Women's Lacrosse to Face Franklin & Marshall in NCAA Tournament Opener

NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Bracket

Montclair, NJ (5/8/11) – The Montclair State women’s lacrosse team will face sixth-ranked Franklin and Marshall College in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Championship on Wednesday, May 11. That announcement was made on Sunday evening as the NCA unveiled its field of 31 teams.

The Red Hawks and Diplomats will be one of 15 first-round contests on Wednesday. Game time has yet to be determined. The winner of the contest will face the winner of the Messiah / Denison first-round matchup in a regional tournament on Saturday, May 14. The regional winners advance to the Final Four which will be held May 21-22 at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY.

This will be just the second meeting between the two teams with both now coming in the postseason. Montclair (13-5) and Franklin and Marshall (17-2) met in the semifinals of the 2005 ECAC Women’s Lacrosse South Championship in Scranton with the Diplomats coming out on top 16-7.

In that game, the Diplomats led 8-5 at the half but extended the advantage with the first five goals of the second period. Brianna Gillin scored three goals for MSU, which was playing its first post-season game in program history.

Montclair will be making its fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its second straight trip. Last year, the Red Hawks fell to Stevens in the opening round 15-12 in Hoboken. MSU is 1-3 all-time in the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Championship. Montclair won its first game in 2007, 17-7 against Eastern Connecticut before falling to Hamilton College 13-11 in the second round. The Red Hawks lost at Rowan in 2008.

MSU earned its way into the NCAA Tournament after capturing its second straight Skyline Conference title on April 30 at Sprague Field. The Red Hawks downed Ramapo, 17-7 behind six goals from Tournament MVP Kayla Henderson (Landing, NJ / Roxbury) as Montclair won its fifth conference title in the last six years.

The Diplomats also captured an automatic bid as they knocked off seventh-ranked Gettysburg College, 7-6 in the finals of the Centennial Conference Tournament on Saturday. It was F&M’s fifth straight conference title. Kelsey Hoffman stopped 12 shots in the win while Erin Dunne provided the offense with three goals, her fourth hat trick in the last five games.

F&M is 17-10 in NCAA playoff games with a record of 15-3 in the tournament since the start of the 2006 postseason. The Diplomats are 9-0 in home NCAA games since the start of the 2006 tournament. F&M is 41-2 at Tylus Field since moving to the new facility at the outset of the 2008 campaign and 68-3 at home since the start of the 2005 season. Over its last 100 games, F&M has posted a record of 91-9.

The teams share two common opponents this season – Rowan and top-ranked The College of New Jersey.  Montclair State lost to both teams as the Red Hawks fell at TCNJ, 18-5 on April 22 and lost a 12-9 decision to Rowan on Thursday, May 5. Franklin & Marshall downed the Profs 13-10 back on March 9 and lost to TCNJ 9-5 on April 15.  

Both teams also had Muhlenberg College on their respective schedules. F&M posted an 11-4 win on March 19 however Montclair State’s game with the Mules on March 24 was postponed twice due to snowstorms.

The Diplomats also captured an automatic bid as they knocked off seventh-ranked Gettysburg College, 7-6 in the finals of the Centennial Conference Tournament on Saturday. It was F&M’s fifth straight conference title. Kelsey Hoffman stopped 12 shots in the win while Erin Dunne provided the offense with three goals, her fourth hat trick in the last five games.

F&M is 17-10 in NCAA playoff games with a record of 15-3 in the tournament since the start of the 2006 postseason. The Diplomats are 9-0 in home NCAA games since the start of the 2006 tournament. F&M is 41-2 at Tylus Field since moving to the new facility at the outset of the 2008 campaign and 68-3 at home since the start of the 2005 season. Over its last 100 games, F&M has posted a record of 91-9.

The teams share two common opponents this season – Rowan and top-ranked The College of New Jersey.  Montclair State lost to both teams as the Red Hawks fell at TCNJ, 18-5 on April 22 and lost a 12-9 decision to Rowan on Thursday, May 5. Franklin & Marshall downed the Profs 13-10 back on March 9 and lost to TCNJ 9-5 on April 15.  

Both teams also had Muhlenberg College on their respective schedules. F&M posted an 11-4 win on March 19 however Montclair State’s game with the Mules on March 24 was postponed twice due to snowstorms.