April 26, 2006
WASHINGTON - American University's women's lacrosse team will play in its fifth consecutive Patriot League Tournament on Saturday, when the squad travels to Worcester, Mass.
The tournament is hosted by top-seeded Holy Cross, who went 6-0 in the league this season. American, the third seed, will face second-seeded Colgate at 3 p.m. Holy Cross will host Bucknell in the other semifinal matchup.
Offensively the Eagles boast two of the league's most dangerous scorers in senior Moriah Linnell (Antrim, N.H./Contocook Valley) and sophomore Jackie Lane (North Massapequa, N.Y./Plainedge). Linnell led the team in goals and points with 33 and 39, respectively. The 2005 First Team All-Patriot League selection currently ranks third all-time in goals (108), third all-time in assists (39) and fourth all-time in points (147) among Eagle players. Lane has exploded offensively in 2006 to the tune of 27 goals after scoring just five goals all last season. Her 10 assists also leads AU and her 37 points is second only to Linnell.
AU's defense is led by senior Laura Barnes (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) and sophomores Caitlin Bell (Flourtown, Pa./Springfield) and Tahra Johnson (Springfield, Pa./Springfield). Barnes has been at the core of the Eagles' defensive unit since coming to AU, and leads all active AU players in career ground balls and caused turnovers. Bell leads the team with 50 ground balls and is first in the Patriot League in caused turnovers with 36, averaging 2.19 per game, which is good enough for ninth among all NCAA Division I players. Johnson finished the regular season with 27 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers. Senior goaltender Kathleen Finnegan (Arnold, Md./St. Mary's) once again started and played in every game in net for the Eagles. Finnegan stopped 163 shots in the regular season this year.
"We feel fortunate to get a berth into the Patriot League Tournament," said Head Coach Ashley Flanigan. "We accept the title of underdog and look to run with it. Tournament time brings excitement, surprises and opportunity. How we prepare, will determine how well we do."
Colgate, the two-time defending Patriot League Champions, enter the game with a overall record of 9-8 and a conference mark of 5-1, with their only loss coming to Holy Cross. Colgate is averaging 11.82 goals and over 31 shots per game this season, both tops in the Patriot League. Individually Katie McVeigh leads the Raiders with 41 goals this season, which ranks her third among all PL players. The senior midfielder also ranks fifth in the conference in assists with 15, which gives her 56 points on the season to lead the Raiders.
The Eagles finished the regular season with a 3-3 conference record and an overall record of 6-11. Earlier in the season American fell to Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y., 17-3.
The game will be played at Holy Cross' Hart Turf Field with the first semifinal starting at noon. Admission is free to all spectators.
2006 Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Tournament Format
at Holy Cross - Worcester, Mass.
Saturday, April 29 - Semifinals
Game 1, #1 Holy Cross vs. #4 Bucknell, 12:00 p.m.
Game 2, #2 Colgate vs. #3 American, 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 30 - Championship Game
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 6 - NCAA Play-In-Game
Patriot League Champion vs. MAAC Champion (site TBD)