The William and Mary field hockey team begins its postseason quest for the conference title Friday morning at 10:30 a.m., taking on Delaware in the quarterfinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Championships. The CAA Tournament is being hosted in Philadelphia by Drexel University, and runs through the championship game Sunday at 3 p.m. The CAA will be offering a live webstream of every match for free.
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Official Championships Site
Friday, 10:30 a.m. - vs. #5 Delaware
Saturday, 12:00 p.m. - vs. #1 Drexel
Sunday, 3:00 p.m. - Championship Game
Scouting the Tribe
William and Mary is 10-8 overall and earned the No. 4 seed in this weekend's tournament with a 3-4 record in league play. Four players were named to an all-conference team, the most since 2008, led by senior captain Maria Caro's (Martinsville, N.J.) first-team selection. Fellow captain Christine Johnson (Williamsburg, Va.) and fifth-year senior Leah Zamesnik (Norfolk, Va.) each earned a spot on the second team, and freshman Pip Saunders (Mittagong, NSW) was selected to the all-rookie team.
For the season, Saunders and Johnson are tied for the team lead with seven goals and five assists each. On defense, senior Elizabeth Frey (Virginia Beach, Va.) and redshirt-freshman Cate Johnson (Charlottesville, Va.) have split time, with Frey carrying a 1.55 GAA and a 72.6% save rate, while Johnson is close behind with a 1.94 GAA and stopping 72.3% of the shots against her.
Scouting the Blue Hens
Delaware is the fifth seed at 7-11 overall and 3-4 in the CAA. Kelsey McKee was a first-team All-CAA winner for the Blue Hens after scoring 11 goals and two assists, and freshman Michaela Patzner was named to the second- and all-rookie teams after totaling six goals and an assist.
Scouting the Dragons
Should W&M win, it'll face No. 1-seeded Drexel in the semifinals Saturday at 12 p.m. The Dragons are ranked 18th in the latest NFHCA national poll, and enter the tournament at 13-6 overall and 5-2 in the CAA. Amanda Fleischut (10g, 6a) and Lindsay McArdle (11g, 3a) were each named first-team All-CAA, while Lauren Hibshman, Danielle Grassi, and Jenna Knouse all earned a spot on the all-rookie team. Hibshman was also named second-team all-conference.
W&M is 8-7 all-time against Delaware, after defeating the Blue Hens 4-0 in Williamsburg earlier this season. This is the third time that the two teams have met in the CAA Tournament, after the Tribe won 4-1 to advance to the 2002 title game and the Blue Hens returned the favor with a 2-1, double-overtime victory in the 2003 semifinals.
Against Drexel, the College is 7-6 all-time and looking to halt a current six-game losing streak. Earlier this season, the No. 18 Dragons won 4-3 in Williamsburg. If W&M advances to the semifinals, this will be the first time the two teams have ever met in the post-season.
W&M in the CAA Tournament
The Tribe is 12-17 all-time in the conference tournament, and making its 18th appearance in the 22 years that the CAA has sponsored field hockey. W&M ranks behind only Old Dominion (20) and James Madison (19) in total appearances, and is also third in tournament victories behind those two teams (ODU - 38, JMU - 21)
- In the quarterfinal round, W&M is 10-2 all-time.
- This is the sixth time that the Tribe has earned the No. 4 seed, most of any seed for W&M. The Tribe is 4-5 all-time as the No. 4 team, including a 4-1 mark in the quarterfinals.
- Looking ahead, the Tribe is 2-13 all-time in the semifinals, and fell to ODU in the championship game in both 1991 and 2002.
News and Notes
- Head coach Peel Hawthorne '80 became just the 13th coach in NCAA Division I history to win 300 games earlier this season, as she led the Tribe to a 3-0 win over Liberty on Sept. 2.
- W&M has scored a school-record 41 assists so far this season, matching the total achieved by the 1991 team.
- Pip Saunders is quickly approaching rarified air for a Tribe freshman. She ranks third all-time among W&M rookies with five assists, sixth in total points (19), and seventh in goals scored with seven. One more assist will tie her with teammate and fellow countryman Emma Clifton for second all-time in that category, while another goal would match the freshman total put up by Ann Ekberg '02 in 1999.
- Pip Saunders was named the CAA Rookie of the Week on Oct. 2, after scoring a goal and an assist over the weekend. She helped on the first of Emma Clifton's two goals against Delaware on Friday night, and then scored the then-tying goal against Richmond on Sunday.
- The Tribe swept the CAA weekly awards on Sept. 18, with senior captain Maria Caro sharing Player of the Week honors and redshirt-freshman Cate Johnson being named Rookie of the Week. Caro scored two game-winning goals, against Miami and then-No. 11 Boston University, while Johnson was credited with the win in both matches and stopped 92.9% of the shots made against her.
- Christine Johnson was named the CAA co-Player of the Week on Aug. 28, after scoring four goals and a defensive save to lead her team to a 5-1 win over Davidson. Johnson is the seventh player in school history to score four goals in a single game, and the first since Katie Silverthorne '02 in 2001. She is the first Tribe player to be named the conference Player of the Week since October of 2007.