Annapolis, Md. - The Navy women's lacrosse team (15-5) earned an automatic berth to the 2011 NCAA Tournament after a 20-5 drubbing of Quinnipiac (13-5) in an NCAA Play-In Game on Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Mids, who outscored Quinnipiac, 13-2, in the second half, will learn their NCAA First Round opponent on Sunday night at 7:30 pm when the selection show is broadcast on NCAA.com(.)
"I am really proud that the Navy women's lacrosse team will now advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row," head coach Cindy Timchal said. "Quinnipiac was a decisive winner of the Northeast Conference and our players made a decision to play tough and they demonstrated that today."
Navy dominated the midfield throughout the game, owning a 20-7 edge in draw controls and holding Quinnipiac to just 10-of-16 on clear attempts. The 20 draw controls are the most Navy has had in a game all season.
"We didn't know what to expect with the draw controls, but CM [Caitlin Mandrin Hill] really got it going in the first half and Molly [Hamilton] picked up right where CM left off in the second half. It was kind of a one-two punch for us."
Senior Caitlin Mandrin Hill had six draw controls in the first half in seven in the game and freshman Molly Hamilton put on a clinic with nine draw controls, all of which were in the second half. Navy grabbed the first six draw controls of the game and held a 9-2 halftime edge in draws.
"Molly did a phenomenal job in the second half on the draws, just grabbing it straight out of the air and bringing it on to attack," Mandrin Hill said. "That's where we start our possession, on the draw controls. Getting the draws really get us into our game and get us started on the right foot."
Once Navy won possession, putting the ball into the net seemed to be no problem at all, as the Mids scored 20 goals for the third time this season.
Sophomore Jasmine DePompeo continued her torrid scoring streak, tallying three goals and five assists for a game-high eight points. DePompeo's five assists match her career high and her 42 on the season is the new Navy single season record.
"The sign of a truly great player is one that makes other players better," Timchal said. "If [Jasmine] isn't open herself, she can set up her teammates."
DePompeo also moved into second place on the single season scoring list with 98 points (56 goals, 42 assists), ranking only behind All-American's Erin Rawlick's nation-leading 111 points in 2010. Her 98 points is also the fourth best total in the history of the Patriot League.
"We went hard as a team today and we never let up," DePompeo said. "Our coaches were really playing to our strengths with the plays they were calling and they were putting me in a good position to see Caitlin or other players cutting to the net."
In addition to Mandrin Hill's seven draws, she also chipped in with a season-high five goals and one assist.
Sophomore midfielder Kathy Young helped Navy get out to a fast start, scoring two goals in the first three minutes (the first goal was at 29:26) and netting three in the first half. Young finished the game with five goals, matching her career high.
Following Young's two early goals, DePompeo and freshman Jill Coughlin also tallied to put Navy up 4-0 just 4:48 into the game. Back-to-back Quinnipiac goals cut the lead, but Young and DePompeo scored two more to pus Navy's lead to 6-2.
After another Bobcat tally, senior Katrina Nietsch found Coughlin for a goal with just 1.9 seconds to go in the first half to put Navy up, 7-3, at the break.
The Mids then stormed out of the gates to a 4-0 run in the first 5:49 of the second half on two goals from Mandrin Hill and scores from Young and freshman Aimee Gennaro to stake an 11-3 lead. Quinnipiac then took advantage of a free-position situation with a goal, but Navy responded with a 9-0 run over the next 20 minutes to put the game out of reach.
During Navy's big run, Mandrin Hill scored three times, all off assists from DePompeo. DePompeo, Young, Gennaro and Hamilton all also scored, as did junior Danielle Vivonetto and senior Lexi Dauernheim.
Sophomore goalie Michelle Verbeeck moved to 6-1 on the season, playing the first 53 minutes of the game, while making eight saves and allowing just four goals.
Sophomore Jen Eikenberg was impressive on Navy's defensive backline. Eikenberg scooped three ground balls and routinely outran Quinnipiac's midfielders to successfully clear the ball on her own.
Junior defender Kierstin King added two ground balls and sophomore defender Claire Olechowski had one ground ball and one draw control. Junior defender Dominique Wright also chipped in to help Navy hold Quinnipiac to five goals, the second-lowest total for an opponent all season.
Navy outshot Quinnpiac, 39-14, and won the ground ball battle, 19-13.
The NCAA First Round will be held on campus sites next Saturday or Sunday. Sixteen teams make the tournament, eight automatic qualifiers and eight at-large bids.
Notes: In just its fourth varsity season, this is Navy's second straight NCAA Tournament appearance ... Navy lost to #3 North Carolina in the NCAA First Round last season ... Mandrin Hill now has 94 career assists and is one shy of Rawlick's career school record ... Vivonetto's free-position goal in the second half was the 100th of her career ... Vivonetto joins senior Nietsch and Rawlick as the only three players to score 100 career goals at Navy ... the Patriot League is now 4-0 all-time in NCAA Play-In Games ... Quinnipiac advanced to the play-in game by defeating Mount St. Mary's in the Northeast Conference Championship, 15-3, and Navy defeated Colgate in the Patriot League Championship, 15-14 ... Navy is now 10-0 all-time against teams in the Northeast Conference ... Timchal extends her all-time NCAA career wins record to 394 and also advances to her 23rd NCAA Tournament ... last season when Timchal led Navy to the tournament, she became the first women's coach to take three different teams to the NCAA's.