Feb. 27, 2009

Courtesy of Navy

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Hitting the road for the first time in 2009, the Navy women's lacrosse team will look to improve to 3-0 on the spring when it travels to Farmville, Va. to face host Longwood on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Scouting Navy
The second season of Division I women's lacrosse in Annapolis is off to a fast start as Navy has won its first two games of 2009 by a combined 35-10 margin.  The Midshipmen women are coming of a 14-6 victory over Detroit Mercy in a game played amid wintery conditions last weekend.

The win was Navy's 13th in a row at home, currently the second-longest active winning streak in the nation.

Leading the way for the Mids was talented freshman midfielder Kierstin King (Upperco, Md.), who earned Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors after a four-goal, five-point effort on Sunday. King scored twice in each half helping to spur a 10-0 Navy run to pull away from a Titans squad, playing in just its second contest as a varsity program. Through two games, the Upperco, Md. native now leads all conference freshmen with seven points (5 g, 2 a).

Navy also received standout efforts on the offensive end from junior Erin Rawlick (Forest Hill, Md.) and sophomore Katrina Nietsch (New Canaan, Conn.). Rawlick, who leads the team with 14 points (5 g, 9 a), delivered the 12th five-point effort of her career with a goal and a game-high four assists, while Nietsch notched her eighth-career hat trick, finishing with three goals and an assist to her credit.

For the second-straight week, Navy saw an admirable effort out of its defensive unit. Led by sophomore midfielder Caitlin Mandrin Hill (Annapolis, Md.), the Mids produced a program-high 16 caused turnovers and limited Detroit Mercy to 14 successful clears on 29 attempts. In the program's 19 games, Navy has now held the opposition to 10 or fewer goals on nine occasions.

Alone, Mandrin Hill, who has already exceeded her freshman year scoring output with five goals this spring, forced a career- and program-record six turnovers en route to claiming league defensive-player-of-the-week laurels. She also contributed two points (1 g, 1 a) while controlling a game-high four draws and three ground balls.

Scouting Longwood
Longwood kicked off its third season of varsity women's lacrosse with a 19-6 setback last Wednesday at Wiliam & Mary. Sophomore Amanda Bereznay paced the Lancers in their 2009 debut with a team-high three-goals.

Longwood, which competes as a Division I independent, returns eight starters and 17 letterwinners from a squad that went 6-10 in 2009, collecting wins over LIU, St. Francis (Pa.), Siena, Villanova, Presbyterian and Howard.

The All-Time Series
A year ago in Annapolis, five Mids recorded hat tricks, including Rawlick, Nietsch and junior Mary Ruttum (Annapolis, Md.), as Navy routed the Lancers, 21-10, in its first NCAA-sanctioned competition on February 23.

Quick-Sticks
•One of Navy's teams goals headed into 2009 was to improve its overall toughness, particularly on the road where the Mids finished with a 2-4 mark last season. Navy dropped its first three contests outside Annapolis a year ago, but have won two of three coming into this weekend.

•Sunday's win was the 351st in the storied coaching career of Navy's Cindy Timchal. Timchal, who already owns the most wins by any Division I coach in NCAA women's lacrosse history, has now pulled even with D III William Smith College's Pat Genovese for the most wins by any collegiate lacrosse coach--men's or women's, all divisions.

•Freshman netminder Elaina Ponchione (Silver Spring, Md.) played the full 60 minutes in the cage against UDM, stopping 10 shots to earn her second career win. Ponchione has allowed made 18 saves, including 11 of 13 free-position stops, and owns a 4.69 GAA in 115-plus minutes of action this season.

•Rawlick has scored at least one goal in 19 consecutive games to begin her collegiate career.

•The Mids own a 11-1 record against non-league opponents.

•Navy has earned five of the eight total Patriot League player-of-the-week certificates handed out over the first two weeks of the spring.

•The Mids have been quick to establish a home field advantage in Annapolis. Navy has won all 13 home games since the start of its inaugural spring in 2008, outscoring the opposition by an average of 9.9 goals per game.
 
•The Mids were picked to finish second in the league preseason poll behind defending champion and spring favorite Colgate. Navy hosts the Raiders on March 28 in a contest that will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports.

2009 Navy Honors and Awards
Erin Rawlick         
- Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year                          
- Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week (2/17)
- Nike/Inside Lacrosse Division I Player of the Week (2/17)
Caitlin Mandrin Hill    
- Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week (2/17, 2/24)
Kierstin King        
- Patriot League Rookie of the Week (2/24)
Elaina Ponchione     
- Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week (2/17)

Up Next
Following this weekend's affair, the Mids will be back in action on Saturday, March 7 at 3:00 pm, when they host Lafayette in the Patriot League opener for both teams. The game will be part of a lacrosse doubleheader in Annapolis, as the Navy men take on the Leopards at noon.