April 17, 2009

BACK ON TOP: Salisbury University regained its No. 1 ranking in the IWLCA/Under Armour Division III poll after knocking off previously unbeaten and top-ranked The College of New Jersey, 11-6, on April 11.

Senior goalkeeper Sonja Stuart tallied a season-high 11 saves, including eight in the second half as the Sea Gulls stretched their 5-4 halftime lead into an 11-6 victory. The native of Rockville, Md., anchored a SU defense that allowed the Lions' top goal scorer Alison Jaeger to just one assist in the game. Stuart also contributed six ground balls in the win, earning Division III Nike/Inside Lacrosse and Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors. She enters the week with a 7.98 goals against average, which ranks 11th nationally.

Along with TCNJ, the Sea Gulls have defeated the other two teams - Hamilton and Franklin & Marshall - that made up last year's NCAA semifinal field. Salisbury looks to remain unbeaten in league play as the Sea Gulls conclude the CAC regular season against Mary Washington on April 15.

IN FULL BLOOM: Tufts University sophomore goalkeeper Sara Bloom posted a 7.49 goals against average and .641 save percentage as she helped the Jumbos to a trio of victories last week while improving their season mark to 10-1.

Bloom's week was capped off by a 12-7 win over then-No. 8 Middlebury College as she recorded 11 saves while holding the Panthers to a season-low goal total. The victory kept Tufts in contention for the New England Small College Athletic Conference regular season title. The Jumbos are currently tied for first place with No. 2 Colby College, which they defeated earlier this season.

The native of Summit, N.J., was named NESCAC Player of the Week for her performance. She leads the league with a .566 save percentage, and ranks third in the conference with an 8.64 goals against average.

The Jumbos have won six straight games and are ranked No. 6 in the latest IWLCA/Under Armour Division III poll.

ONE MORE TIME: Roanoke College's Gina Valles garnered her third straight Old Dominion Athletic Conference weekly award after combining for 13 points in a pair of Maroon victories last week. The junior from South Windsor, Conn., notched five goals and four assists versus Bridgewater as the Maroons clinched at least a share of the ODAC regular season title, and followed it up with three scores in a 10-9 defeat of Christopher Newport. She netted the game-winning score with 28 seconds remaining in the come-from-behind win as the Maroons remained unbeaten in ODAC play. Valles tops the conference with 75 points and 58 goals, and ranks 10th in the nation in points.

No. 20 Roanoke will host Hollins in the regular season finale as the Maroons seek their first unbeaten conference season since 1999.

GOING DUTCH: Union College stretched its winning streak to six games as the No. 12 Dutchwomen topped Cortland, 14-13, in overtime on April 13 thanks to a game-saving score by sophomore Kristin Joyce, the reigning Womenslacrosse.com Offensive Player of the Week.

Joyce, who registered 13 goals in three wins last week, followed it up with a game-high five goals and an assist against No. 17 Cortland.

The native of Longmeadow, Mass., leads the Dutchwomen with 36 goals and 43 points.