Winthrop University

Winthrop lacrosse begins Big South tournament championship chase Tuesday

The Winthrop women’s lacrosse team, Big South regular season champions, will host Presbyterian Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.

The No. 1 seed Eagles finished the regular season 14-3 overall and 6-1 in the Big South, earning the top seed and hosting rights for the entire tournament. Presbyterian finished the season 3-13 overall and 0-7 in the Big South.

Winthrop and the Blue Hose met during the regular season on April 4 with the Eagles taking a 16-4 road victory. Senior Jenna Kasmarik had a strong offensive performance, netting seven goals. Freshman Kristen Shriver totaled six points on two goals and four assists, while junior Shannon Gallagher tallied two goals and two assists.

The Eagles got a slow start offensively against the Blue Hose, scoring only twice in the first 19 minutes. Winthrop then scored nine unanswered goals in the final 10:54 of the first half to take an 11-2 lead into the break. The Eagles got a running clock less than a minute into the second half and went on to a lopsided victory.

The winner of Tuesday’s quarterfinal contest will take on the winner of No. 4 High Point vs. No. 5 Longwood Friday at 4 p.m. at Eagle Field. The other two quarterfinal games include No. 3 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 6 Campbell and No. 2 Liberty vs. No. 7 Gardner-Webb. The second semifinal will be Friday at 7 p.m. with the championship Sunday at 1 p.m. The winner of the tournament earns the Big South’s automatic berth to the 26-team NCAA tournament.

Big South Conference awards released Monday

Three Winthrop lacrosse players were named first team Big South All-Conference on Monday. Senior attacker Jenna Kasmarik was named the league’s offensive MVP, and was joined on the first team by midfielder Shannon Gallagher and freshman goalie Alaina Girani, who was named the freshman of the year.

Coach John Sung was named the league’s top coach after piloting the Eagles to the Big South regular season championship and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.

Freshman midfielder Katherine Judge was named to the second team, and was joined by junior defender Hayley Krause and senior Alyssa Blevins. Junior midfielder Logan McCarthy made the All-Academic team.