NEWPORT NEWS, Va.— The Massachusetts Minutewomen (13-4, 8-1 A-10) will be the top seed in the 2018 Atlantic 10 Conference Lacrosse Championship for the eighth consecutive year, which begins Thursday at the University of Richmond's Robins Stadium. The Minutewomen have won the Championship title in each year dating back to 2009.
The championship expanded to six teams in 2016, giving UMass and second-seeded Richmond a bye into Friday's semifinals. The winner of Sunday's championship final will receive the A-10's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
The Minutewomen are led by a balanced scoring effort, highlighted by Holly Turner and Hannah Burnett, who have 83 and 71 points, respectively. Defensively, Kasey Keane leads the squad with 40 caused turnovers and 59 ground balls. UMass earned the top seed over Richmond based on a head-to-head tiebreaker. The Minutewomen will face the quarterfinal winner between No. 4 VCU and No. 5 Davidson at 1:00 pm Friday.
Richmond, which also finished 8-1. in league play and 14-3 overall, have won nine of their last 10 contests. The Spiders are led offensively by Katie Sciandra and Kim Egizi, who have contributed 113 goals combined on the season, and defensively by Julie Ball, whose 2.81 caused turnovers per game ranks in the top 10 nationally. Richmond will face the winner of No. 3 Saint Joseph's and No. 6 George Mason in Friday's second semifinal at 4:00 pm.
Davidson, with an overall record of 10-7, will play VCU (7-10, 5-4 A-10) in the quarterfinals at 11:30 am Thursday, while the third-seeded Saint Joseph's Hawks (11-6, 7-2 A-10) will face sixth-seeded George Mason (11-6, 5-4 A-10) in Thursday's second quarterfinal at 2:30 pm.
A three-way tie for the fourth seed between VCU, Davidson and George Mason, all with conference records of 5-4, was broken by the winning percentage versus the highest-seeded common opponent. VCU's 17-16 victory in overtime against top-seeded UMass earned the Rams the No. 4 seed, while Davidson's 10-6 win against George Mason secured the fifth seed.
All five games of the Lacrosse Championship will be streamed through the A-10 Network for free, which can be accessed from Atlantic10.com.