2009 Women's ECAC Championship Seedings Announced; Marist Earns No. 1 Seed
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Marist College of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) earned the No. 1 seed and will serve as host of the 2009 Women's Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship at McCann Natatorium on February 28-March 1 as the 2009 ECAC Seedings were announced by the Collegiate Water Polo Association.
Four of the teams in this year's championship slate automatically qualified based on their finish in their respective conference championships in 2008 as Brown University, Iona College, George Washington University, Saint Francis College, Wagner College, Siena College and Mercyhurst College round out the potential titleists.
Marist, the defending MAAC champion, earned the No. 1 seed following a 2008 season in which the Red Foxes finished with a program-record 27 wins against 10 losses, placed eighth at the NCAA Championships hosted by Stanford University and return 18 players for the 2008 season.
The Red Foxes will look to get over the hump this year and capture the ECAC title as Marist fell to host Bucknell University 8-7 in the 2007 championship game in Lewisburg, Pa. It marked the best performance by Marist at ECACs as the Red Foxes placed fifth in the 2007 Championship hosted by Harvard University.
History favors the Red Foxes appearing in the title game again as five times since the 2000 Championship the host game has played in the title tilt, including championships by Bucknell (2008), Princeton University (2003, 2001, 2000) and a runner-up performance by Brown University (2004).
Watch for a tight contest if the Red Foxes do make it to the finale as five title games since 2000 have been decided by one goal (2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2002), once by two goals (2003) and twice by three goals (2001, 2000).
Collegiate Water Polo Association member Brown University, which will make its eighth ECAC tournament appearance after earning the No. 2 seed, will look to capture its first title as the Bears have finished twice (2007, 2004, 2001, 2002), third (2005, 2003) and fifth (2006).
Iona College of the MAAC earned the third seed and will also seek its first ECAC title as the Gaels finished fifth (2004) and sixth (2003, 2002) previously.
George Washington University of the CWPA enters the 2008 tournament with the fourth seed after appearing in the 2008 (sixth), 2006 (seventh), 2005 (eighth), 2004 (fourth) and 2001 (fifth) championships.
Fifth seed Saint Francis College (N.Y.) is one of two newcomers to the tournament joining fellow MAAC institution Siena College which claimed the seventh seed.
Sixth seed Wagner College of the MAAC makes its sixth straight appearance at the ECAC Championship after finishing third (2008), fourth (2006) and sixth (2007, 2005, 2004), while Mercyhurst College of the CWPA makes its second appearance after finishing fifth last year at Bucknell.
Complete results and a schedule of games will be posted on the official home of the Collegiate Water Polo Association, www.collegiatewaterpolo.org