Women’s Lacrosse Begins Four-Game Road Swing at Old Dominion Saturday
Courtney Connor and the Retrievers will try to break an eight-game losing streak to the Lady Monarchs.
BALTIMORE--- The UMBC women’s lacrosse team (2-3, 1-1 AEC) hits the road for the first of four straight road games on Saturday, taking on Old Dominion (2-0) at 1 p.m. in Norfolk, Va.
Last Time Out: UMBC fell to Vermont, 14-5, on Tuesday afternoon at UMBC Stadium. The Retrievers jumped out to a 3-0 lead after just 7:27 had passed in the game. Freshman midfielder Kristen Milligan (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) scored the first goal of her career just 1:09 into the game, while sophomore midfielder Megan Cook (Towson, Md./Towson) tallied twice on feeds from senior attack Meghan Keelan (Randallstown, Md./Mount de Sales) in a span of less than two minutes. But the Catamounts scored four straight and six of the final seven goals of the half to take a 6-4 halftime lead. Junior midfielder Abbey Swift (Baltimore, Md./Towson) had UMBC’s only goal over the final 21 minutes of the first period, while Vermont midfielder Kristen Millar tallied three times in that stretch. The second half was all Vermont, as the Retrievers managed just one goal, sophomore attack Natalie Cullers’ (Edgewater, Md./South River) first of the season. The Catamounts, meanwhile, scored eight times, with two more goals by Millar and two each by midfielders Sara Buxton and Alison Haigh.
On the Monarchs: Old Dominion is 2-0 after wins at American and against Saint Joseph’s. Ashley Kellogg leads the Monarchs with six goals and nine points. Last season, head coach Sue Stahl received Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year honors after taking her team to the CAA Tournament for the first since 2003. Old Dominion returns 19 players and six starters – including All-CAA second-team defender Lindsey Belle – from the team that finished 7-8 last season. The Monarchs were picked to finish seventh in the CAA Preseason Poll.
Last Time vs. the Monarchs: Despite a four-goal effort by midfielder Kara Dorr (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) and a four-goal second-half lead, the Retrievers fell to Old Dominion, 11-10, last March at UMBC Stadium. With the game tied at 5-5 at halftime, UMBC came out strong in the second period, with Dorr and attack Jen Kasper each scoring twice less than four minutes into the half. But ODU scored six of the game’s final seven goals for the come-form-behind victory. Kasper scored four points on two goals and two assists, while attack Ali Levendusky (Baldwin, Md./John Carroll) posted a pair of goals. ODU midfielder Katie Veneziale led the Lady Monarchs with four goals and an assist. UMBC goalie Susie Sweeney (Madison, N.J./Madison) recorded 11 saves for the Retrievers.
UMBC vs. Old Dominion All-Time: The Lady Monarchs hold a 17-1 series advantage over the Retrievers. The teams have met in each of the last 12 seasons, and the Retrievers’ lone win came in 1999, an 11-9 decision at home.
Milestone Watch: Senior attack Ali Levendusky scored her 100th career goal at Binghamton on Feb. 29, making her just the 15th Retriever to reach that milestone. Levendusky currently has 102 goals and 133 points in her career as she climbs closer to reaching UMBC’s all-time top 10 lists. She is on pace to become just the 11th Retriever to reach 150 points in her career.
Levendusky Tabbed Player of the Week: Senior attack Ali Levendusky was named America East Player of the Week on Monday. The award is the third of her career and the first for a Retriever this season. Levendusky led the Retrievers to a perfect 2-0 week with a team-best 10 goals and 10 points, and she added five ground balls and five draw controls. She scored four goals against Loyola, including the game-winner, then posted a career-high six tallies at Binghamton, the most by a Retriever since 2002. She scored a hat trick in each half against the Bearcats.
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. 10 Yale (April 13), No. 11 Vanderbilt (Feb. 22), No. 12 Johns Hopkins (April 9) and No. 17 Boston University (April 19). In addition, Towson (March 15) received votes in the rankings. In the current Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, Yale was ranked ninth, Vanderbilt 10th, Boston U. 14th, Johns Hopkins 16th and Delaware (March 10) 19th, while Towson and California (March 30) received votes. Vanderbilt, Yale, Boston U., Johns Hopkins and Hofstra (Feb. 17) 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.
Dawg Bites: Senior attack Ali Levendusky leads the Retrievers with 16 goals and 17 points… She posted a hat trick in each of the first four games this season, but had that streak snapped against Vermont, when she was held scoreless… It marked the first time Levendusky did not score a goal since April 4, 2007, an 11-game streak… In addition, her 13-game point streak was also broken by the Catamounts… In the Retrievers’ three losses this season, their opponents have held a 47-24 advantage on draw controls, but in the two wins, UMBC has won the battle, 30-17… Senior attack Meghan Keelan leads the Retrievers with five assists… Five players are tied for the team lead with eight ground balls… Junior midfielder Kara Dorr leads UMBC with 11 draw controls and six caused turnovers… Junior goalie Susie Sweeney has posted a 10.30 goals-against average and a .525 save percentage with 42 stops… UMBC defeated Loyola on Feb. 26 for the first time in 34 years dating to 1974, during which time the Retrievers had lost 22 straight games to the Greyhounds, including each of the last nine years.