The Catholic University of America

May 27, 2014 

Spring Sports Teams Make NCAA Tournament Runs

Catholic University athletic teams marked a historic spring season as the Cardinals took home Landmark Conference championships in women’s lacrosse, softball, and men’s tennis. All three teams advanced to the NCAA National Tournament, with softball and men’s tennis making their first appearances in school history.

 
  The men's tennis team celebrates their first Landmark Conference championship.
 

Men’s Tennis
In his 51st season as men’s tennis head coach, Marty Dowd and his squad went 6-1 in conference play and locked up the No. 2 seed for the postseason tournament. The Cardinals dismissed No. 3 Scranton 5-1 in the semifinals, then traveled to Huntingdon, Pa., to take on No. 1 Juniata in the championship game. In the regular season matchup, the Eagles defeated CUA 6-3. Since that meeting, the Cards went on an eight-game winning streak into the finals.

With the team match tied at 4-4, rookie Juan Lorido won the No. 1 singles match against the conference Player of the Year to help the Cardinals capture their first-ever Landmark championship. Lorido was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player as well as First Team All-Landmark in singles. Seniors Brian Bradley and Cassian Utrie were voted Second Team All-Landmark. On the doubles side, Lorido and Utrie were named First Team All-Landmark as one of the top duos in the conference.

For the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, Catholic University drew Washington and Lee University in their first round matchup. After finishing final exams, the Cardinals traveled to Lexington, Va., for the national tournament. They fell to the Generals, who were ranked No. 26 nationally.

 
The women's lacrosse team won their sixth Landmark Conference championship.   

Women’s Lacrosse
Women’s lacrosse Head Coach Meghan McDonogh led the Cardinals back to the top of the Landmark Conference in 2014 with a squad that featured seven freshmen in the starting lineup and 13 on the roster. CUA earned the No. 1 overall seed in the postseason conference tournament after an unblemished 6-0 regular season record. The Cardinals cruised to their sixth Landmark title with a 20-9 rout of Susquehanna in the championship game.

CUA earned an NCAA Tournament berth and a trip to the second round at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. The Cardinals hung tough with the No. 6 team in the nation but eventually fell 17-11 to the Diplomats. CUA’s only losses this year were to teams ranked in the top 15 of the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll.

In her eighth year at the helm, McDonogh and her fellow coaches were named the Landmark Staff of the Year for the third time. Seven Cardinals were named All-Landmark with four on the First Team and three on the Second Team. Additionally, midfielder Clair Schmitzer was voted Rookie of the Year. Three players also were named to the IWLCA Chesapeake All-Region team. McDonogh picked up her 100th career win with a 15-9 road victory at St. Mary’s College of Maryland on March 12. Nationally, the Cardinals ranked in the top 20 in caused turnovers (12.33), draw controls (15.50), and goals per game (15.11).

 
  The softball team won their first Landmark Conference championship earlier this month.

Softball
After going 7-5 in regular season conference play and earning the No. 3 seed in the Landmark tournament, the Cardinals stormed through the conference tournament, going undefeated and winning the program’s first ever Landmark Championship. The Cardinals knocked off No. 2 Moravian 3-0 in the opening game, then took down top-seeded Susquehanna in back-to-back games for the title. Freshman Kristina Lozupone was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after hitting .555 in three games and totaling four RBIs.

Four Cardinals were named All-Landmark and senior captain Victoria Capozucca was voted Pitcher of the Year and earned First Team honors. Lozupone also was voted First Team All-Landmark and was the only freshman in the conference to do so. Tori Marcavage and Amy Laughner were named to the All-Landmark Second Team. Kerri Apicella reached a major milestone against Scranton with her 300th strikeout and finished her career with 314, the most in CUA history.

By virtue of winning the conference championship, the Cardinals earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and headed to Virginia Wesleyan College for the Norfolk Regionals. CUA fell to Christopher Newport University in the first game of the tournament, but bounced back the next day and defeated the College of Staten Island 11-5, eliminating them from the tournament. Catholic University then fell to Virginia Wesleyan, ending their NCAA run and record breaking year. CUA finished the year 24-15, marking the fifth straight year the team has had more than 20 wins. Additionally, the seven conference wins were the most since 2009.

 

 

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