No. 17 Lady Monarchs Host Tribe in Crucial CAA Finale
By ODU Athletics
April 23, 2009
NORFOLK, Va. -- Despite already wrapping up a bid to the 2009 CAA Tournament, the 17th ranked Lady Monarchs will still have a lot at stake in the regular season finale tonight against William & Mary. Tied atop the league standings with Delaware and William & Mary, Thursday night's game is integral in seeding for next weeks tournament.
Old Dominion is 5-1 in CAA action, with a league-best five game winning streak headed into tonight's action. Delaware and William & Mary share the top record in the league, with the Fightin' Blue Hens holding a tiebreaker over both teams. If Delaware wins their game against Towson, the #4 seed regardless of outcome today, they will host the four-team CAA Tournament next week. However, if Delaware loses, tonight's game between the Lady Monarchs and The Tribe will decide the #1 seed and the host of the 2009 CAA Championship.
ODU is the lone nationally ranked team in the conference, after besting three nationally ranked opponents in each of the last three weeks. ODU defeated #9 Virginia, #20 James Madison and last week defeated #20 Hofstra to vault itself into the rankings for the first time since 2003.
Thursday night's game will be Senior Night, as well as the Annual ODU Scholarship Game. Admission is $5 for all fans, while ODU students with a valid ID are admitted free of charge.
A win for ODU would complete a remarkable turnaround from a year ago, when the Lady Monarchs finished last in the CAA with a 0-7 record in league play. This season, ODU is among the best defensive teams in the CAA, ranked second in goals against average (9.57), caused turnovers (10.71) and first in save percentage (.507) and saves per game (10.00).
Rookie goalkeeper Sarah Geary has led the charge defensively, leading the league in save percentage and second in the league in goals against. Senior defender Lindsey Belle has also put together her career-best season, with 29 caused turnovers in 14 starts for ODU.
Offensively, the Lady Monarchs have put together one of the finest seasons in program history, as three players have 39 points or more. Senior midfielder Kelly Kimener has posted a career-high 41 goals and 14 assists for 55 points, while junior attacker Ashley Kellogg has a team-high 42 goals plus seven assists for 49 points. Senior Jessica Noone has come on strong late in the season and has added 26 goals and 13 assists.
William & Mary boasts one of the most potent attacks in the nation, scoring over over 14 goals per contest and adding over six assists. They lead the league in draw controls, ground balls, goals per game, points per game and shooting percentage. Grace Golden has been named to the WomensLacrosse.com National Honor Roll two weeks in a row and leads the team offensively with 39 goals.
Game start is set for 7:00 pm. The Delaware-Towson game will begin at 4:00 pm.