and 11 points, and she has posted a hat trick in each of the first three games this season…. Levendusky has scored a goal in 10 straight games dating to April 4, 2007, against American, and she has tallied at least one point in 12 straight games dating to March 24, 2007, against New Hampshire…Junior midfielder Kara Dorr currently leads UMBC with two assists and four caused turnovers… Levendusky and freshman midfielder Megan Linkous (Jarrettsville, Md./North Harford) have picked up a team-best six ground balls apiece, while sophomore defender Sarah Willis (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) has won a team-high six draw controls… The Retrievers return three of their top five goal scorers from a year ago… UMBC welcomes a large incoming class of 11 freshmen for the 2008 season to go along with eight returning starters and 19 returning letter-winners overall.