BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Esther Rufolo (Woodstock, Md./Chapelgate Christian Academy) and Jen Semler (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) combined for nine goals to power Mount St. Mary's past LIU Brooklyn 19-9 in Northeast Conference (NEC) women's lacrosse action on Friday.
Coming off their connection to win the game at the buzzer in overtime against Central Connecticut State on Saturday, Rufolo scored a season-high five tallies while Semler tallied a season-high four goals and two assists to lead the Mount (6-9, 5-2 NEC) to its second-straight win. Rufolo posted four of her five goals in the first half while Semler added three goals and two assists to help give the Mountaineers a 13-4 lead at halftime. It was Semler's second-straight game with at least three markers and Rufolo's first of the season.
Hannah Gutcher (Hampstead, Md./Mount de Sales Academy) added one goal and a career-best three assists. Kaitlyn Larrimore (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) registered two goals and two assists while Aubrey Rubino (Allendale, N.J./Northern Highlands Regional) notched her first career hat trick in the winning effort.
Brittany Rader and Shakoya Smith each found the twine three times for the Blackbirds (1-12, 1-5 NEC) and Katie Williams recorded a goal and two assists in the loss.
Mount St. Mary's scored the first three goals and 13 of the first 16 goals in the game to take the lead and never look back for its sixth-straight victory against the LIU Brooklyn.
Semler helped the Mount grab a 3-0 lead after assisting the first two goals of the match. The senior set up Rufolo at the four-minute mark and then connected with Gutcher at 4:42. Larrimore took a pass from Gutcher at 6:27 to give the Mountaineers a 3-0 edge.
Kimberly Kovar got the Blackbirds on the board off a feeder from 7:12, but Lindsay Diaz (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) (7:31) and Rufolo (10:04) answered for Mount St. Mary's to take a 5-1 lead. After Smith found the twine for LIU Brooklyn at 13:27, Megan Gluck (Chantilly, Va./Freedom) notched her first collegiate assist when she connected with Semler at 14:16 to maintain a four-goal margin.
Williams converted a free-position chance at 15:04 to trim the margin to 6-3 only to see Mount St. Mary's score the seven of the final eight markers of the stanza.
The Mount opened the 7-0 run by posting four goals in a span of one minute and 40 seconds. Rufolo got the run started unassisted at 18:11 before Rubino converted an 8-meter opportunity at 19:12. Gutcher then set up Rufolo 14 seconds later and Morgan Dalton (Annapolis, Md./Archbishop Spalding) connected with Diaz at the 20-minute mark for a 10-3 advantage.
Semler then found the twine twice unassisted in a span of 60 seconds at 24:55 and 25:55 before Rubino scored unassisted at 26:56 for a 13-3 lead.
Rader ended the scoring in the first half and started a natural hat trick with a goal at 28:21 off a pass from Williams. Rader then scored unassisted at 30:42 and scored an 8-meter goal at 35:10 to complete the natural hat trick. Smith scored unassisted at 35:39 and Colleen Holmes recorded an 8-meter tally at 36:29 to cap a 5-0 run and cut the margin to 13-8.
Mount St. Mary's scored the next four goals and six of the final seven goals to seal the victory. Larrimore found the back of the net off a feed from Gutcher at 37:37 before Larrimore set up Dalton at 40:23 and Hayley Tomilson (West Chester, Pa./West Chester East) at 41:39. Rufolo capped the run unassisted 15 seconds later.
Smith momentarily stopped the Mount's offense unassisted at 48:56, but Rubino completed her first career hat trick at 52:00 and Semler notched her first four-goal game of the season at 53:18 for a 19-9 victory.
Brigid McTavish (Mount Airy, Md./South Carroll) made three saves in the first 30 minutes and Sarah Jane Leder (Manalapan, N.J./Colts Neck) turned away six shots in the final 30 minutes for the Mountaineers. Gina Haber made eight stops for LIU Brooklyn.
Diaz posted six draw controls, three ground balls and a caused turnover while Meaghan Conlon (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty) tallied four ground balls, four caused turnovers and four draw controls. Diaz now has 54 draw controls this season, which is third most on the team's single-season chart while Conlon has 42 draws this season to rank ninth on the program's single-season chart in the category.
Rufolo moved into second place in program history with 150 career draw controls after grabbing four draws against the Blackbirds. The senior became the 18th player in team history to register 100 points in her career and with two tallies will crack the Top-10 for career goals with 86. Rufolo posted her first game of the season of three or more goals and the 12th time in her career including her third five-goal performance.
Mount St. Mary's returns to action on Sunday at Wagner. Game time is 1 p.m.