The Eagles opened the season with a pair of convincing victories over Guilford College (17-8) and Hood College (24-3). UMW then dropped a tough 18-17 overtime decision to 15th ranked Washington & Lee University, and then fell at fifth-ranked Gettysburg College, 17-6.
Coach Hall’s squad rebounded to top SUNY Oneonta, 14-11, and Rochester Tech, 17-9, on spring break in St. Croix, to move to 4-2. After falling to top-ranked Salisbury, the Eagles defeated York College, 13-8, and Wesley College, 26-9.
A tough 9-8 loss to 10th ranked Williams College preceded an important 18-7 win over St. Mary’s College and a 12-8 loss to eventual Landmark Conference champion Catholic University. After topping Marymount University, 18-14, the Eagles were upset at Stevenson University, 13-10.
With their backs against the wall for any NCAA Tournament consideration, UMW reeled off five straight victories to close the season, kicked off by a 19-15 win at Christopher Newport University, who went on to claim the USA South Conference crown. The Eagles then topped Frostburg State, 23-12, and Roanoke College, 19-16, before topping Frostburg again in the CAC Tournament first round, 19-7.
In the CAC semifinals, the Eagles trailed by two goals with 1:07 left in the second overtime, but rallied to tie the score and eventually topped the Mustangs in the third extra period, 16-15, on junior Lauren Callison’s game winner. The win all but assured UMW of an NCAA Tournament bid, and, after falling to Salisbury in the conference title game, the Eagles were invited to the national championship for the third straight year.
The Eagles travelled to a familiar foe in Catholic University in the NCAA’s first round, and fell to the Cards, 18-10, despite three goals from Erin Murphy and two goals and an assist from Allie Kimmelman.
UMW was led in scoring in 2011 by junior first team All-American Catherine Kennedy, who broke the school’s career goals and scoring records in only three seasons, as she tallied 115 points on 79 goals and 36 assists. Kimmelman was again among national leaders in points and assists, netting 31 goals and 58 assists for 89 points.
The Eagle offense ranked among the best in the nation, and the depth in scoring was evident, as sophomore Keller Torrey scored 30 goals and added 45 assists, and junior Lauren Callison added 52 goals and 12 assists. Senior Katie Wallis scored 42 points on 31 goals and 11 assists, and classmate Murphy added 26 goals and six assists.
The defense was led primarily by underclassmen, as freshman Kathleen Mastropaolo earned all-conference honors, and sophomore Mackenzie Sloan and junior Julianne Huyett also provided quality play in starting every contest.
With a large contingent back for 2012 (the Eagles lose just Wallis, Murphy, and defender Taylor Parker to graduation), UMW will look for even bigger and better things next spring. Two other major factors will look to aid the Eagles’ success – UMW will construct a new lighted turf field for the field hockey and lacrosse teams to compete and practice on, and Coach Hall, after 22 years of coaching both field hockey and lacrosse, will focus solely as the women’s lacrosse coach beginning in 2012.