Preview: Mount Union Hosts NCAA First/Second Round Women's Lacrosse This Weekend

Preview: Mount Union Hosts NCAA First/Second Round Women's Lacrosse This Weekend

NCAA First Round - Saturday, May 11 - 1 p.m. - Catholic vs. Albion - Live Stats

NCAA Second Round - Sunday, May 12 - 1 p.m. - Mount Union vs. Catholic/Albion winner - Live Stats

Mount Union will host the first and second rounds of the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12 at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance, Ohio.

Catholic (D.C.) and Albion (Mich.) will play a first round game at 1 p.m. Saturday then the winner will face the Purple Raiders at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Each won their respective conference titles to be three of 31 conference champions that automatically qualify for the 42-team tournament.

Mount Union (17-1) received an automatic bid to the tournament after winning the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament title with an 17-9 win over Capital. Mount Union swept OAC regular season and tournament titles for a sixth straight year. In its seventh varsity season, the Purple Raiders are making their sixth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Mount Union has a 4-5 record in NCAA post-season games with two trips to the sectionals (round of 16).

Mount Union is led by three players that won conference player of the year honors in senior attack Ashley Bernardi, junior midfielder Danielle Rohrman and junior goalkeeper Mimi Curtis

Bernardi led the team and conference with 51 assists and 115 points while being second in goals with 64. It is the third straight season she has earned All-OAC honors as a first teamer in 2018 and 2019 while being on the second team in 2017. Rohrman had conference-best 78 goals, 135 draw controls and her 110 points is second only to Bernardi in the OAC as she is now an All-OAC first team selection for third straight season along with being the conference Rookie of the Year in 2017. Curtis is a repeat winner of the OAC Goalkeeper of the Year award and on the All-OAC first team. She topped the conference and is among national leaders with a 6.15 goals against average and a 57.1 save percentage. Head coach Emily Fisher was named OAC Coach of the Year for a third time in her seven years leading the Raiders. She has a 112-15 overall record including a 66-4 record at home with a current 26-game home winning streak.  

Catholic, ranked No. 10 in the nation, won its sixth straight Landmark Conference title for automatic bid to make its sixth straight and 11th overall NCAA tournament appearance and the Cardinals are 15-10 in NCAA Tournament games. Catholic and Mount Union met previously in the NCAA Tournament as the Cardinals beat the Raiders 21-8 in a regional semifinal (round of 16) game in 2015 at Cortland State (N.Y.).

Five Cardinals -- seniors in attack Megan Ellis, midfielder Jess Lyons and defender Erin Dugan as well as juniors in midfielder Ally Criscuolo and defender Alyssa Bishop -- all were named All-Landmark Conference First Team. Ellis is third on the team with 41 goals and sixth in the league with 24 goals in six conference games. She has started all 18 games this season while posting career highs in goals (41), assists (8) and points (49). Lyons started all 18 games and leads the team in goals (48), points (57), draw controls (75) and caused turnovers (30) while ranking second in ground balls (40). She ranks ninth in the conference in goals, sixth in draw controls and seventh in caused turnovers. Dugan picked up her fourth career all-conference selection and third-straight first team honor. One of six players who has started all 18 games this season, she is third on the team with 32 ground balls, third with 54 draw controls and fifth with 12 caused turnovers. Criscuolo has totaled career highs in goals (45), assists (12), points (57), ground balls (32) and caused turnovers (16). She is tied for the team lead in points and ranks in the top-10 in the league in assists (8) and points (26) in conference contests. Bishop started all 18 games on defense and is second on the team with a career-high 20 caused turnovers.

Albion (Mich.) claimed the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association title to get in the tournament for a second time in history and first since 2015. In that 2015 appearance, the Britons came to Mount Union for a second round game and lost to the Raiders 18-0.

Senior defender Marisa DeCamp and sophomore midfielder Carly Schwarz were both All-MIAA First Team selections. DeCamp started all 18 games and anchored a defense that allowed 9.11 goals per game while Schwartz also started all 18 games and has scored 40 goals with 24 assists.

The winner of the pod advances to the sectional round (final 16 teams) May 18-19.