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Top ranked Hamilton gearing up for league tourney

By By MIKE LEVIN

CLINTON, N.Y. (WKTV) - Late in Saturday's regular season finale with Union, the Hamilton Women's Lacrosse team pulled away, illustrating why they're the top Division III team in the nation.  The 9-5 victory clinched the Liberty League regular season title for the third time in the last four years.

"There's nothing quite like it, Union is definitely our biggest league rival and one of our biggest rivals in all of division three, so beating them anytime is a great experience," said senior goalie Kate Fowler.

"It's just huge, finishing off that win against Union, they're a good team and I think they played well and we really pulled together a complete game," added junior midfielder Sarah Bray.

With the win, the Lady Continentals completed their first ever perfect regular season, at 16-0, which head coach Patty Kloidt says is a testament to the hard work and dedication the girls have to the team, both on and off the field.

"You can't win with talent alone, you have to have relationships and be able to communicate with each other, you have to be able to tell the truth, you have to be able to hold each other accountable, and you have to laugh. Having fun is a huge part of it," says the eighth year head coach.

With their success already this season, capped off by the victory over Union, the Lady Continentals earned the right to host this weekend's Liberty League Tournament.  That's good news for Hamilton fans, because the team has won 34 straight home games.

"We don't lose here, that's kind of a rule off thumb we've established over Kate Fowler's four years here, the senior class, I've never lost here, they've never lost here. It's just how it is. We know how to get it done on this turf," says Bray.  In fact, Fowler's class is 68-7 overall in their four seasons, which includes a national title in 2008, a final four appearance last year, and an elite eight berth in their freshman season.

Hamilton takes on RPI at 2:30 on Friday at Steuben Field in the tournament semifinals.  If they win, the Lady Continentals would face the winner of Union and St. Lawrence on Friday. 

Coach Kloidt and her team are expecting a big crowd to support them, not just fans, but also other Continentals players, from different sports.  "I think there's a lot of camaraderie between the female athletes on this campus, and they have a lot of fan support from the male programs and all of their friends who are part of the student body. It's a fun team to follow, they're good kids and they're really fun to be around."

If Hamilton wins both games this weekend, they'd be a lock to host an NCAA regional the following week.  Tune into NEWSChannel 2 Sports this weekend, as we'll be covering the Lady Continentals in the Liberty League Tournament.

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