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May 7, 2010

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Cinderella CSU, Cal  Poly in WDIA Final

by Brian Logue | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff | Live Blog

Lindsey Hudek and the Colorado State defense shut down Lindenwood. CSU and Cal Poly will meet in a rematch of the 2008 USL WDIA national championship.

© Cecil Copeland

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The clock has not struck midnight yet. Colorado State, the No. 11 seed, continued its magical run through the 2010 US Lacrosse Women’s Division Intercollegiate Associates National Championship, presented by Harrow Sports, by beating No. 2 seed Lindenwood 7-5 on Friday night at the Scottsdale Sports Complex.

The Rams will meet Cal Poly in the championship on Saturday at 1 p.m. Cal Poly advanced to the championship game for the ninth time in the 10-year history of the event by beating last year’s runner-up, Colorado, 10-9.

“This is what our goal was all season, and the pressure was off,” said Colorado State senior defender Lindsey Hudek. “We had no expectations. We can just come out and have fun.”

That was evident at halftime on Friday. With the score tied 3-3, the Rams spent the break singing along to Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline and Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, along with a little dancing to Michael Jackson’s Beat It. But when the whistle blew, the Rams were all business.

Lindenwood struggled to get anything sustained on offense against CSU’s relentless pressure. When the attacker beat one defender, there was at least one, if not two other Ram players sliding to keep the pressure on.

“We just have a strong defense and we really support each other,” said Hudek, who was a key member of CSU’s team that won a national title in 2008. “I think that’s the root of the team.”

Lindenwood’s defense was almost as good, but Jacki Cella put CSU up for good, 6-5, on a driving goal to the right with 18:02 to play. It was Cella’s second straight goal and almost a carbon copy of her goal six minutes earlier. Brenna Mefford then added an insurance goal with 7:42 remaining and CSU goalie Annette Greenberg and the CSU defense were more than good enough to protect the lead. Greenberg finished with 10 saves, including two close-range saves in the final four minutes of the game.

Cella and Hayley Bernstein led CSU with two goals each while Lacey Vatland paced Lindenwood with three goals.

Earlier in the evening, Cal Poly got another huge performance from junior Ashley Royer. Royer, who scored the game-winner in overtime against UC Davis in the quarterfinals on Thursday, had three goals in the Mustangs win over Colorado.

“She got some confidence,” said Cal Poly coach Robert Novorolsky. “Yesterday, that’s one of the moments – ‘I took the extra step and it was a goal’. She took the extra step twice today. She’s been an essential part of our offense all season.”

Royer’s third goal gave Cal Poly an 8-6 lead just 30 seconds into the second half and Amanda Nespor stretched the lead to three with 25 minutes left in the game. Cal Poly was more than content to begin shortening the game at that point.

“When we were up by three and we had that much time, I felt like the girls could possess the ball that long,” said Novorolsky. “It’s a coaching decision we made earlier in the week. Towards the end of games we’d start to spread it out a little bit more.”

Colorado tried to chip away, and finally pulled to within one at 10-9 with 3:13 left on a goal by Stuart Anderson, but Cal Poly was able to maintain the ball for almost the entire balance of the game and sealed the victory.

Royer’s three goals paced Cal Poly and Sarina Madnick, Nespor and Stacy Patch each had two goals. Sarah Tanabe led Colorado with three goals and Rebecca Greene added two.

Cal Poly and Colorado State will be squaring off in a rematch of the 2008 US Lacrosse WDIA championship game. CSU won that game 8-5 in overtime, ending Cal Poly’s seven-year reign as national champion.

“I hope we can do it again,” said CSU’s Hudek. “I have the complete faith in this team.”

In Friday’s consolation games:

Santa Clara beat UC Davis Club 14-11 as Maggie Burke scored five goals and Renee Eligio made 16 saves. Laura Maffucci had four goals for Davis and Miriam Kohl made 16 saves.

UCSB hung on to beat BYU 12-11 despite a six-goal effort from BYU’s Brooke Smith. UCSB countered with a great effort from Sam Lutz with one goal and six assists. Each of Lutz’ six assists went to different players. Maggie Aker added three goals for the Gauchos.

Florida Club edged Virginia Tech Club 14-13 behind another stellar effort from Kate O’Linn. O’Linn had eight goals for the Gators, giving her 19 in Florida’s three games. Seven of O’Linn’s goals came in the second half. Player-coach Briana Beach had five goals for Virginia Tech.

Boston College Club beat Georgia 19-12 as Catherine Crowe (5), Sinead Brady (5) and Melissa Blease (4) combined for 14 goals. Lindsey Gipson led Georgia with three goals and two assists.

Minnesota was led by Lindsey Lewis’ five goals as the Gophers beat Oregon Club 18-12. Laura Spanko led the Ducks with four goals.

Texas pulled away in the second half to beat West Chester Club 18-9. Bridget Haby had three goals and four assists for the Longhorns, who were tied 5-5 at the half. Clayton Crum had five goals. Alyse Kullman led the Rams with four goals and one assist.

US Lacrosse WDIA National Championship Semifinals
Cal Poly 10, Colorado 9
Colorado State 7, Lindenwood 5

US Lacrosse WDIA National Championship Consolation Games
Santa Clara 14, UC Davis Club 11
UCSB 12, BYU 11
Florida Club 14, Virginia Tech Club 13
Boston College Club 19, Georgia 12
Minnesota 18, Oregon Club 12
Texas 18, West Chester Club 9

US Lacrosse WDIA National Championship – Division I Schedule for May 8
Championship: Cal Poly vs. Colorado State, 1 p.m.
3rd place: Colorado vs. Lindenwood, 10:30 a.m.
5th place: UCSB vs. Santa Clara, 10:30 a.m.
7th place: BYU vs. UC Davis Club, 8 a.m.
9th place: Florida Club vs. Boston College Club, 8 a.m.
11th place: Virginia Tech Club vs. Georgia, 8 a.m.
13th place: Minnesota vs. Texas, 8 a.m.
15th place: Oregon Club vs. West Chester Club, 8 a.m.


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