Nov. 7, 2011
NCAA Field Hockey Play-In Preview
Center Valley, Pa. -- Patriot League champion Lafayette has one step left to earn its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1999, as the Leopards will head to Mid-American Conference champion Ohio for an NCAA Play-In game on Tuesday at 1 p.m.
The Leopards won their first Patriot League title since 2002 and eighth overall by claiming the Patriot League Tournament over the weekend. Lafayette defeated Bucknell 3-1 in the title contest on Saturday after knocking off rival Lehigh 8-0 in the semifinal round on Saturday.
Senior Carolyn Cabrey was named Patriot League Tournament Most Valuable Player and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Deanna DiCroce, Brittany Blass and Emily Valeo from the Leopards. DiCroce set a Patriot League Tournament record with nine points in the two games.
Lafayette will try to continue the Patriot League's recent success in the NCAA Play-In game. American has won in the round in each of the past three seasons, including a 2-1 win over MAC champion Kent State last season. The Eagles have won the Play-In game in the past three seasons, and four of the past five Patriot League appearances. Patriot League teams are 4-6 all-time in the Play-In contest.
The Leopards come into the Play-In game off an outstanding overall season that also saw them claim the League's regular-season title for the first time since 2002. DiCroce was named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, while Blass claimed the League's Rookie of the Year honor. Lafayette has won five of its past seven and eight of the last 11 games.
The NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Tuesday evening.
Patriot League NCAA Play-In Notebook
Lafayette Wins First Patriot League Title Since 2002
Lafayette came through with a pair of second-half goals to beat Bucknell 3-1 in the Patriot League Championship game on Saturday and win its first League crown since 2002. The Leopards won their eighth overall Patriot League title, tying American for the most in League history. Four of those have come in the Patriot League Tournament (1995, 1999, 2002, 2011) while the Leopards also won the title in the first four Patriot League seasons (1990-93) when no tournament was held. The Leopards advanced to the title game with an 8-0 win over rival Lehigh in the semifinals on Friday. Carolyn Cabrey was named Patriot League Tournament Most Valuable Player while Deanna DiCroce set a Tournament record with nine points (3 g, 3 a) in the two games. Lafayette shared the regular-season Patriot League title with American, earning at least a piece of that honor for the 10th time and first since 2002.
Lafayette Trying to Reach NCAA Tournament for First Time Since 1999
Lafayette became the first-ever Patriot League team to play in the NCAA Tournament when it fell to Maryland in the first round in 1999. Now, the Patriot League champion Leopards are trying to give the Patriot League a team in the field for the fourth year in a row and eighth time in the last nine seasons. American has made the previous seven trips, while Fairfield also qualified in 2001.
Leopards Try to Keep Patriot League Play-In Win Streak Alive
Patriot League teams are 4-6 all-time in appearances in the CCA/NCAA Play-In games, but have found the mark recently with wins in each of the last three seasons. American notched the victories at home in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and also won a Play-In game in 2003. Patriot League teams have won four of their past five appearances in the Play-In game, with each of those contests involving American. The League dropped its first five Play-In game appearances from 1996-2002, with Lafayette falling in overtime to California in its only contest in the last year of that stretch.
Patriot League, MAC Match Up Again
The Patriot League is facing off with the champion of the Mid-American Conference in the Play-In game for the second year in a row and fourth overall. Last season, Patriot League champ American won at home 2-1 against MAC champion Kent State to advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Patriot League dropped its previous two Play-In game matchups with the MAC, with Holy Cross falling to Ball State in 1997 and American dropping a 3-2 heartbreaker at Ohio in double overtime in 2007.
Patriot League vs. MAC in 2011
Patriot League teams went 2-1 against opponents from the Mid-American Conference in 2011, though the lone defeat came to Lafayette's opponent on Tuesday. American fell in overtime to MAC champion Ohio 2-1 on Sept. 10 in a game played at the University of Maryland. In other action between the leagues, Bucknell beat Central Michigan by the same 2-1 overtime final on Sept. 10 and Colgate beat Ball State 3-0 in its season opener on Aug. 26.
Patriot League NCAA Play-In Game History
2010: American 2, Kent State 1
2009: American 2, Lock Haven 1
2008: American 2, Lock Haven 0
2007: Ohio 3, American 2 (2OT)
2003: American 4, Quinnipiac 1
2002: California 1, Lafayette 0 (OT)
2000: Stanford 1, Holy Cross 0
1998: Massachusetts 2, Holy Cross 0
1997: Ball State 5, Holy Cross 1
1996: Princeton 7, Colgate 1
Lafayette The Leopards claimed their first Patriot League title since 2002 by defeating Bucknell 3-1 in the championship match of the League Tournament on Saturday afternoon. The Leopards win their eighth League title overall, and fourth in the Patriot League Tournament. Lafayette took a 1-0 lead into the half on a goal by Deanna DiCroce, but saw Bucknell tie the score early in the second half. Just minutes later, Lafayette went ahead for good on a goal by Kristin Heaney off an assist from Carolyn Cabrey. DiCroce added her second goal of the game as insurance with under 14 minutes to play as the Leopards went on to their first Patriot League title since 2002. Lafayette advanced to the title game with an 8-0 win in the semifinals against rival Lehigh on Friday, tying the Tournament record for goals in a contest and setting a mark for margin of victory. DiCroce had a goal and three assists in that game, and set a Patriot League Tournament record with nine points (3 g, 3 a) for the weekend. She earned a spot on the Patriot League All-Tournament Team along with teammates Emily Valeo, Brittany Blass and Tournament Most Valuable
Player Carolyn Cabrey. Lafayette was playing in the Tournament after sharing the regular-season crown with American, giving the Leopards a piece of the regular-season title for the first time since 2002. DiCroce was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and Blass was recognized as the League's Rookie of the Year.