Lexington, Ky. – For the second straight season and second time overall, the Transylvania women's lacrosse team will appear in the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Tournament. The Pioneers' trek through the 41–team tournament will commence on Sunday, May 12 when they take on the Denison University Big Red in Granville, Ohio.
The Pioneers (15-4, 6-0 HCLC) will visit Denison (15-4, 8-0 North Coast Athletic Conference) in a second-round tournament opener for both teams at 1:00 p.m. at Deeds Field on the campus of Denison.
Denison is coached by Amanda Daniels, who is 84-29 in her six seasons as head coach of the Big Red. Transylvania is led by fifth-year head coach Lauren Bickford, who carries a 67-22 record during her time at Transy into Sunday's tournament game.
Both Transylvania and Denison earned passage to the NCAA Tournament by winning their respective conference tournaments. The Pioneers defeated Hanover 20-0 in last Saturday's HCLC championship match while Denison captured the NCAC Tournament crown for the sixth-straight year and the 14th time overall with a 13-10 victory over Wooster in the NCAC championship. The Big Red is making its 21st NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.
Sunday's game will feature two of the strongest offensive attacks in Division III women's lacrosse. Transylvania ranks seventh in the country in scoring offense at 17.58 goals per game while Denison is ranked 15th nationally at 16.84 goals per game. Transylvania possesses the fourth-largest scoring margin in Division III women's lacrosse at 12.37 goals per game and ranks eighth in assists with 9.32 per game.
On offense, the Big Red are led by junior attack Kiely Noonan and freshman midfielder Casey McTague, who have scored 47 and 44 goals respectively this year.
Transylvania sophomore midfielder Courtney Pontious is the team's leading goal-scorer at 3.84 goals per game and leads the Pioneers with 73 total goals this season.
The Pioneers offense features four different players with 40 or more goals this season including Pontious, junior attacker Brianna McCulley (50 goals), sophomore midfielder Salem Carlow (45), and sophomore attack Rachel Johnston (42). Carlow also leads the HCLC in assists with 38 on the year.
The Pioneers and Big Red shared one common opponent this season in the Kenyon College Ladies. Denison defeated the Ladies 16-10 in the teams' regular-season finale on April 27 while Transylvania fell to Kenyon 16-9 on March 17.
The winner of Sunday's game will advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament to take on the winner between Gettysburg and the play-in winner of Westminster (PA) and Notre Dame (MD) on May 18-19.
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