Riding for home
Members of the Connecticut College men´s lacrosse team sat with bated breath as they watched the live 2010 NCAA Division III Lacrosse Championship selection show late Sunday night in the athletic center. Then they heard the words they´d been waiting for. "We have the Camels from Connecticut College," the announcer said, as the name of the College appeared in the bracket on the screen. The team, watching with their coaches and Connecticut College President Leo I. Higdon Jr., cheered. "I´m ecstatic right now," senior tri-captain Sean Driscoll said. "Our hard work has paid off. Last season we were down and out but all of the guys showed a lot of perseverance and got after it. It´s a great feeling." Fellow senior Kevin Nally added, "It´s been a goal of ours to reach the NCAAs ever since we came in as freshmen. Having this great year and getting to continue our season is something we are all excited about." The team is the first in program history to reach the NCAA tournament. With a 14-2 record, the Camels earned a first-round bye and will host the Rochester Institute of Technology in the second round Saturday, May 15, at 1 p.m. on the Artificial Turf at Silfen Field. Head coach Dave Cornell who led the team on an unprecedented 13-game winning streak to open the season said he was excited for the team, the coaching staff and the dedicated alumni and supporters who have cheered on the Camels for years. "It feels awesome right now," Cornell said. "I am really happy for our team and especially for our senior class. It was our goal for their class to be the first team to get to the NCAA Tournament - and we did it." During their extended winning streak, the Camels earned home victories against two undefeated teams ranked among the top in the nation. Early in the season, Connecticut College tripped up then No. 5 Middlebury College 8-7, before beating No. 6 Tufts University 8-6 at home on April 17. (Watch a YouTube video with highlights from the Tufts game.) Both Middlebury and Tufts will join the Camels in the NCAA tournament. On the field, the team has been led by senior tri-captains Driscoll, Steve Dachille and Will Schumann. Dachille exploded with a career-best 44 goals to lead the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in goals scored, while Driscoll has made a seamless transition from the offensive to defensive midfield position, collecting 59 ground balls. Schumann continues to provide strong defensive play and has corralled 141 ground balls in his career. The Camels are 8-1 at home this season and 7-1 on the Artificial Turf at Silfen Field. Tickets for Saturday´s game are $5 for adults, $3 for Connecticut College students with ID, and $1 for children 12 and under.