No. 18 Navy Draws No. 5 North Carolina to Open NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Cindy Timchal leads Navy into a third straight NCAA Tournament.
Cindy Timchal leads Navy into a third straight NCAA Tournament.

May 6, 2012

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CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Following a dramatic 10-9 overtime victory at Oregon in the NCAA Play-In game, No. 19 Navy looks at make history when the Mids visit No. 5 North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday at 12 p.m.

The Mids, who are playing in their third consecutive NCAA Tournament, are trying to score the first win for a Patriot League team in the event. League squads have dropped first-round games in all 11 appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

Navy is playing North Carolina for the second time in its three appearances in the tourney. The Mids fell 18-5 to the Tar Heels in their first NCAA trip in 2010. Navy faced another Atlantic Coast Conference school last season, dropping a 15-6 final at Maryland in the first round.

It's the sixth time in 12 NCAA Tournament games that the Patriot League champion will face off with an opponent from the ACC. In addition to Navy in the past two seasons, Colgate fell 20-4 to Maryland in 2009, Holy Cross dropped an 18-2 final to Duke in 2006 and American lost 19-3 to Virginia in 2003.

The Mids advanced to the NCAA Tournament by winning a Play-In game for the third season in a row. After rolling to wins in the Play-In contest in the past two seasons, Navy had to rally late and won 10-9 in overtime at Oregon on Saturday. The victory gave the Patriot League a 5-0 mark in the NCAA Play-In contest, though Navy was the first team to play on the road.

The winner of the Navy/North Carolina contest will take on the winner of the matchup between Dartmouth and Syracuse in next weekend's quarterfinals. The Final Four will be held on May 25 & 27 at Stony Brook University.

North Carolina lost to Maryland in the ACC Championship, 14-10, on April 23 and has been idle since. The Tar Heels earned one of eight at-large selections to the NCAA Tournament. North Carolina defeated the NCAA Tournament's No. 1 seed, Florida, in its season opener, 11-9, on February 11 and own seven wins against 2012 tournament teams (Florida, Albany, Penn, Virginia (2), Duke and Maryland).

Navy and North Carolina are two of seven teams to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three years, along with Maryland, Northwestern, Duke, Virginia and Penn.

Patriot League NCAA Tournament Notebook

Navy Makes Third NCAA Tournament Appearance
Navy hopes the third time is a charm as it enters the NCAA Tournament. The Mids are in their third straight NCAA appearance, and playing an opponent from the ACC once again. Navy has already faced North Carolina once, falling to the Mids 18-5 in 2010 in Chapel Hill. Navy lost its first-round game 15-6 at Maryland last season. The MIds have made three NCAA Tournament trips in only five years as a Division I program.

Patriot League Looks for First NCAA Victory
While Navy's victory over Oregon kept Patriot League teams perfect in the NCAA Play-In game, the success has not carried over to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Patriot League teams have dropped all 11 NCAA Tournament games, including 10 consecutive seasons. Only one of the last 10 games has been closer than a nine-goal margin since Lafayette narrowly lost 11-9 to Penn State in the inaugural Patriot League season of 1991.

Patriot League vs. ACC
Patriot League teams have had a tough time against their counterparts from the ACC. The League teams dropped all four meetings with ACC squads this season, including Lehigh's 16-8 loss at then No. 2 North Carolina on March 6. Patriot League squads are also 0-5 all-time against the ACC in the NCAA Tournament, with losses in each of the last three seasons.

Navy Wins Third Consecutive Patriot League Title
Navy became just the second program in Patriot League history to win three straight League titles, and the first to ever win the postseason tournament in three straight years. Lafayette won at least three straight titles on three different occasions (1991-93, 1995-98, 2000-02), but only the latter two crowns came after the creation of the Patriot League Tournament in 2001. The Mids won the title as the No. 1 seed for the first time after claiming the League crown as the No. 3 seed in 2011 and No. 2 in 2010.

Rolling Mids Crack the Rankings
Wins in eight straight, and 18 of the last 19, games have sent Navy to the Patriot League title, NCAA Tournament and a national top 20 ranking. Navy came in at No. 19 in Monday's deBeer Women's Lacrosse Media Poll. The Mids were ranked 18th last week, matching their highest showing from 2010. It is the sixth time in the last three years that the Mids have been ranked in the poll's top 20.

Winning Record in Non-League Action
Navy's victory over Oregon in the NCAA Play-In game clinched a winning record in non-League action for Patriot League squads. It pushed the League to a 38-36 overall mark, with Navy, Holy Cross and Lafayette all finishing above .500 for the year and in non-League play.

Common Opponents
Navy and North Carolina shared three opponents in 2012, and the results were the same in each instance. Both teams posted decisive victories over Old Dominion and Lehigh, while falling on the road at now No. 2-ranked Northwestern.

Navy's DePompeo, Generi on Record Chase
Navy junior Jasmine DePompeo and freshman Loren Generi were the Patriot League Offensive Player and Rookie of the Year, respectively. In addition to trying to push Navy to an NCAA Tournament win, the duo will look to make history in the record books on Saturday. DePompeo's 46 assists are just one away from the single-season Patriot League record set by Lafayette's Madalyn Booth (2006). DePompeo's career total of 95 assists stands in a tie for fourth place in Patriot League history, just two away from moving into second. Generi had five draw controls in the win over Oregon to up her season total to 117, breaking the Patriot League record of 113 set earlier this year by Lafayette's Ana White. The draw control total also stands only 14 away from the Division I single season mark of 131 set this season by Jacksonville's Rachel Hannon.