Colby Aims for Seventh Straight NCAA Tourney Appearance

WATERVILLE, Maine -- Colby College will find out right away where they stand when the ninth-ranked Mules open the season at second-ranked Trinity College on Saturday at noon.

Colby returns five of the top six scorers from last year's 13-5 squad, some key members of the defense, and all three goaltenders. While the loss of three-time All-American Kate Pistel will sting, the Mules have plenty of depth.

Women's lacrosse has been the most successful program at Colby over the past 10 years, but the success also brings high expectations. The Mules had made three straight NCAA Division III Tournament quarterfinal game appearances before last year. Colby started the 2013 season with an 8-0 record, but then went 5-5 the rest of the way and were knocked out in the second round of the NCAA tourney.

Colby will look for a seventh straight NCAA appearance under seventh-year head coach Karen MacCrate Henning, who has a staggering 190-47 (80 percent) career head coaching record and is 87-26 in her six years at Colby.

Lindsey McKenna (Fairfield, Conn.) aims for a third straight All-American honor after finishing second in the NESCAC in goals per game (2.61) with 47 goals and four assists for 51 points. She has 40 goals or more in all three seasons and has career numbers of 135 goals and 16 assists for 151 points.

McKenna is one of four players returning who earned All-Region and All-NESCAC honors last season. Katharine Eddy (Cheshire, Conn.) and Kirsten Karis (Southborough, Mass.) joined McKenna and Pistel on the first team, while goaltender Michelle Burt (Woodbridge, Conn.) made the second team. For all-league honors, McKenna and Pistel were on the first team and Eddy, Karis, and Burt were second team selections.

Eddy and Karis are both captains along with fellow senior Alex Mintz (Mountain Lakes, N.J.).

Eddy was second in the NESCAC in assists last year and led the Mules in scoring with 21 goals and 31 assists for 52 points. Despite missing nine games two years ago due to injury, she has been very consistent with 51 goals and 51 assists for 102 career points.

Karis earned All-American honors two years ago and will be the main leader on defense after the graduation of Lisa Hoopes and Meg Mooney. Karis, who has 70 career ground balls and 51 caused turnovers, also is a key player with her speed on clears.

Burt was third in the NESCAC in save percentage (.526) last year and has career totals of 213 saves and a 19-7 record. Claire Dickson (Darien, Conn.) played 284 minutes last year and owned a .567 save percentage, while All-American field hockey goalie Sarah Evans is back for her sophomore season.

McKenna and Eddy are the top two scorers back, but the Mules will have other players involved offensively. Mintz (15 goals, 13 assists) and sophomore Dana Swaffield (Dover, Mass., 18 goals, 10 assists) were tied for fourth on the team with 28 points. Senior attack Katie Griffin (Duxbury, Mass.) had 20 goals and six assists to push her career goals to 62. Meanwhile, Sarah Lux (Manlius, N.Y.) is just 10 points shy of 100 for her career with 25 goals and 65 assists.

First-years Celeste Murtha (Natick, Mass.), Lexie Perticone (Darien, Conn.), and Florence Robinson (Old Lyme, Conn.) will look to make an impact on attack.

Abby Hatch (Wilbraham, Mass.) is the top returning scorer among midfielders with 10 goals and eight assists for 18 points. Sara Miller (Andover, Mass.) had nine goals and two assists, while Abby Hooper (Nahant, Mass.) finished with eight goals and two assists. Lindsay McCabe (Weston, Mass.) was a strong defensive midfielder and was a starter last year. Dori McAuliffe (McLean, Va.) and Emma Marjollet (Hingham, Mass.) also return.

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