Women's Lacrosse Clinches NEC Tournament Berth Despite 11-6 Loss At Monmouth
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Monmouth defeated Mount St. Mary's 11-6 in Northeast Conference (NEC) women's lacrosse action on Friday. Despite the loss, the Mount clinched a spot in the upcoming NEC Tournament. The Mountaineers will make their 10th-straight leagie tournament appearance and 14th in the last 15 years.
Erin Seipp (Towson, Md./Notre Dame Preparatory) fueled the Mount (7-10, 6-3 NEC) with two goals while Jen Semler (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) posted a goal and an assist. Meaghan Conlon (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty), Hannah Gutcher (Hampstead, Md./Mount de Sales Academy) and Esther Rufolo (Woodstock, Md./Chapelgate Christian Academy) each also found the twine in the loss.
Alex Marino paced the Hawks (7-10, 6-3 NEC) with three goals and two assists. Olivia Salata added a goal and four assists while Sam Lillo registered a hat trick in the winning effort.
Monmouth jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back to earn its seven win in the last nine meetings against Mount St. Mary's.
After nearly 20 minutes at a scoreless standstill, the Hawks got on the scoreboard three times in a five-minute span. Lynn White got the scoring started with an unassisted tally at 19:18. Marino scored unassisted at 21:16 and Salata found the twine at 24:18 to cap a 3-0 run.
Seipp put the Mountaineers on the scoreboard with 1:40 left in the first half, but Lillo scored a man-up tally off a feeder from Salata to give Monmouth a 4-1 lead at halftime.
Lillo then scored the first goal of the second half on a man-up opportunity after she took a pass from White at 31:15. Salata connected with Erica Abendschoen at 34:35 to give the Hawks a 6-1 advantage.
Mount St. Mary's answered with consecutive scores to make it a three-goal game. Semler found the twine unassisted at 36:20 and Conlon posted a man-up free-position marker at 37:45.
The Hawks came back with two goals of their own after Danielle Rakowitz scored off a feeder from Marino at 39:48 and then Marino set up Lillo at 42:34 to restore a five-goal margin at 9-4.
The two teams then traded goals the rest of the way to set the final score. Rufolo found the twine at 46:15, but Salata connected with Kaleigh Gibbons at 47:34.
Gutcher registered an 8-meter tally at 48:35 only to see Marino find the twine at 51:03 to give Monmouth a 10-5 lead. Semler then set up Seipp's second goal at 54:13, but Salata found Marino at 55:48 to seal the victory.
Brigid McTavish (Mount Airy, Md./South Carroll) made seven saves for the Mountaineers and Katie Donohoe turned away five shots for the Hawks.
Melissa Cox (Bel Air, Md./John Carroll) paced the defense with two caused turnovers and two ground balls while Gabe Little (Hampstead, Md./North Carroll), the current NEC Defensive Player of the Week, caused two miscues. Rufolo had a team-high four ground balls along with one draw control.
Monmouth also clinched a spot in the NEC Tournament with the victory. Quinnipiac became the third team on the day to clinch a spot with its 14-11 win against Central Connecticut State. The Bobcats will host the tournament with a win against Bryant on Sunday or a Sacred Heart loss. The Pioneers can clinch the top seed with wins against Bulldogs and the Blue Devils and a loss by Quinnipiac. Sunday's game between Sacred Heart and Central Connecticut State becomes a playoff game since the winner will advance to the NEC Tournament the loser will be eliminated from playoff contention.
Mount St. Mary's will be either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed in the tournament. If Sacred Heart wins out then the Mount will be the No. 4 seed and play the top seed (Sacred Heart or Quinnipiac). However, if Sacred Heart splits this weekend, the Mountaineers would be the No. 3 seed and face Monmouth, who would be the second seed with a Pioneer loss.
Mount St. Mary's ends the regular season with a 7-10 overall mark and 6-3 in league play.