NEWTON, MA – Saint Joseph's College (6-5, 5-0 GNAC) scored three unanswered goals to start the second half en route to defeating reigning Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Lacrosse Champion Lasell College (5-5, 3-2 GNAC), 10-8, on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore attack Kat Gadbois (Scarborough, Maine) scored a game-high four goals in the victory, which was the Monks' first over the Lasers since the 2010 campaign.
A tightly-contested first half saw the Monks carry a 6-5 lead with 1:19 before the break, but Lasell responded with a pair of markers in the final 35 seconds of the frame with the latter – a man-up, free-position tally from Toni Minnelli (Newington, Conn.) with 13 seconds on the clock – pushing the hosts to a 7-6 edge going into intermission.
Saint Joseph's tied the game at seven-up when Gadbois netted a free-position goal 3:37 into the second stanza and the stalemate remained for over 11 minutes, as a Lizzie Calnan (Westport, Mass.) marker at the 15:02 mark put the Monks on top.
As it played out, St. Joe's would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the conference contest. Freshman Kelsey Dumond (Lewiston, Maine) scored off an Elizabeth Elcock (Westwood, Mass.) feed less than five minutes later, but Britney Wuorio (Bolton, Mass.) countered with her second tally of the day to cut the Monks' lead down to 9-8 with 9:21 remaining.
Minnelli had an opportunity to tie the game with an open look 1:04 later, but senior goalie Elizabeth Giacchino (Melrose, Mass.) came up with a big save to preserve the visitors' slim lead. Likewise, the Monks also had several chances to gain some breathing room, including a Gadbois shot that was stopped by Lasell keeper Alexa Katsigianis (Amherst, N.H.) with 4:27 on the clock and another Gadbois attempt, this time on a free-position chance, that sailed wide two seconds later.
Saint Joseph's finally added to their lead with 3:41 remaining, when senior Cassie Diplock (Augusta, Maine) capitalized on a man-up situation for her second score of the afternoon, lifting the Royal Blue to a 10-8 advantage.
The SJC defense clamped down late, as the Lasers did not produce a serious scoring chance in the closing minutes.
For the Monks, Calnan tallied three goals and an assist with five draw controls, Diplock scored twice with three ground balls and three caused turnovers while Emma Lafrance (Westport, Mass.) and Jackie Wilson (Tiverton, R.I.) picked up four ground balls apiece on the afternoon.
In goal, Giacchino allowed one goal in the second half to pick up her second victory of the season while Haley Nason (Saco, Maine) made three saves on 10 shots in the first half.
Junior attack Caitlyn Brecher (Cheshire, Conn.) paced the Lasers with three goals in the loss while Wuorio notched a pair of markers and three assists and Minnelli and Bridget Doherty (Franklin, Mass.) produced a goal and an assist apiece in a losing effort.
The play of Katsigianis in goal was a major reason the Lasers remained in contention, as the junior netminder registered 18 saves in the loss.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 2-6 in the history of the series with Lasell College, a team that ended the Monks' 2013 campaign with a 21-10 decision in the semifinal round of the GNAC Tournament last spring. The Monks entered today's contest having lost four-consecutive games at the hands of the Lasers.
Saint Joseph's returns to action on Tuesday when the Monks play host to Emmanuel College in a 7:30 PM start at Deering Memorial Stadium.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 430-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.