Big Red women’s lacrosse heads to NCAA first round

Cornell women’s lacrosse fell to Princeton on Sunday in the Ivy League championship game, but an at large bid will send the Big Red to the first round of NCAA action. Cornell will face Notre Dame on March 12th — in Princeton.

Cornell’s women fell to Princeton on Sunday. 14850 photo.

The Big Red advanced to Sunday’s Ivy League title game on Friday’s 16-11 semifinal win over the Harvard Crimson. In this afternoon’s final, Cornell scored several goals in the second half after a shaky first ended with the Tigers up 7-2, closing Princeton’s lead to 11-9 late in the game, but couldn’t complete the comeback. It was Cornell’s first time hosting the Ivy League tournament, after the team earned a share of the league’s regular season title for the first time since 2006.

It’s the second time in two years, and the fifth time overall, that Cornell has headed to the NCAA tournament, but they’ve never faced Notre Dame. “The excitement to play a new opponent in Notre Dame is just fantastic,” says head coach Jenny Graap. “We’re really excited about it.” Cornell notes that the Irish will be well rested, having been idle since they fell to Boston College in the ACC tournament quarterfinals on April 27th.

Coach Graap says Sunday’s comeback effort sets the stage for NCAA tournament action. “We had a great comeback in the second half; we were just unable to overcome the deficit that we had in the first half. I think what we learned there is we can compete with the best teams in the country.”

Coach Graap was named Ivy League Coach of the Year last week, among several Ivy honors for the team. Senior Catie Smith was named Ivy Defender of the Year, and six players earned All-Ivy recognition, withAmie Dickson, Kristy Gilbert, & Catie Smith named to the All-Ivy first team; Catherine Ellis, Taylor Reed, & Renee Poullott earned honorable mention.

The winner of Friday’s first-round NCAA game between #11 Cornell and #13 Notre Dame will face Princeton on Sunday to decide the quarterfinal bracket. 13 teams earned automatic bids thanks to conference tournament action, and 13 more were awarded at-large bids in Sunday night’s NCAA selection show. The championship game will be on May 28th.

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