The NEC women’s lacrosse team won their first New England Collegiate Conference Championship on May 4th, capturing their first conference championship since 2004. The Pilgrims then faced Plymouth State University in the First Round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Tournament, where they lost 19-3.
This season was historic for the Pilgrims as there were multiple records broken throughout the year. As a team, the Pilgrims set a new record for wins in a season with 14 and it had been 15 years since the program reached the NCAA tournament, which head coach Meg Leo was a part of her freshman year at NEC.
Senior Tara Bainbridge had herself an unprecedented season. She now currently holds the following records: Most career goals, points, and assists at NEC; most goals in a game, and most points in a game at NEC; ranked first in goals, goals per game, points, and points per game in the nation; the third woman in NCAA history to record over 300 goals, 100 assists, and 400 points in a career; and she holds the NCAA record for points in a single season (200), and for career points (511), which was previously held at 500.
The team finished the regular season with an overall record of 12-5, and a conference record of 5-1. Having lost to Colby-Sawyer in the NAC Semi-Final game last season, head coach Megan Leo was looking forward to the new year.
Going into this season, expectations were very high,” said Coach Leo. “While our season isn’t over yet, we ended the regular season with the best record we have had since 1998, which is huge. The team is working really hard and excelling on the field.”
The Pilgrims went 4-2 in their first six games, including going 1-1 during their trip to Oregon.
“We played two really good teams and had some really awesome experiences while we were there,” said Coach Leo.
The Pilgrims had a strong first year in the NECC, scoring 20+ goals in each game except for their only loss to Becker, 14-15. Coach Leo noted that it was different to be in a new setting with new teams and venues, but not having to travel as far as they used to while in the NAC was enjoyable.
“The returners absolutely crushed their roles this year,” said Coach Leo. “Tara Bainbridge has had the best season of her career, racking up 170 points so far. Alana Scott and Alyssa Tursi have also been huge players on the attack side and Kaitlyn Berry, Tailor Chapin, and Giuliana Kevlin have really locked down the defensive end.”
Senior Tara Bainbridge had a record setting regular season. She now holds the New England College women’s lacrosse records for points, goals and assists in a game; career goals and points; and the first player to have over 100 goals in a season. Her NCAA women’s lacrosse records include: one of two players to ever have back to back 100 goal seasons, and one of three players to have career totals of over 300 goals, 100 assists and 400 points.
“We’ve had some first years really come into their own this season,” said Coach Leo. “Lauren Rich has been a force all over the field, taking the draw, playing strong defense, and contributing on the attack. Sofia Castriotta has been a huge player in the offense, scoring and assisting frequently.”
The Pilgrims look forward to repeating as conference champions in 2020.