April 29, 2014
Rock Hill, S.C. - The Coastal Carolina University women’s lacrosse team will make its first appearance in the Big South Women’s Lacrosse Championship on Wednesday when it faces Winthrop for a 2 p.m. game at Eagle Field. The Chanticleers earned the fifth seed in the tournament after closing out the regular season 5-11, 3-4, while Winthrop’s record of 7-10, 4-3 earned the Eagles the league’s fourth seed.
Coastal and Winthrop square off just nine days after the Eagles grabbed a 16-10 win over the Chants in the regular-season meeting between the teams. Winthrop jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the first half of that game and was able to hold on despite a late surge by Coastal that saw the Chants finish the second half with a 7-5 advantage in goals.
Junior attacker Jenna Kasmarik was a large reason Winthrop managed to build such a sizeable lead over Coastal. The Eagles’ leading scorer struck six times while taking a team-high nine shots, winning three draw controls, grabbing four ground balls and causing three turnovers. Kasmarik enters Wednesday’s game with 66 points on 61 goals and five assists.
Winthrop has also received large offensive contributions from sophomores Shannon Gallagher and Abigail Blevins. Gallagher, the 2013 Big South Freshman of the Year, is second on the team in scoring with 62 points on 39 goals and 23 assists. Blevins is Winthrop’s third-best producer in the offensive end with 24 goals and 12 assists for 36 points.
On the other side of the ball, Coastal has numerous scoring threats to counter Winthrop’s. Sophomores Keri White and Sara Nolan lead all players in scoring with 41 and 35 points, respectively. Nolan scored twice against the Eagles last time out, bringing her goal total to a Chanticleer single-season record of 27.
Fellow sophomore Charlotte O’Leary led Coastal’s attack in last week’s game at Winthrop, netting four goals on four shots. Freshman Jenna Stover, who has spent the majority of time in net for the Chants this season, played the first 44 minutes of the game and recorded four saves.
At midfield look for all-conference sophomore Rachel Waldron and junior Lily Yednock to contribute at both ends of the field. Waldron is Coastal’s leader in draw controls (58) and caused turnovers (15), while Yednock has chipped in 12 goals and eight assists this season.
Winthrop’s attack will have to deal with Coastal’s veteran backline of Kaitlyn Trodden, Nyra Constant and second team all-conference defender Maddy Ciardi. The sophomore trio has started all 16 games for the Chants this season, combining for 64 ground balls and 34 caused turnovers. The Chanticleer defense has proved to be one of the best in the Big South this season as Coastal’s 184 goals allowed and 11.50 goals against average ranks third in the league.
The Eagles are giving up an average of 12.69 goals per game, and Winthrop’s collective .338 save percentage is near the bottom of the conference. Camille King has gotten the majority of work in net for Winthrop this season, making 100 saves and allowing 184 goals on her way to a 5-9 record. The Eagles have been on a hot streak of late however, winning four of their last five and outscoring opponents 82-58 during that time.
If the Chants advance past the quarterfinal they will take on the winner of top-seeded High Point (11-5, 7-0) and last-place Presbyterian College (4-13, 0-7). The Panthers are the defending Big South Conference Champions.
Wednesday’s game will be streamed live on the Big South Network, and can be found HERE.
Live stats are also available for Wednesday’s game HERE.