CUA begins NCAA Tournament at home vs. Captains on Wed.

WASHINGTON – CUA begins play in its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament on Wednesday afternoon when the Landmark Conference champion Cardinals welcome Christopher Newport to town.  CUA has won at least one game in each of the last four tourneys, reaching the regional final twice.

CUA comes into this one riding a seven-game winning streak, including an exciting 12-10 win over Susquehanna on Saturday in the conference title game.  Senior Meghan Brady scored two goals in the final 7:15, including the game-winner with 2:48 to play, to send the Cards to championship number-five.  She received Offensive Player of the Week honors from the Landmark Conference for her efforts.

Brady, with 41 goals, is one of ten Cardinals with at least 11 goals, and she joins Mary Swarthout (58) and Mallory Vogel (40) as 40-goal scorers.  Swarthout leads the team in assists with 26, as well as ground balls (63), draw controls (school record 109) and caused turnovers (33).

Megan Gormley joined Brady as a weekly award winner, earning defensive honors after totaling six caused turnovers and five ground balls in the title game.  Her defense helped the Cardinals force Susquehanna into 22 turnovers and a 19 of 29 showing in clear attempts.

Freshman Tricia Pehnke earned her ninth win of the season over the weekend after turning back 13 Susquehanna shots.  She has stopped 61 shots in 450 minutes of action, boasting a .526 save percentage during that time.

After winning its seventh straight USA South Conference title, Christopher Newport enters the NCAA tournament with a record of 15-3.  The Captains defeated Shenandoah 13-9 on April 14 to win their conference championship.  Tournament MVP Ashton Marshall led the way with 10 points on seven goals and three assists in the two tourney games.

CNU averages nearly 17 goals per game and allows only 8.3.  The Captains are led on offense by Martin's 64 goals and 86 points, with Lauren King (38 goals) and Jessica Singer (36 goals) next in line on the leader board.

Monica Evans leads CNU in ground balls with 50, while Becca Geist is the team leader in caused turnovers with 23.  Hannah Wilkerson has started all 18 games in goal and stopped 114 shots in 968 minutes.

Wednesday's game will begin at 3 p.m. from inside Cardinal Stadium.  The winner moves on to take on the winner of the Redlands-Occidental matchup on Saturday, May 12 on the campus of Salisbury University.

This will mark the third time that CUA and Christopher Newport meet in the NCAA Tournament.  The Cardinals have captured the first two matchups, winning a road game in 2008 and a home game in 2010.

CUA NCAA Tournament History

First Round

CUA 18, Mary Washington 10 (Washington)
Second Round
TCNJ 15, CUA 9 (Lancaster, Pa.)

First Round

CUA 19, Christopher Newport 9 (Washington)
Second Round
Salisbury 18, CUA 9 (Salisbury, Md.)

First Round

CUA 9, Messiah 8 (Washington)
Second Round
CUA 19, Mary Washington 14 (Salisbury, Md.)
Regional Final
Salisbury 18, CUA 14 (Salisbury, Md.)

First Round

CUA 18, Christopher Newport 7 (Newport News, Va.)
Second Round
CUA 17, Rowan 15 (Salisbury, Md.)
Regional Final
Salisbury 18, CUA 7 (Salisbury, Md.)

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