PORTLAND, Maine – Fourth-seeded Lasell College (12-6, 6-3 GNAC) stunned #1 Saint Joseph's College (16-3, 9-0 GNAC), 6-5, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Lacrosse Tournament Semifinal matchup at Deering Memorial Stadium on Thursday evening.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Saint Joseph's struck first as senior Kat Gadbois (Scarborough, Maine) scored her 50th goal of the season, an unassisted tally, just 2:40 into the contest, but Lasell countered with three unanswered goals, as sophomore midfielder Taylor Yandow (Moretown, Vt.) notched a natural hat trick while the Lasers simultaneously held the Monks in check en route to securing a 3-1 lead going into intermission.
Lasell senior midfielder Ashlee Pechulis (Westfield, Mass.) padded her team's cushion with a pair of goals in the first five minutes of the second stanza, making it a 5-1 game. The Monks finally got back on the board when senior Elizabeth Elcock (Westwood, Mass.) scored off a nice Reagan Emerson (Gorham, Maine) pass, effectively ending a 37-minute scoring drought, at the 20:59 mark.
Pechulis re-upped the Lasell lead to 6-2 with an unassisted strike with 16:05 left, but Saint Joseph's fought back into contention with three goals over a nine-minute span, as Elyse Caiazzo (Scarborough, Maine/Cheverus), Gadbois, and Elcock all hit pay dirt to cut the Monks' deficit to 6-5 with 5:32 remaining.
With momentum in their favor, the Monks continued to apply pressure and the efforts nearly paid off when Elcock had a clean look from 15 feet out, but her shot – taken at the 3:13 mark - sailed just above the crossbar. As it played out, the narrow miss would be the last shot taken by the hosts in the losing bid, as the visitors maintained possession for the remainder of play.
With the win, Lasell College moves on and will face #3 Johnson & Wales University – which edged #2 Emmanuel College, 9-8, in other semifinal action tonight - in the GNAC Championship on Saturday. For the Monks, the loss signals the end of the 2016 season.
- Gadbois tallied two goals with two ground balls
- Elcock netted a pair with two ground balls
- Caiazzo scored her 67th goal of the season and added two caused turnovers
- Junior Jackie Wilson (Tiverton, R.I.) produced an assist and picked up five ground balls
- Senior Meghan Williams (Greenland, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas) was credited with an assist and notched five ground balls with three caused turnovers
- Yandow registered three goals with three ground balls, two draw controls, and a pair of caused turnovers
- Pechulis accounted for the other half of the Lasers' offensive output with three tallies
- Senior Bridget Munnelly (Bellingham, Mass.) posted team-highs of four ground balls and five draw controls
- SJC senior goalie Michelle Cunha (Enfield, Conn.) played very well and made seven stops in the losing effort
- Lasell junior Bridget Delaney (Weymouth, Mass.) posted a pair of saves and improves to 6-2 on the season with the triumph
Lasell held advantages in shots (16-13) and draw controls (10-3) while Saint Joseph's maintain the edge in ground balls (21-17) and caused turnovers (10-8) in the tournament tilt. Both teams committed 16 turnovers while the Lasers (11-12) proved to be slightly superior to the Monks (11-15) in clearing the ball.
Also, Lasell was 3-4 on free-position shots while Saint Joseph's could not convert their only attempted free-position shot in the setback.
For the Monks, tonight's shot total (16) counts as the team's fewest since posting seven in a loss at Bates College on March 17th, 2014…the Monks' draw control tally (3) in the loss is the team's fewest since the Royal Blue claimed a pair of draws in a loss to Rivier University on April 16th, 2010.
With the loss, Saint Joseph's falls to 5-7 in the history of the series with Lasell College, a team the Monks defeated by a 12-11 margin during regular season play this spring.
Tonight's contest served as a rematch of the 2015 GNAC Championship, a game that Saint Joseph's won by a 10-3 margin at Deering last season.
FOR THE SENIORS
The Monks' early exit from the GNAC Tournament signals the end of NCAA lacrosse for the Monks' six seniors: Cunha, Elcock, Gadbois, Williams, Emma LaFrance (Westport, Mass.), and Mary Leasure (South Portland, Maine/McAuley). The 2016 graduating class has helped Saint Joseph's post a 56-20 (.737) overall record with a 32-5 (.865) GNAC record and GNAC Tournament victories in each of the last four seasons.
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 474-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.