Women’s lacrosse ends NCAA tournament run

Lady Generals fall to Fredonia State after 18-4 drubbing of Sewanee in previous round

Katie Wildes

After a second round NCAA tournament win against Sewanee, the women’s lacrosse team fell in the regional round against seventeenth ranked Fredonia on Saturday, May 16.

Despite facing a more challenging season than those in the past, the Generals triumphed and won the ODAC title, received a bye for the NCAA first round, and a victory in the second, before their loss on Saturday.

“Playing on a team that has made it this far in the NCAAs has been a really unique experience,” said junior Caroline Hutchinson. “Our team has had our ups and downs on and off the field, but those have only made us more prepared to take on better competition the next few weekends.”

Their 18-4 win over Sewanee was well deserved. “One of the big keys is to slow down their attack. Attacking wise, we need to shoot well and take advantage of the opportunities we are given,” Coach Brooke O’Brien said before the game. The Generals held strong to this strategy.

Olivia Sisson put up three goals, Cara Mulligan had three saves in the net, and Riley Garcia cleaned up five groundballs. Combined, they were forces Sewanee could not stop.

Junior Melissa Coggins contributed three assists, giving her the fourth-most career assists in program history with 65. Her 36 this season placed her with the fourth- most in one season for W&L as well.

On Monday, May 11, the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association named four Generals to the IWLCA All-Region Squad. Cara Mulligan, Lauren Procaccino, Melissa Coggins, and Olivia Sisson have all performed impressively well this season. Along with that honor, Mulligan has earned ODAC player of the year and IWLCA All- American Honors. She has been what Coach O’Brien calls the rock of the team.

Senior Sammy Yates has played a major role in bringing her team this far too. “We have overcome a lot as a team this season and have lost a lot of key players to season-ending injuries, so to still make it this far has been incredibly rewarding,” said Yates. “We’ve been working toward these goals since we stepped off the field last year and we hope to make it even farther this season.”

The team has approached each game knowing it could be their last, and had a solid game-plan heading into Saturday’s matchup against Fredonia.

“We need to focus on the little things to win games like draw controls, ground balls, and placing our shots,” said Yates. “They may sound like elementary things, but once those fall apart the whole game plan will too. So as we face tougher competition in the tournament we just need to remember the basics and play at our highest level.”

Although the team fell short of its goal of winning a national title, it nonetheless had an outstanding season.