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Devils advance to NCAA quarterfinals
Saturday, May 16, 2015

Devils advance to NCAA quarterfinals

Sarah Lindovski jumps into the arms of goalkeeper Nicole Burrows moments after Fredonia defeated Washington & Lee.

No. 17 Fredonia reached the national round of eight with a 9-5 victory Saturday over No. 10 Washington & Lee in the third round of the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse tournament.

Sophomore midfielder Kristie Kleine (Cazenovia, N.Y./Cazenovia) had three goals and one assist, including a momentum-boosting goal in the final second of the first half, as the Blue Devils improved to 17-3 to continue their finest season in program history.

The Blue Devils will face host No. 3 Franklin and Marshall, which advanced with a 17-8 victory over No. 9 Tufts earlier Saturday. The Diplomats will bring a 19-2 record into the regional final at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

"I am very proud of them," said first-year head coach Amy Simon. "Obviously it was a hot day, but they worked hard from start to finish. We were facing a very good team and we knew it wasn't going to be an easy win.  But we worked hard the whole game. I'm very proud of their effort."

Adding to the offense were senior attacker Marissa Cussins (Corning, N.Y./Corning-Painted Post West) with three goals, plus one goal each by senior midfielder Katie Kleine (Cazenovia, N.Y./Cazenovia), junior attacker Katie Miller (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg), and senior attacker Katie Glagolev (Webster, N.Y./Webster Thomas).

In addition to the offense, the Blue Devils had a 10-5 advantage in draw controls -- led by Katie Kleine with four, and Miller and junior attacker Juliana Kotas (Lancaster, N.Y./Lancaster) with two each -- plus they received another solid performance by freshman goalkeeper Nicole Burrows (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker), who finished with five saves.

Katie Kleine became the all-time leader in career points -- 287 to 286 by Simon during her four seasons as a player -- while Cussins broke Katie Kleine's single-season scoring record. Cussins now has 62 goals and 26 assists for 89 points, two more than her fellow senior had in 2012.

Yet it was Kristie Kleine's goal just ahead of halftime which provided Fredonia with its biggest boost. Up 4-3 at the time, the younger Kleine was awarded a free-position chance with just 0.2 seconds on the clock. Her shot and goal came as halftime expired and lifted the Blue Devils into a 5-3 lead.

"It gave the team momentum," Kristie Kleine said. "Our intensity rose because of it."

"It was one of those plays," her older sister Katie said, "that had us feeling that we were going to do it."

Olivia Sisson scored for Washington & Lee to open the second half before Katie Kleine set up Glagolev's goal to reestablish Fredonia's two-goal lead. Sisson scored again for the Generals (16-3) to again cut the margin to one goal. The Blue Devils -- who never trailed in the game -- scored the final three goals of the game -- one each by Kristie Kleine, by Miller assisted by Kristie Kleine, and by Katie Kleine.

"For me, it all stems from my defense," Kristie Kleine said of her four-point game. "They match me up (defensively) and when I get a stop, it gets me going, but when Marissa and Katie get shut down, it makes me want to do more for the team."

After Katie Kleine scored with 3:46 left, the Blue Devils regained possession and ran out the clock. They celebrated briefly on the field, their sense of accomplishment only starting to register. They are the first Fredonia women's lacrosse team to reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.

"When we got to the final minute," Katie Kleine said, "I started to get such a great feeling. I started getting goosebumps."

"I'm speechless right now," Cussins said. "I really don't know what to say."

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