D-III Women's Rewind: Recapping the Quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament


Alexis Strobel had one goal and two assists in a 16-5 win over Ithaca this weekend.

The NCAA Division III women’s tournament field is down to four teams, and a national champion will be crowned this weekend.

St. John Fisher will play Tufts and Denison meets Salisbury in the two semifinal games, which are set for Saturday at Kerr Stadium in Salem, Va., followed by the championship game Sunday.

Here are some of the notable storylines from the second weekend of games.

Ithaca vs. Washington and Lee

Ithaca, ranked 11th in the Nike / USA Lacrosse Magazine Top 20, upset No. 2 Washington & Lee, beating the Generals 16-11 on their home turf Saturday in the quarterfinals.

Mackenzie Schade made a career-high 16 saves to hold one of the highest scoring teams in the nation to a season-low 11 goals, as the Bombers advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals for the second time in program history. They went into halftime with an 11-4 lead and never looked back.

However, just as unexpected as that win was, the tide turned quickly in the next round with a thumping from Salisbury, who was favored but likely anticipating a better matchup. The Sea Gulls turned a three-goal halftime lead into a 16-5 blowout, holding Ithaca to one goal in the second half.

Lydia McNulty led all scorers with five goals, four of which came in the second half, and Julie Talbert netted four goals. Mary Claire Hisle recorded double-digit saves for the first time in her career, finishing with 13.

The Bombers had just one other loss to William Smith in the Liberty League tournament championship game. Third-ranked Salisbury scored nine unanswered goals to finish the game. Salisbury has beaten all three of its NCAA tournament opponents by double digits. The Sea Gulls now face Denison in the final four Saturday.

St. John Fisher vs. William Smith

Two games between ranked opponents ended up being decided by a one-goal margin, but St. John Fisher’s 10-9 win over William Smith in the Sweet 16 on Saturday proved to be the most dramatic.

Sydney DeGirolamo scored the game-winning goal with just 33 seconds remaining to lift the Cardinals to their first Elite Eight appearance in team history.

Fisher led 6-2 early in the second half, but the Herons scored six unanswered goals in a 15-minute span to open their first lead of the game with under 10 minutes to go — and then it became the Cardinals’ turn to rally. Fisher tied the score at 9 on a Mackenzie Alexander goal with 4:43 left, and the teams battled through possession over the next four minutes.

With time winding down, Claudia Mocciaro made a huge save, and after a timeout to draw up a plan, DeGirolamo was able to draw a free position, which she buried for the game-winner. Fisher then beat Messiah 9-5 on Sunday to advance to the semifinals.

Tufts won the other one-goal game, 11-10 against TCNJ, with Kirsten Grazewski scoring a free-position goal with 12:48 remaining for the game winner as the defense made it stand.

Jacqui Hallack, Ithaca

There were some outstanding goalkeeping performances over the weekend, but Jacqui Hallack’s all-around performance stood out for Ithaca in a win and a loss. She tallied four goals, one assist and nine draw controls in Ithaca’s win over No. 2 Washington and Lee, and her second goal of the day gave her the program record for goals in a season. She then added three goals in the loss to Salisbury and finished with 80 goals in just 16 games. 



Chicago’s Katie Large had nine points on three goals and six assists in a 17-9 win over John Carroll.


Salisbury’s goal total for the weekend, as the Sea Gulls produced the most scoring over the third and quarterfinal rounds. They only allowed eight goals.


Molly Laliberty’s save total over the weekend in Tufts’ wins over TCNJ (11-10) and Roger Williams (15-6).


Denison is making its first final four appearance after limiting Chicago to one goal in the second half of a quarterfinal matchup Sunday. Tied at 6 at halftime, the Big Red pulled away for a 10-7 win.


Messiah got four goals each from Rachel Delate and Abby Howard and beat Cortland by four goals, winning 16-12 in the third round Saturday.

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