Recently in Women's Lacrosse Category
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey program is holding a FREE high school clinic on Wednesday, Oct. 23rd on the Mansfield Outdoor Complex turf field located at 56 Mansfield City Road, Mansfield.
The clinic will run from 3p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please email head coach Christine Hutchison at firstname.lastname@example.org if your team or athletes are interested in attending. If you have specific areas that you would like to see emphasized, please let us know.
The women's lacrosse program is holding high school clinics on Monday, Oct. 21st and Wednesday, Oct. 23rd on the Mansfield Outdoor Complex turf field located at 56 Mansfield City Road, Mansfield.
The clinics are scheduled to be held from 6p.m. to 7:30 p.m. each night. No need to pre-register, just bring a check (made out to ECSU Foundation, Inc.) or cash of $15 to the field when you arrive at each clinic. The clinics start at 6p.m. but you are welcome to arrive at 5:30 p.m if you would like to interact with this year's team members.
The Eastern Connecticut State University Sports Center weight room underwent a facelift this past summer. The room, which is located on the bottom floor of the building and services the entire Eastern community, includes new rubberized flooring, new stereo system, signage, expanded mirror coverage, "Eastern Warrior" platform/power racks, new polyurethane dumbells, kettle bells, barbells, bands, free weights, assisted dip and pull-up machine, two fixed glute/hamstring machines, TRX suspension training packs, medicine balls, leather jump ropes, plyo boxes, bosu balls and jammer machines. Weight room hours are Monday-Thursday 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
This past May, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's lacrosse team got it done in post-season play, winning three matches on the road against higher-seeded teams to claim its fourth Little East Conference championship in nine years. Recently, it was announced that the players also got it done in the classroom, when the team was named to the Division III National Academic Squad by the Intercollegiate Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Association (IWLCA) by accumulating a cumulative team grade-point average of at least 3.00. A total of 86 Division III women's lacrosse program nationwide accomplished the feat. In addition, senior Individualized major Daniela Marchitto of Orange, junior Psychology and Pre-Early Childhood Education major Kelsea Burkhardt of Old Saybrook and junior Biology major Erin Conn of Moriches, NY earned spots on the IWLCA Division III Academic Honor Roll. Candidates for the squad were nominated by their institutions and must have attained junior status and a cumulative GPA of 3.50. The women's lacrosse program is the third Eastern program this past year to be recognized by a national governing body for academic excellence. The women's swim program was named Scholar All-America both last fall and this past spring by the Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) and the men's soccer program received a Team Academic Award from the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America (NSCAA) last fall.
Senior defender of Little East title team is second-team pick
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Eastern Connecticut State University senior women's lacrosse captain Rachel Meotti (Glastonbury) has become only the second defender from the program to be named to the all-region team when she was a second-team pick to the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Association (IWLCA) Division III All-Berkshire Region squad.
A three-year letterwinner and 2013 team tri-captain, Meotti was one of six defenders selected to the team, which was comprised of players from Connecticut, Western Massachusetts and Eastern New York.A total of 32 players were selected, 16 to the first team and 16 to the second team.
Meotti becomes the program's eighth all-region honoree in 11 years. Eastern's only previous all-region pick on defense was Kara Bradley, voted to the second team in consecutive seasons beginning in 2005.
This past spring, Meotti led the Warriors in caused turnovers (36) and ground balls 57) and was second in draw controls (45) - all personal season highs. One of three players on the team to start all 19 matches, Meotti turned the ball over only 15 times - the lowest total among starters. In the Little East Conference, she ranked third in caused turnovers and fourth in ground balls.
In the LEC playoffs - where the fifth-seeded Warriors avenged regular-season losses against higher-seeded teams to win their fourth post-season title -- Meotti led Eastern with 13 ground balls and ten caused turnovers, won four draws and chipped in two assists. The Warriors finished 7-12 overall and competed in their fourth NCAA tournament.
Meotti was named to the All-LEC team for the third time in her three-year Eastern career, gaining first-team honors for the first time. She concluded her career ranked sixth all-time at Eastern in draw controls and tied for 15th in ground balls.
Seven earn the honor for the maximum third time in their spring sport
In the spring, France (far left) and Labanara earned LEC All-Academic honors for the third time this year.
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- A total of 25 Eastern Connecticut State University student-athletes have been named to the Little East Conference All-Academic Team for the spring season.
Despite sponsoring only six of the LEC's seven championships in the spring, Eastern had the second-high total of All-Academic qualifiers among the eight member institutions. Coupled with 23 fall academic qualifiers in five sports (sharing second place), and 18 in five winter sports (placing third), Eastern amassed 66 All-Academic achievers during the 2012-13 academic. Eastern's season total was the third-highest in the conference.
Seven players from Eastern's 2013 LEC playoff champion women's lacrosse team gained the honor - the most by any Eastern program this season. The women's track, men's lacrosse and softball programs featured four selections each in the spring, with baseball and men's outdoor track recording three selections each.
This year's total gives Eastern 441 qualifiers in the six-year history of the All-Academic program, an average of nearly 75 each academic year.
Student-athletes having reached sophomore academic and athletic status and showing a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 are eligible for the award each season.
Franklin (at left) was a seven-time LEC All-Academic selection in his career.
This spring, seven senior Eastern student-athletes attained the maximum third All-Academic honor in their spring sport: Health & Physical Education major Drew Accomando (Monroe) in baseball, Sport & Leisure Management major Christine Charpentier (Monroe) in women's track, SLM major Arielle Cooper (Mystic) and HPE major Katie Sokoloski (Eastford) in softball, HPE major Drew Deane (Vernon) and Psychology major Jordan Munsell (Waterford) in men's lacrosse, and Elementary Education major Daniela Marchitto (Orange) in women's lacrosse.
Last month, six of this spring's LEC All-Academic qualifiers earned an E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award (minimum cumulative 3.50 GPA through last fall) for the maximum second time: Accomando, Charpentier, Deane, Marchitto, Munsell, and Sokoloski.
Junior Elementary Education major Katie France (Portland) and sophomore Accounting major Kelly Labanara (Chaplin) earned a spot on the LEC All-Academic team for the third time this year as cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field participants.
In his career, senior Political Science major Ryan Franklin (Glastonbury) reached LEC All-Academic status seven times in three sports (cross country, indoor and outdoor track), and Charpentier, France, Marchitto and Munsell six times each. Charpentier ran indoor and outdoor track, and Marchitto and Munsell played soccer in addition to lacrosse.
Marchitto (at right) was one of seven players from the 2013 LEC playoff championship women's lacrosse team to qualify for the LEC All-Academic team.
This past spring, Cooper was named first-team All-America at third base and LEC Player-of-the-Year, and Marchitto was selected first-team All-LEC in both sports and additionally honored as LEC Midfielder-of-the-Year in lacrosse.
Additional individuals gaining spots on the academic squad were women's lacrosse players Rachel Meotti (Glastonbury), a senior, Kelsea Burkhardt (Old Saybrook), a junior, and sister Amy Burkhardt (Old Saybrook), a sophomore, juniors Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) and Christine Lillis (Waterford), and sophomore Lauren Wells (Stratford); senior men's lacrosse players Merrick Smith (Stonington) and Nick Stoop (Crofton, MD), track and field athletes Alex Verrill (Hiram, ME), a senior, junior Lauren Hultzman (Putnam) and sophomore Dylan Kruppa (Torrington), junior baseball players Michael Pendergast (Farmington) and Greg Porter (Mystic); and junior softball players Mattie Brett (Waterford) and Stephanie Johnson (Southington).
Buoyed by LEC titles, the men and women open in NCAAs today
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- In 2013, it took losing to bring out the winning in the Eastern Connecticut State University lacrosse teams, which went on to capture Little East Conference championships for the first time in the same season and qualify for the NCAA tournament.
In the midst of their worst season in program history, the women (7-11) overhauled their offense and defense after bottoming out in a frustrating 17-8 home loss in the regular-season finale to Western Connecticut State University two weeks ago. These adjustments, in concert with a resolve which prevailed while losses mounted, propelled the club to an improbable three-game run through the Little East Conference playoffs.
Less than a week later - after reviewing tape and making major changes to their offensive and defensive schemes -- the No. 5-seeded Warriors turned around to stun No. 4 Western, dispatching the Colonials (15-7) as efficiently as they themselves had been vanquished in the regular-season finale. Three days later, top-seeded Plymouth State fell in a hotly-contested match (8-6) - an outcome which stopped the Panthers' eight-game winning streak. In the final at the University of Southern Maine - team which had tripped up the homestanding Warriors by a goal in the 2010 championship game as the No. 5 seed - Eastern scored four straight goals after the Huskies struck first - and went on to their fourth conference championship, 10-7.
The conference title was the first for the senior class, which had previously lost twice in the final and once in the semifinals.
"Coming from the bottom made it so much more unbelievable," noted senior Daniela Marchitto, the LEC Midfielder-of-the-Year. "Every single person on the team contributed to this win. After every conference loss this year, we knew that we could have won, so going into the conference tournament, we knew that we could play with them. Since it was 'do-or-die' in the tournament, it got us to turn it on."
The team had hit rock-bottom after the regular-season loss to Western, which penetrated the Eastern defense at will to score on nearly half of its shots to defeat Eastern for the first time ever. The Colonials scored six of the game's first seven goals and were never headed. On their offensive end, the Warriors were bottled up, forced to take low-percentage, hurried shots and failing on two-third of just 17 tries.
The loss to Western was Eastern's third in a row and seventh in their last eight games and dropped them to a program-lowest No. 5 seed in the playoffs. Although the only conference wins had come to two of the losing LEC teams, wins had been attainable in all three LEC losses prior to Western.
"We had potential and were talented, but we were not winning. There was a lot of frustration," admitted Marchitto. "But the coaches made crucial changes (after the Western loss). We adjusted our defense and set specific goals for the offense. The coaches realized what we needed. Our defense was so poor against Western, that it was easy to see what we needed to fix. After that, it felt like a new team. It was the same players, but a new team."
After seeing how effective the changes were in the LEC opener against Western, the team was excited to see if they would be as productive against Plymouth, the top seed. They were. "We came out on fire," said Marchitto. "It was a fight, but there was never a moment of doubt."
For the seniors, the first two trips to the LEC final in 2010 and 2011 resulted in disappointing losses. This time, losing was not an option. "Everyone knew we could win this," said Marchitto. "It was pure desire, there was no stopping us. Southern Maine overlooked us. They were praying that we would beat (top-seeded) Plymouth, and we used that (to our advantage)."
Even in the dark moments of the season, Marchitto says that the bench players kept everyone's spirits up, and wanted only for the seniors to go out as winners.
"The role the bench played was so big," she said. "Everyone came to practice with a great attitude and enthusiasm. It was a real team atmosphere. Everyone knew and accepted their role, and that helped. In the playoffs, Haley (junior goalie Heslin) really stepped it up. The season was hard for her because we weren't helping her out. But her attitude in the tournament was inspiring. Her confidence was different in the tournament. She wanted it so bad. She said it was for the seniors."
In their fourth NCAA appearance, the women were scheduled to face No. 10 nationally-ranked College of New Jersey Wednesday night at Ewing, NJ at 7 p.m.
The Eastern men (10-7) overcame a 3-7 start - including a 7-6 regular-season conference loss at Keene State college April 6 - to successfully defend their 2012 LEC championship with a 9-8 victory on top-seeded Keene's home field Sunday.
Regardless of who wins the regular-season match in this rivalry, however, the teams, more often than not, met again in the final.
"I told (Keene head coach Mark Theriault) after they beat us, that we'd see them again in three weeks (in the final)," remembers junior All-America midfielder Mike Devine, who scored the tying and winning goals late in the championship game. "He looked at me and said, 'yup.'"
In nine previous championship games between Eastern and Keene, the top-seeded team - the one which had prevailed in the regular-season showdown - had emerged with the LEC gold medal at its home venue.
The championship trophy was the eighth for the Warriors in the 13-year history of the LEC championships - twice as many as Keene.
In previous years, losing the regular-season matchup had been a death blow for that team. This time, it was not. After losing that match to Keene and another four days later to nationally-ranked Wesleyan University (13-9), Eastern ran the table through the regular season and the LEC playoffs in order to qualify for their eighth NCAA tournament, third in five years.
In similar response to the women's loss to Western Connecticut in the regular-season finale, sixth-year men's coach Justin Axel was quite certain that, given a few tweaks, his team was capable of winning the title on Keene's home field, if they were, in fact, capable to getting to that point.
After crushing UMass Boston at home in the regular-season finale, 20-0, Eastern never eased off the gas peddle, routing Western Connecticut, 23-4, at home in the conference semifinals. Coming off a four-overtime road win over UMass Dartmouth in the first round, Western was overwhelmed by the Warriors, who scored all 15 goals of the first half en route to the easy victory.
To the surpise of absolutely no one, the Keene re-match at the Owl Athletic Complex lived up to its billing. As has become common in this rivalry, Eastern fell behind early (4-1), but answered with four straight goals and never trailed through the early minutes of the fourth quarter until Tyler McKelvie and JT Gallow struck ten seconds apart to give the hosts their final lead, 8-7, with 12 minutes left.
Still trailing by that margin with six minutes left, Devine broke through for his first goal since late in the first half to knot the game. A minute later, he beat Keene goalie Alex Sharp with his 33rd goal of the season. "I hadn't really been getting my hands free very much in the game," admitted Devine. "But I just turned around and just shot it. I'm a shooter, I'm a muscle guy, I'm not real quick. I just shot it far third (of the net), and it went in... thank God." The Eastern defense, which successfully killed all six of the Owls' man-up opportunities in the game, did the rest.
Since the emotional game was characterized by short stretches of dominance by each team, Devine wasn't completely sure that the lead would necessarily hold up over the final five minutes, but he had faith in the defense. "I felt that our defense would step up," he pointed out. "Blake (freshman goalie Smaldone) played outstanding, and top to bottom, (defensemen) Stoop (Nick), Brown (Chris) and Tiger (Travis) all played great. They should get most of the credit. They kept us in the game. We kinda struggled early (offensively), but our defense is just a bunch of solid guys who we trust."
Everyone wearing Keene's color was stunned by the final outcome - only Keene's second home loss all year --which touched off a celebration by the Eastern players and its fans.
"There was not a word coming out of the stands," recalled Devine of the minutes after the final horn sounded. "They're wild up there, but once that buzzer hit zero, I think everyone was in shock... except for the 45 guys in our locker room. From the start, no one thought that we would repeat as LEC champions, because of the way we started the regular season. But the only thing that mattered was us 45 guys believing it."
The men bring a seven-game winning streak into their NCAA opener at Western New England University Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Golden Bear Stadium. The Golden Bears are ranked No. 8 in New England and earned the automatic bid as the Commonwealth Coast Conference champion for the second straight season.
No player on either Eastern or Western New England had been involved when the teams last met in 2007 in a 17-6 WNEU victory.
Fifteen are recognized with season-ending LEC awards in three sports
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass - Eastern Connecticut State University softball senior Arielle Cooper (Mystic) and head coach Diana Pepin and women's lacrosse senior Daniela Marchitto (Orange) were recognized with major awards in the Little East Conference season-ending awards program in the sports of softball, women's and men's lacrosse, with a total of 15 individuals in three sports being honored.
At left: Arielle Cooper
Cooper became the softball program's second straight Player-of-the-Year recipient (third overall) and 12th-year head coach Pepin was awarded Coach-of-the-Year honors for the fifth time in the last eight years, while Marchitto was selected women's lacrosse Midfielder-of-the-Year - an award instituted in 2011.
All-America junior midfielder Mike Devine (Cheshire) and senior faceoff specialist Josh Dubinsky (Woodstock) were named to the All-LEC first team, headlining a collection of six all-conference selections for the men's lacrosse team, with senior defenseman Nick Stoop (Crofton, MD) and junior attacks Mike Jordan (Cheshire) and Trevor Morrissette (Bedford, NH) and junior midfielder Tyler Fresen (Newington) garnering second-team All-LEC accolades.
All six of the softball teams All-LEC picks received first-team recognition. Cooper was named to the team for the third time in her career (second straight season to the first team), and was joined by senior first baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington), junior centerfielder Mattie Brett (Waterford), junior utility player Megan Godwin (Manchester) and sophomore DP Sam Rossetti (Shelton).
At left: Daniela Marchitto
Paterson was a second-team pick at the utility position as a junior while Brett and Rossetti were first-time honorees. Godwin was recognized as LEC Rookie-of-the-Year as a freshman. As a freshman at Endicott College in 2011, Brett was an honorable mention all-conference pick at shortstop. All except Rossetti started all 42 games for Eastern (28-14), which claimed its fourth straight LEC regular-season title and finished third in the LEC tournament.
Marchitto, a four-time all-conference pick and former Offensive Player-of-the-Year and Rookie-of-the-Year in soccer, earned first-team recognition in lacrosse for the third straight year. She was joined on the first team by senior defender Rachel Meotti (Glastonbury) and senior midfielder Christina Rully (Orange), her former high school teammate. Marchitto was preceded by seven former LEC Player-of-the-Year selections since 2005, four on defense and three on offense.
After transferring from the Division II level, Meotti earned All-LEC laurels in each of her three seasons with the Warriors. She was voted to the second team as a sophomore and junior.
Rully was cited for the first time in her four-year career.
Batting primarily leadoff, Cooper put the finishing touches on a sterling career and brilliant final season. She currently leads all conference players in virtually every offensive category, among them batting (.538), slugging (1.076), total bases (142), on-base percentage (.629), runs (61), hits (71), RBI (43), home runs (16), doubles (13), and walks (34). Her marks for batting, slugging, total bases, on-base percentage, runs, hits and home runs represented program season records, and her final season batting average was 99 points above her previous-season best, set last year.
Below: Diana Pepin
Through post-season tournament competition, Cooper is ranked second nationally in on-base percentage, third in slugging, fourth in home runs, home runs per game and batting, and seventh in walks and runs per game.
Paterson batted a career-high .356 this season to push her career average over .300 to .309. She was second to Cooper with 42 RBI - more than twice as many as her previous high total in a season. Playing primarily first base, but also second, she completed her career ranked fifth all-time with 642 putouts and tied for sixth with a .984 fielding average.
Brett was second to Cooper in most offensive categories, batting .378 (73 percentage points better than her sophomore season) with 41 runs, 51 hits and 12 stolen bases (in 12 attempts).
In her first season as a starter, Rossetti also played first base and right field and batted .368 - third best on the squad - with five home runs and 35 RBI. Godwin started 20 games in the middle infield and 16 in left field. She posted career-highs in batting (.344), hits (42), RBI (26), runs (28) and on-base percentage (.434).
Marchitto is tied for fourth in the conference in goals (55) and is fourth in points (66) and leads the club in scoring for the second straight year. With Marchitto, Eastern (7-11) became only the second No. 5 seed to win the LEC playoffs, with road victories over three higher-seeded teams: No. 4 seed Western Connecticut, top-seeded Plymouth State University, and No. 2 University of Southern Maine. Marchitto needs two goals to become the third 200-goal career scorer in program history and her 252 points ranks her second.
Meotti ranks fourth in the conference with 57 ground balls and also leads Eastern with 36 caused turnovers and is second with 45 draw controls - all season-bests. In the LEC playoffs, Meotti led Eastern with 13 ground balls and ten caused turnovers, won four draws and chipped in two assists.
Rully has contributed six goals, six assists, 35 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers.
The women's lacrosse team faces 13-time national champion College of New Jersey Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Ewing, NJ.
As the No. 2 seed, the men's lacrosse team (10-7) defended its 2012 Little East playoff title with a 9-8 victory at top-seeded Keene State College Sunday - its seventh straight victory since a 3-7 start.
Devine was named to the All-LEC first team for the second straight season, third time in all, while Dubinsky repeated as a first-team pick at the specialist position. Fresen repeated second-team mention and Morrissette and Jordan gained recognition for the first time.
Devine has 33 goals and 16 assists and is one of 11 100-goal scorers in program history. Dubinsky has won 52.6 percent of his faceoffs (173-329) with a team-high 102 ground balls, recording more than 100 for the second straight season. Ranking second all-time with 328 ground balls, Dubinsky is third all-time in faceoffs won, with 469.
After managing only 14 goals and 23 points in his first two season combineds, Jordan leads the LEC in points (66) and goals (46) this year, with seven of his goals and four assists coming in two LEC playoff victories. Morrissette shares second on the team with Devine with 33 points and has 47 points, while Fresen leads all Eastern players with 24 assists and is second to Jordan with 52 points.
While Eastern never allowed a conference opponent to score double-digit goals, Stoop was the team's only All-LEC defenseman chose to the all-star squad. Playing on his first LEC playoff champion this year after missing all of 2012 with a back injury, Stoop picked up 21 ground balls and caused 12 turnovers this year. Stoop is in his second year as an active player after transferring from the Division I level.
The Warriors visit Western New England University in the NCAA first round Wednesday at 4 p.m.
The LEC baseball awards will be announced next Tuesday following the completion of this week's conference tournament.
By Jonathan Mizger/Sports Information Staff
Editor's Note: This question-and-answer session with lacrosse sisters Kelsea and Amy Burkhardt of Old Saybrook is the second in a four-part series devoted to sibling athletes at Eastern. The third installment is a question-and-answer with Monroe natives Drew Accomando of the baseball team and sophomore brother Dean of the lacrosse team. The final installment profiles the unique situation in the men's lacrosse program, which includes three sets of brothers this year: Drew and Angus Deane, Kevin and Sean Fechtmann, and Mike and Brendan Gillotti.
Above and below: Amy (2) and Kelsea (22) Burkhardt
The Burkhardts are 18 months apart in age, Kelsey celebrating her 21st birthday yesterday (May 6).A junior attack, Kelsea is wrapping up her third year in the lacrosse program, while Amy, a sophomore, is in her second season with the club. Amy's move to defense this year has made for some very, uh, 'competitive' 1 v. 1 bouts in practice this season. While they have their own personalities, they are more similar than different, according to head coach Christine Hutchison, who describes them as hard-working on the field and in the classroom, and as individuals who are willing to accept whatever role best helps the team.
Were you two inseparable growing up?
Kelsea: "No, we did a lot together."
Amy: "We were always together."
Kelsea: "Yeah, we were always together, like we did everything together but we were kind of forced to."
Did you two share a bedroom while growing up?
What kinds of things do you like to do together?
Amy: "We always went to the beach, family vacations, always went to the beach."
Kelsea: "We played outside a lot, when we grew up we played sports together."
What kinds of things do you have in common?
Kelsea: "We both play lacrosse and soccer."
Amy: "Same senses of humor, we both like the same kinds of things."
Kelsea: "We have different friends because we're different ages, but she's only a grade younger than me."
Amy: "We get along with each other's friends."
Kelsea: "We both babysit the same families."
In what ways are you alike, and in what ways are you different?
Kelsea: "I know I know exactly what I want to do, I'm more serious about school and you're like a wild child. She's definitely more outgoing."
Amy: "Kelsea's more tense and needs to get things done, while I'm like more relaxed."
Kelsea: "Yeah that's true."
How did you guys both get involved in lacrosse and soccer?
Amy: "We started at the same time. You started in the seventh grade and I started in sixth grade."
Kelsea: "Oh yeah, but we both didn't play lacrosse until high school, so I started my freshman year and when she was a freshman she started, too, but I think it's because we just liked doing that kind of stuff together. So then when she could play in high school because we didn't have a middle school team, I would talk about it so much and how much fun it was and how in high school it was a way to make your own group of friends. It was a totally different activity that you could do. We both just ended up loving the sport. And same in college."
Do you guys compete against each other a lot in sports and school?
Kelsea: "Yeah, we get competitive with each other."
Amy: "Yeah I think I'm definitely harder on Kelsea than anyone else on the team."
Kelsea: "We know that we can challenge each other and it won't be taken personally at all."
Amy: "Exactly, and be honest with each other."
In what ways would your parents or friends say you are alike or in what ways would they say you are different?
Kelsea: "People say that we are completely opposite. All of our teammates obviously know us both so well and they say 'you guys are polar opposites'."
Amy: "Not that Kelsea is quiet but I think you're more... I'm definitely louder and 'out there' and you're more conservative and sheltered."
Kelsea: "I don't know. I don't know why it seems like we're so different."
Amy:" I don't think we're different, but everyone else thinks that we are."
Do you think that your parents wanted the two of you to go to the same college, or did they leave it entirely up to you both?
Kelsea: "They definitely left it up to us, but they really love that we both go to the same school and they love that we play lacrosse together. They never persuaded us at all to do the same thing."
Amy: "They were always having tried to allow us to go in whatever direction we wanted to."
Kelsea: "I'm surprised she went to Eastern."
Amy: "Following in your footsteps."
Why did you both choose Eastern?
Kelsea: "Well I came here because I wanted to teach and it's best to get your teacher's certificate in Connecticut and so I could play lacrosse."
Amy: "I just ended up liking it here, among the schools that I applied to; Eastern had the best of what I wanted for the atmosphere. From the other schools I applied to, none of them really stood out as much as Eastern."
What do you guys do to each other that makes you angry?
Amy: "We just like to mess with each other."
Kelsea: "Yeah, she takes it too far sometimes. Sometimes it gets a little physical. I play attack and she plays defense so, if she's defending me she'll take me down; I have scars, literally, on my knee, right there."
Amy: "I just go harder on you. The way that I go play against Kelsea is the way that I would play against other teams."
Kelsea: "But you kind of back off with our teammates."
Amy: "When we have disagreements on things."
Kelsea: "Well, you like your space so when you are in a bad mood and I come over to you, you just like 'back off,' like you get mad at that sometimes."
Who is the better all-around athlete?
Kelsea: "Amy. She's definitely more athletic than I am. She just is. She is more naturally athletic than I am."
How much contact do the two of you have on an ordinary day at school?
Amy: "Other than lacrosse, when it's the fall semester, we don't really talk a lot. We have less contact. Lacrosse definitely forces us to be around each other."
What motivates you both to play sports or do well in the classroom?
Kelsea: "For sports, my team and having Amy on the team motivates me. From her competitive part, I always want to play at her level and so we can always play sports together. In the classroom, I want to be a teacher and you have to get a teacher's certificate to be a teacher."
Amy: "I guess I would have to say on the field definitely my team and Kelsea definitely drive me to work my hardest and play up to her level, as well."
Kelsea: "We're competitive with each other, so we like to raise the standards for each other."
Amy: I agree. In the classroom, definitely making my parents happy and I know that I can do it and putting everything into it."
The men visit WNEU at 4 p.m., and the women travel to TCNJ at 7 p.m.
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - For the first time, the Eastern Connecticut State University men's and women's lacrosse teams will compete in the NCAA Division III Tournament in the same year, and both will open up on the road on Wednesday.
The women (7-11) face 13-time national champion College of New Jersey (13-4) at 7 p.m. at Lion's Stadium in their fourth NCAA appearance - first since 2008. The men (10-7), who moved into the New England poll today at No. 8, bring a season-high seven-game winning streak into their eighth NCAA tournament and face Western New England University (11-6) at 4 p.m. at Golden Bear Stadium. The Golden Bears are ranked in a tie for No. 4 in New England.
Both the Eastern women and men qualified as the representatives from the Little East Conference by winning the LEC playoff final Sunday on their opponent's home field. Seeded No. 5, the women eliminated three higher-ranked teams on the road, culminating in a 10-7 victory over No. 2 seed University of Southern Maine. Seeded No. 2, the men upended No. 1 Keene State College, 9-8. Eastern and Keene were meeting in the final for the tenth time and it was the first time that the visiting team won the title.
Ranked ninth nationally, New Jersey is making its 29th straight NCAA appearance, having reached the title match 17 times. Since winning back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006, TCNJ has compiled an 11-6 NCAA record, winning its opener every season. Eastern has lost its NCAA opener every year.
Western New England will be competing in the NCAA tournament for the seventh time, having won its opening game a year ago in double overtime at Conn College before being eliminated at RIT, 15-9. Eastern is 1-7 in seven NCAA showings. Eastern and Western New England have met six times previously, the Golden Bears having won the first in 1996 and the most recent (17-6) in 2007 at Springfield, MA.