Alycia Monserrate Novotny's nickname is "Champ." That term could also be used for all of Novotny's lacrosse teammates. The Pipers made it a three-peat od Midwest Women's Lacrosse Championships with a solid 9-2 triumph over Aurora Saturday night at Klas Field. Hamline, now 18-1, will head to the NCAA D-III tournament for the third straight season.
Novotny led the offensive charge with three goals and two assists. Six other Pipers -- Kalley Elwell, Radian Lenz, Maya Hernandez, Brayden Maass, Maria Lewis and Ashley Hessler -- added singles as HU won their seventh game in a row. At the other end. Molly Dionne recorded nine saves as the Pipers held the Spartans to their lowest scoring total of the season.
As is often the case in championship games, it was a defensive minded affair from the start. Elwell had the only goal in the first 11 minutes of play. Novotny and Lenz tallied to make it 3-0. Aurora got on the board with 9:38 left in the half. Maass and Hernandez responded in kind for Hamline. The teams traded goals in the first 4:13 of the second session. The Pipers then stifled the Spartan offense the rest of the way, adding a goal by Hessler and two by Novotny for the final margin.
Hamline held a 28-18 edge in overall shots and a 26-22 advantage im ground balls. Clairfe Carlson had both goals for Aurora, which finished the season 13-6.
The Pipers will find out who they will play and where Sunday night when the NCAA tournament selections are announced.