Road to NCAA Championship Continues on Battlefield

GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Gettysburg's road to Salem and the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship continues on the friendly turf of Clark Field as the Bullets host the next two rounds of the tournament on Saturday and Sunday.
 
Gettysburg (17-3) clinched a spot in the regional round for the ninth consecutive season with a 13-5 victory over FDU-Florham last Sunday. It wasn't a clean win for the Bullets as the team trailed 3-1 early on and committed 20 turnovers, its second-highest total of the season. But the team was happy to get a win on the board and continue its postseason march.
 
"When you get to this point in the season, it's anybody's ball game - rankings mean nothing," said Head Coach Carol Cantele, who is two wins shy of becoming just the fourth women's lacrosse coach with 400 in a career. "You need to play a solid 60 minutes and be ready from the opening draw."

Cantele and crew enter familiar territory this weekend. In addition to playing in regionals for most of the last decade, Gettysburg has hosted these upcoming rounds nine times in the last 18 years. The home-field advantage paid off with trips to the national semifinals in 2006, 2007, and 2010.
 
Joining Gettysburg this weekend will be Rhodes College (19-0), Ithaca College (14-4), and Salisbury University (15-5). The Bullets face Rhodes Saturday at 11:30 a.m., while Ithaca takes on Salisbury at 2:30 p.m. The two winners will square off in the regional championship game Sunday at 2:30.
 
Rhodes and the University of Maryland are the only two unbeaten teams left in the NCAA. The Lynx lead the nation in scoring at over 20 goals per game and are coming off a 16-10 win over Illinois Wesleyan University in its playoff opener.  Rhodes is making its third consecutive NCAA appearance.
 
Ithaca and Salisbury are veteran NCAA participants, with the Bombers in the field for the 11th time and the Sea Gulls making the dance for the 18th year. Ithaca received an at-large bid to the dance after falling in the Empire 8 Conference semifinals to St. John Fisher College. The Bombers took down Wesleyan College 11-10 in overtime last weekend.
 
Salisbury has already posted wins over Regis College (19-2) and Hamilton College (7-5) to open this year's tournament. After finishing as the second seed in the Capital Athletic Conference, the Sea Gulls upset York (Pa.) College in the title game to claim the automatic bid. Salisbury has won a trio of national titles in the last seven years, including in 2010 and 2014 when Gettysburg hosted the finals.
 
Gettysburg has never faced Rhodes, but it does have some recent history with Ithaca and Salisbury. The Bullets defeated the Bombers in 2013 (14-7), 2014 (13-12), and 2015 (12-6) and lead the series 3-2. Gettysburg and Salisbury have split eight meetings with the Orange and Blue winning the last two, including a 10-8 decision in 2016.
 
With classes and final exams in the rear-view mirror, the Bullets have turned their attention solely on the lacrosse field and its three potential opponents this weekend.
 
"We have worked on controlling what we can control and have been focusing on us by working towards being consistent with the fundamentals," said Cantele. "The coaches have been pouring over film on the three possible opponents and have weaved into our practices the tendencies of our opponents." 
 
Gettysburg is seeking its sixth appearance in the national semifinals in the last 11 years. The Bullets have fallen in the regional championship in two of the last three seasons, including a 13-9 loss to eventual national champion Middlebury College in 2016.
 
"We are all motivated as they have been in years before," noted Cantele. "I truly believe everyone wants this opportunity to spend another week together and make more lasting memories."
 
Tickets for the weekend are $6 for adults, $3 for seniors and students ages 13-18 (college students from participating institutions must present ID), and $2 for children ages 3-12. Children under the age of two are admitted free of charge.
 
For additional information about this weekend's NCAA Championship games, please visit the official tournament website: www.gettysburgsports.com/ncaaregional.