CUA welcomes Eagles in NCAA Tournament opener

CUA welcomes Eagles in NCAA Tournament opener

WASHINGTON – CUA begins play in the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Wednesday afternoon when the Cardinals welcome Mary Washington to town.  CUA has won at least one NCAA Tournament game in each of the last three seasons, advancing to the regional finals in 2008 and 2009. 

With eight All-Landmark Conference selections, CUA is loaded with talent this year.  Player of the Year Mary Swarthout leads the way on offense with 57 goals and 25 assists, while Kate Robinson has added 69 points (42 goals, 27 assists), Katie Buonpastore 63 (28 goals, 35 assists) and Lindsay Davenport 43 (33 goals, 10 assists).

Meghan Brady (25), Kelly Ryan (14), Mary Robinson (14) and Chelsea Gleason (10) have also scored double digit goals.

In addition to her scoring prowess, Swarthout also leads the Cardinals in draw controls (51), ground balls (49) and caused turnovers (25).  Becky Borrell ranks second in ground balls (28) and caused turnovers (18) and Kate Robinson's 45 draw controls rank second.

Junior Gabby Sena was selected to the All-Conference team after stopping 122 shots in 962 minutes of action.  She has a 9.85 goals against average and has also picked up 12 ground balls.

CUA advanced to the NCAA Tournament by defeating Goucher in the semifinals of the Landmark Conference Tournament and then Drew in the championship game.  The Cardinals are ranked ninth nationally in the latest poll and have posted an 8-2 record at home this season.

Mary Washington comes to town sporting a record of 13-7, which includes a mark of 6-2 within the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC).  The Eagles advanced to their conference championship game before falling to Salisbury 18-6.

Catherine Kennedy is Mary Washington's top offensive producer with 78 goals and 113 points, while Allie Kimmelman has handed out a team-high 57 assists.

Jenny Atmar leads the Eagles in draw controls (42), ground balls (40) and caused turnovers (38), and in goal Danni Gulgll has played nearly 900 minutes and stopped 160 shots during that time.

These two teams met earlier this season when CUA downed Mary Washington 12-8 on March 28 in Virginia.  Swarthout scored a team-high five goals for CUA and Mary Robinson added four and the Cardinals used a 7-3 second half to break a 5-5 halftime tie and earn the win.  Mary Washington leads the all-time series between the schools 11-5.

CUA enters Wednesday's game with a record of 5-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.  The Cardinals defeated Christopher Newport last season at home before bowing out to Salisbury on the road.

To see the entire 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket, please click here.

The Cardinals and Eagles will get things going at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.