ARNOLD, MD – The Anne Arundel Community College 2017 women's lacrosse season has come to an end. The commendable season ended with a 19-11 loss to Monroe Community College in the 2017 NJCAA National Tournament Semifinal game. The Riverhawks finished 11-6 on the season overall, 5-2 for the conference, runner-ups for the Region XX Tournament, and Semifinalists of the 2017 NJCAA Women's Lacrosse National Tournament.
With Anne Arundel Community College previously determined as site-host for the 2017 NJCAA Women's Lacrosse National Tournament, the women's team had a long-term goal all season long to qualify for the tournament. The Riverhawks opened their season with a pair of wins over Nassau Community College and College of Southern Maryland before a tough 1-goal loss to consistent powerhouse Onondaga Community College.
AACC continued to prove their strength, and national ranking (4th) as they earned conference and regional wins throughout the season.
"They worked extremely hard and were an easy group to be around," states Head Coach Jim Griffiths. "I am very proud that we were competitive in every game, regardless of the opponent. A few of the scores may not indicate that, but usually that was the result of roster sizes taking over in the last 15 minutes of the game."
Some of those games Coach Griffiths was referring to would be against nationally ranked opponents like Monroe and Howard – spanning within just a few days, and both teams, who would finish 1st and 2nd in the 2017 NJCAA National Tournament.
"The team should be proud that they won back-to-back one-goal games that got them to the National Tournament," Coach Griffiths adds.
With a relatively small roster, the Riverhawks finished the season with some impressive endeavors. 4 women were named to the Region XX All-Region team, 3 to the Region XX All-tournament team, 8 players named to the All-Conference team, numerous players amongst conference statistic leader boards, 2 players named to the 2017 NJCAA National Tournament All-Tournament team, and are currently awaiting the announcement of the 2017 All-Americans.
"We were fortunate to have great leadership stem from our three captains: Emily Rowe, Victoria Mattoon, and Renee Ruppert." Coach Griffiths elaborates further on his team. "With none of the coaching staff working on campus, [Emily, Tori, and Renee] were a huge key in creating the work ethic that led to a lot of our success."
"Emily Rowe had another outstanding year all around," Griffiths comments and refers to Rowe who was awarded All-American in 2016. "[Emily] is one of the best players to ever wear an AACC uniform."
"Ruppert and Rowe both scored their 100th career goals to join a very exclusive list that includes only Mary Milligan (UMBC), Cloey Henchliffe (Campbell), and Meghenn Jackson (Lycoming)."
Coach Griffiths also mentions, "Alyssa Yates worked extremely hard and turned into a tremendous two-way midfielder. Sofia Michael was more than a pleasant surprise with her numbers and shooting percentage – that was a huge added bonus that was somewhat unexpected. Sidney Hinkle improved drastically as a defender and was constant in the back. Caitlyn Shriver steadily improved during the season and turned into a reliable offensive threat."
Coming into the 2017 season with no goalie, Coach Griffiths comments on Mattoon's decision to fulfill that role, "Tori Mattoon stepped into the goal and by the end of the year was playing a very high level, and this is not comparing her to somebody who had never played as goal keeper, but to a goal keeper in general."
Fulfilling the team's need for a goalie was just one example of Mattoon's highly admirable attributes as a leader, and her commendable dedication to her team.
Although the season has ended the Riverhawks will surely grow and work toward next season.