Lacrosse to Host Presbyterian, Niagara

Elizabeth Rourke and the Aztecs will battle Presbyterian and Niagara on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
Elizabeth Rourke and the Aztecs will battle Presbyterian and Niagara on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
March 4, 2018

Game Week Preview
Presbyterian (1-4, 0-0 Big South) San Diego State (3-2 0-0 MPSF)
Monday, March 5 | 3 p.m. PT | Aztec Lacrosse Field | San Diego, Calif.
Live Stats | Watch

Niagara (3-1, 0-0 MAAC) San Diego State (3-2 0-0 MPSF)
Tuesday, March 6 | 7 p.m. PT | Aztec Lacrosse Field | San Diego, Calif.
Live Stats | Watch

Game Notes

Aztec Storylines
- San Diego State continues its busy stretch with back-to-back home games early this week when it faces Presbyterian College on Monday, March 5, starting at 3 p.m. PT, before battling Niagara on Tuesday, March 6, beginning at 7 p.m. PT. In addition to live stats, both contests will feature a link to streaming video on GoAztecs.com.

- SDSU is coming off an impressive 19-3 victory over St. Bonaventure on Friday night. The Aztecs received goals from 12 different players, including hat tricks from juniors Jill Haight and Natalie Peel, while fellow classmates Grace McGinty and Kirstie Greenlaw finished with two tallies each. The Aztecs also received first-ever collegiate goals from freshmen Matilda Adams and Isabelle Flud.

- Collectively, SDSU outshot the Bonnies 38-11, including a 30-5 margin on goal. The Scarlet and Black also succeeded on 5 of 11 free position attempts, including a 4-for-8 clip in the first half.

- In addition, the Aztecs maintained a whopping 22-2 advantage in draw controls, with Peel and Bailey Brown finishing with four apiece, while Haight, McGinty and sophomore Morgan Taylor registered three apiece.

- SDSU's 19 goals represented the team's highest total since posting a 20-6 triumph over Saint Mary's at home on March 22, 2015.The Aztecs' 16-goal margin of victory was also their most since recording a 22-6 rout of LIU Brooklyn at home on March 8, 2014.

- After defeating St. Bonaventure, SDSU will face two additional first-time opponents this week in Presbyterian and Niagara. Monday's clash with the Blue Hose will mark the Aztecs' fifth overall meeting against a Big South conference foe. The Scarlet and Black is 4-0 against current members of the Big South, winning both games in a home-away series vs. Winthrop (2014, 2015) to go with single victories over Campbell and Liberty in 2015. SDSU will square off against Liberty for the second time in program history later this month on March 23 at Aztec Lacrosse Field.

- Conversely, Tuesday's tilt with the Purple Eagles will represent SDSU's first-ever encounter with a Metro Atlantic Athletic Association school. In addition to Niagara, MAAC lacrosse teams include Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Manhattan, Marist, Monmouth, Quinnipiac and Siena.

- For the season, Haight leads the Aztecs in several statistical categories, including points (15), goals (13), draw controls (28), ground balls (9) and caused turnovers (7). The Milton, Ga., product has scored at least two goals in all five games this year and owns a team-leading .870 shot-on-goal-percentage while converting 5 of 7 free position attempts.

- SDSU has also received 14 points this season from junior Harlowe Steele, who has contributed 13 points of her own on 11 goals and two assists to go with nine draw controls and eight ground balls. A native of British Columbia, Canada, Steele was twice named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Offensive Player of the Week after combining for nine goals in close victories over Cal and Arizona State last month.

- The Aztecs have received five MPSF weekly awards already this year, including two by Bailey Brown, who garnered back-to-back Rookie of the Week accolades. Brown, who hails from Katy, Texas, is just one of two freshmen to appear in all five games for the Scarlet and Black, joining Glenwood, Md., native Julia Sheehan.

- For the season, Brown has racked up two goals and 14 draw controls, which ranks second on the team, to go with four ground balls and one caused turnover, while Sheehan has earned five starts, posting two goals, two assists and one ground ball.

- Not to be outdone, goalkeeper Katy Sharretts picked up MPSF Defensive Player of the Week honors on Feb. 26 after combining for 28 saves at No. 21 Denver and No. 20 Colorado. The Aztec redshirt sophomore established a career high with 14 saves in consecutive outings against the Pioneers and Buffaloes, which is tied for fourth on the school's single-game performance list. For the season, Sharretts maintains a .459 save percentage (51 saves) and a 12.65 goals against average in over 284 minutes of playing time.

- With its dramatic 14-13 victory over Arizona State on Feb. 17, SDSU has won five straight games decided by one goal dating back to last season and has improved to 12-10 in one-goal encounters since the team's inception in 2012. It also marked just the second time in program history that the Aztecs have recorded consecutive one-goal wins after downing Saint Joseph's (13-12) and New Hampshire (12-11) last year. Last month, the Scarlet and Black emerged triumphant with another 12-11 nail-biter in its season opener at California on Feb. 11.

- Despite losing its top five scorers from a year ago, including Kristen Hickey (34 goals), Kayla Deitz (30 goals) and Alex Watson (27 goals) SDSU returns an experienced core of 20 veterans, led by tri-captains Mackenzie Lech, Harlowe Steele and Natalie Peel. Lech and Elizabeth Rourke are the two lone seniors this season on a roster that features nine juniors, 12 sophomores, 12 true freshmen and one transfer.

- For the first time in program history, SDSU will play host to the MPSF Championships, slated for April 27 and 29. With the Pac-12 Conference sponsoring the sport of lacrosse this season, five teams (Cal, Colorado, Oregon, Stanford, USC) have withdrawn from the MPSF, leaving behind the Aztecs, Fresno State and UC Davis. As a result, the MPSF tournament format will pit the second and third seeds in the semifinal game, with the winner advancing to the championship final against the No. 1 seed.

- The program’s only coach after lacrosse became the 19th intercollegiate sport at San Diego State in 2012, Kylee White begins her seventh season at the helm of the Aztecs. She has transformed SDSU’s fledgling program to a strong competitor on the West Coast, highlighted by a school-record 10 victories last year. In November 2016, White was inducted into the London (Ontario) Sports Hall of Fame after becoming the only women’s lacrosse player to represent Canada in each of the last three decades. In 1995, she played on the inaugural U-19 Canadian National Team and later served as an assistant for the squad in 2007. White also played for Team Canada at four IFWLA World Cups (2001, 2005, 2009, 2013), helping the 2013 team to a silver medal. A four-year letterwinner at Ohio State, White was a four-time Buckeye scholar-athlete pick and an Academic All-Big Ten performer on three occasions. She co-captained the 2002 squad to an 11-5 record and a runner-up finish in the American Lacrosse Conference, helping Ohio State claim its first NCAA berth.

- White also added assistant coach Nikki Boltja to her staff in the offseason. A former star player at Louisville, Boltja spent the last two seasons as an assistant at Stetson University (2017) and Baldwin Wallace University (2016). While at Louisville, Boltja merited IWLCA All-America distinction on two occasions for the Cardinals, earning third-team honors in 2013, before receiving first-team recognition in 2014. A three-time all-region and all-conference selection, Boltja was the unanimous Big East Offensive Player of the Year during her senior campaign in 2014 after leading Louisville to its first NCAA Tournament berth and top 10 national ranking.

Up Next
- Following Tuesday's game, the Aztecs close out their homestand with a Saturday showdown against sixth-ranked Boston College on March 10, starting at noon PT.

Opponent Notebook
Presbyterian
The Blue Hose (1-4) have dropped their last two games, falling to Mount St. Marys 16-0 at home on Feb. 28, followed by a 23-5 loss at Arizona State last Saturday. Presbyterian's lone victory was recorded in a 14-12 triumph at home over Wofford on Feb. 24. Individually, the Blue Hose are led by freshman Sarah Marshall, who has netted six goals on the season, while senior Clare Frase and junior Cady Roberts have tallied four each. In addition, senior Taylor Johnson leads the squad with 16 draw controls and tops all position players with eight ground balls. Sophomore goalkeeper Kayla Koch has started all five games for the Blue Hose posting a .362 save percentage and an 18.00 goals against average to go with a team-best 11 ground balls. Located in Clinton, S.C., Presbyterian is coached by Bob Dachille, who is in his fourth season at the helm after spending three years at Erskine College in Due West, S.C.

Niagara
The Purple Eagles (3-1) saw their three-game winning streak snapped after suffering a wild 23-15 loss at Marquette on Saturday. Last month, Niagara posted a 16-6 victory on the road at St. Bonaventure, whom the Aztecs beat on Friday. Individually, the Purple Eagles are paced by the 1-2 combination of juniors Rachel MacCheyne and Caroline Crump. MacCheyne leads the team with 15 goals, seven assists and 27 draw controls, while Crump has compiled 14 tallies of her own to go with a pair of helpers. In addition, sophomore Lauren Paul tops the squad with 19 ground balls, while senior Alexandra Higgins has collected 13 ground balls and to go with a team-best 10 caused turnovers. Sophomores Olivia Schroeder and Aubrey DeVeau have split time in goal this season. Schroeder (2-0) has recorded a .453 save percentage and a 12.35 goals against average in just over 170 minutes, while DeVeau (1-1) has compiled a .423 save percentage and a 12.87 gaa in almost 70 minutes of work. Head coach Wendy Stone is in her sixth season at the helm of the Niagara program after a stint at Longwood University, where she served as interim head coach in 2011 after spending two years as an assistant.

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