Making its first postseason appearance in school history, the Genesee Community College women's lacrosse team will represent one of four Region III teams this weekend vying for a regional championship and a trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament.
Genesee (6-3) has put together its most successful season in school history, winning six games so far this year, five more than any previous season in school history.
"The heart and character we've demonstrated throughout the season has been outstanding," said first-year head coach Kate McCabe. "Their performance this year was the jumpstart we needed to turn GCC into a competitive program."
GCC began the season with back-to-back wins and two of its three losses this year came to teams ranked in the top five of the NJCAA National Poll. Genesee won its final two games of the regular season in extra time, defeating Niagara County Community College in overtime and Herkimer County Community College in double overtime to earn its first playoff berth in school history.
Genesee is led by freshman attack Kaleigh Murray (Syracuse, NY), whose 36 points (33 goals and 3 assists) leads the team and is the second highest season total in school history. Ashley Makowski (Kendall, NY) has tallied 32 points (20 goals and 12 assists) and goal keeper Lara Oakes (Clarence, NY) sports the second best save percentage in the country at 57.0 percent.
The Cougars, the No. 4 seed in the regional tournament, will match up with the No. 1 seed, top-ranked team in the NJCAA National Poll and defending national champion- Monroe Community College. Face-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. on Saturday at John L. DiMarco Field on the campus of MCC. The Tribunes defeated GCC 23-1 in the only regular season matchup between the two teams on Apr. 9.
In the second semifinal matchup, No. 2 Onondaga Community College and No. 3 Jefferson Community College will play at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday with the winner moving on to face the winner of GCC and MCC in the regional finals on Sunday. Both teams that advance to the regional finals will qualify for the NJCAA National Tournament, which will be held May 10-11 at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, MD.