The exciting news that the Pfeiffer University women’s lacrosse team had earned a second-consecutive spot in the NCAA quarter-finals came with a twist—three graduating seniors would miss commencement exercises at Pfeiffer’s Misenheimer campus on May 10.
So that the girls wouldn’t miss out on their college graduation experience, a special ceremony on May 6 allowed them to wear their caps and gowns and receive their diplomas in person. In full regalia, President Michael C. Miller and several other faculty members presented Maryland natives Kristina Anderson (Gaithersburg,) Katherine Athens (Huntingtown), and Sarah Daly (New Market) with their degrees during a brief but meaningful ceremony in Stokes Student Center.
“I knew missing graduation was a possibility but there is no place I’d rather be than on the field with my teammates,” said Athens, team captain and Pfeiffer’s all-time leader in ground balls, caused turnovers and draw controls. During her collegiate lacrosse career, Athens has received two straight Conference Carolinas Defender of the Year Awards and currently leads the nation with 52 caused turnovers this season. “We’re excited for another chance to experience the NCAA Tournament and I couldn’t be happier than to do so with my closest friends and teammates.”
Daly, who leads the team with 26 assists, has been named to First-Team All-Conference; Anderson has eight goals and 12 assists this season. The team is led by head coach Krissy Bentolila, a 2009 Pfeiffer graduate.
The Falcons, who received a rousing send-off from Merner Gym on Thursday morning, are set to face Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, on Saturday at noon. They are one of eight Division II teams, four from the North region and four from the South, selected for quarterfinals. With a win, the team would advance to the semifinals and travel to Roanoke College in Salem, Va. next Saturday.