Sophomore Selina Houghton
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The first week of May always means the playoffs for the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's women's lacrosse team. The Corsairs will open Little East Conference playoff action on the road this year when they travel to Southern Maine Tuesday. Game time is 3:30 p.m. at USM's Paula Hodgdon Field.
UMass Dartmouth is 5-9 overall, 1-5 in the Little East, and enters as the sixth seed against the third-seeded Huskies, who are 7-10 and 4-2 in the LEC and are the defending champion. The Corsairs, who lost to USM, 14-9 at Cressy Field April 2nd, lost three games by a single goal this spring.
The Corsairs are optimistic about the game. "Every team is 0-0 going into the championships, and it's a whole new ball game," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Jerry Jennings. "We've had some bumps and lumps this year, but I'm very proud of our team, they've never quit."
The Huskies will be a formidable opponent. "Last year, Southern Maine swept the big three to advance to the NCAAs, and they were all away games," said Jennings. "They are tough at this time of the year. When we played them earlier, it was a fairly close game, and if it is a close game again, anything can happen. We always have academic demands at this time of the year, but if everyone is available, we can be very competitive."
Several Corsairs will be looking for big efforts against the Huskies. "We will have (senior midfielder) Stephanie Kinchla (Falmouth, MA/Falmouth HS/Quinnipiac), who we didn't have against Keene, (junior midfielder) Allison O'Rourke (Weymouth, MA/Weymouth HS), and (senior midfielder) Larissa Basque (Plainville, MA/King Philip HS), one of our co-captains," said Jennings. "Our goalie, (sophomore) Angelina Donovan (Medford, MA/Medford HS) has been playing pretty well. (Sophomore defender) Selina Houghton (Billerica, MA/Shawsheen HS) leads the league in ground balls (4.33 per game) and is second in caused turnovers (1.60 per game). (Junior) Casey Otovic (Wilmington, MA/Bishop Fenwick HS) had a great game against Keene State Saturday, and (sophomore midfielder) Denise Gates (Feeding Hills, MA/Agawam HS) has been playing exceptionally well. I'm very pleased with our work ethic and I'm looking forward to the game."
The winner will advance to play in the semi-finals at Keene State Thursday. The finals are scheduled for Saturday at the site of the highest remaining seed.