PORTLAND, ME – Senior Cassie Diplock (Augusta, Maine) netted four goals to help second-seeded Saint Joseph's College (11-7, 8-2 GNAC) defeat #7 Johnson & Wales University (8-9, 5-5 GNAC), 13-8, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Lacrosse Tournament quarterfinal contest at Deering Memorial Stadium on Tuesday evening.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's advances to the semifinal round for the second-consecutive season and will host #3 Norwich University, which defeated #6 Simmons College - 11-9 – in other quarterfinal action tonight, in a second-round matchup projected to start at 7:30 PM on Thursday at Deering. The loss signals the end of an inaugural NCAA varsity season – and an impressive one at that - for Johnson & Wales.
The Monks' second postseason victory in as many seasons was not the only newsworthy item this evening as a major individual program record was broken in the triumph. With her fourth goal of the night – scored with 18:32 remaining in the second half – Diplock snapped the SJC career goals mark, which was formerly held by Alyssa Marchant '11, who tallied 203 goals in 54 games over four seasons. Diplock, who now holds the Monks' single-season scoring record (65), has 204 markers in 62 career games and also tied Marchant's career points tally (231) in tonight's result.
The Monks appeared to be in control early, as Diplock ignited the scoring with her first of the evening 2:02 and sophomore Kat Gadbois (Scarborough, Maine) scored just over seven minutes later to extend the hosts' lead to 3-1. The Wildcats responded with three tallies, including a pair from freshman attack Kayla Smith (Eastham, Mass.), over the subsequent seven minutes to secure a 4-3 edge with 13:22 left in the first half.
Diplock took matters into her own hands, tying the contest with a score at the 10:35 mark and putting her team on top – for good, as it played out – with her third goal of the night four minutes later. The pair of goals kicked off a 5-0 run for the hosts, who carried an 8-5 cushion into halftime.
Johnson & Wales would not go quietly however, as freshman Megan Brown (Great Mills, Md.) and first-year Lydia Knapp (Glens Falls, N.Y.) both scored in the first 6:11 of the second stanza to cut the SJC lead down to 8-7.
Fortunately, the Monks rattled off five unanswered goals during an 18-minutes span to put the game out of reach. Five different players scored, as Gadbois, Elizabeth Elcock (Westwood, Mass.), Diplock, Mary Leasure (South Portland, Maine/McAuley) and Jackie Wilson (Tiverton, R.I.) all found the back of the cage, with the latter marker lifting Saint Joseph's to a 13-7 advantage with 5:38 remaining.
The Wildcats attempted a comeback and received a goal from junior attack Natalie DiCocco (Media, Pa.) to make it a 13-8 game with 3:21 left, but the effort would fall short as Saint Joseph's managed to control play in the closing minutes.
For the Monks, junior Lizzie Calnan (Westport, Mass.) scored three goals with three draw controls, Gadbois tallied two goals, two assists and a game-high seven ground balls, and Wilson netted a pair of markers in her first collegiate postseason contest. Senior goalkeeper Elizabeth Giacchino (Melrose, Mass.) made 10 saves to earn the victory in the cage.
Knapp paced the Wildcats with three goals, two assists and four draw controls while Smith scored twice with a helper and DiCocco added a goal and three caused turnovers in the losing effort. Junior goalie Genevieve Giampietro (Meriden, Conn.) played well and made 14 saves on the evening.
In other GNAC Tournament action tonight, #5 Rivier University upset #4 Lasell College, 11-7 and #1 Emmanuel College toppled #8 University of Saint Joseph, 20-8. Emmanuel will host Rivier in the other semifinal contest on Thursday evening and the GNAC Championship will be played, with the highest seed serving as host, on Saturday.
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.