The nationally top-ranked and defending NCAA Division III champion SUNY Cortland women's lacrosse team will play either Keene State College (N.H.) or Castleton University (Vt.) in an NCAA Division III tournament second-round game on Sunday, May 15, at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex. Cortland enters the tournament unbeaten at 18-0 and has won 37 straight games dating back to last spring.
The first-round game between Keene State (11-7) and Castleton (12-5) will be held at Cortland on Saturday, May 14, at 1 p.m., with the winner remaining in Cortland to face the Red Dragons the following day, also at 1 p.m.
Keene State won its second straight Little East Conference title with an 11-8 win over Plymouth State this past Saturday. The Owls will be making their fifth NCAA appearance. Castleton won its fifth straight North Atlantic Conference crown with a 17-7 victory Saturday over Colby-Sawyer. The Spartans also traveled to Cortland for the NCAA tournament last year and defeated Morrisville State in the opening round before losing to Cortland.
The winner of Cortland's game Sunday will play in a four-team regional on Saturday-Sunday, May 21-22, at a site to be announced. The Division III national semifinals and finals will be held May 28-29 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., near Philadelphia. Last year's "final four" was also held at that stadium.
Under second-year head coach Kelly Lickert-Orr, the Red Dragons earned a berth into the 40-team NCAA field after capturing their 18th straight State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) tournament title. Cortland won the league crown with a 16-11 win over Brockport in this past Saturday's championship game. The Red Dragons will be making their 18th straight NCAA appearance and 20th overall.
Last season, Cortland finished 22-1 and won the school's first national title in Lickert-Orr's debut season with the Red Dragons. Cortland opened the playoffs with home wins versus Castleton (21-4), Augustana (Ill.) (21-2) and Catholic (13-12), then posted a 19-12 semifinal victory versus Middlebury and a 17-6 championship game win over Trinity (Conn.) at the "final four"
Cortland has advanced to at least the national semifinals each of the last five years. The Red Dragons lost to Trinity in the semifinals three straight years from 2012-14 and fell to Gettysburg in the 2011 semifinals, all by margins of two goals or less. Cortland will be playing in at least the NCAA second round for the 18th straight year, and the program has won 75 straight home games dating back to an 8-7 loss to Hamilton College on March 23, 2010.
Cortland is 6-0 this spring versus other teams in the NCAA field with wins over Brockport (twice), Catholic, William Smith, Ithaca, and The College of New Jersey.