SETTING THE SCENE
The Mount St. Mary's women's lacrosse team closes out the regular season with home games against Sacred Heart (April 26) and LIU Brooklyn (April 28) at Waldron Family Stadium. The Mountaineers need just one win in the pair of games to clinch home field in the Northeast Conference (NEC) Playoffs and at least a share of the NEC Regular Season Title for the first time since 2007. The Mount has claimed three NEC Regular Season Championships in its history (2004, 2005 and 2007), and has hosted the NEC Playoffs on a pair of occasions (2005 and 2007).
Prior to Sunday's contest against LIU Brooklyn, Mount St. Mary's will honor seniors Maggie Allison, Taylor Carhart, Emily Davis, Emily Dees, Laurel George and Jillian Petito with a pregame ceremony as part of Senior Day. The six seniors in this year's class have combined to play in 284 games in their careers at the Mount.
Mount St. Mary's topped Bryant by a 19-8 margin this past Saturday to collect its 10th straight victory, which tied the record for the longest win streak in program history.
Kate Kinsella, Jordan Butler and Carly Miller all had big days for the Mountaineers as the trio combined for 18 points in the victory. Kinsella registered a career-high seven points on three goals and four assists to lead all point scorers in the contest. Butler tied her career-high with six goals, and Miller added five points on four goals and one helper. Jordan Groover (1g, 3a), Zoe Hurlburt (2g, 1a) and Emily Davis (2g) also finished with multi-point performances.
Goals: Butler (45), Hurlburt (24), Colson (23), Kinsella (23)
Assists: Miller (19), Butler (12), Groover (11)
Points: Butler (57), Miller (40), Kinsella (33)
Ground balls: Petito (46), Davis (36), Colson (21)
Draw controls: Davis (59), Groover (56), Colson (41)
Caused turnovers: Davis (23), Ridenour (12), Colson (11)
Save pct: Petito (.553)
With the victory over Bryant, the Mount improved to 13-2 overall and a perfect 5-0 in conference play to remain atop the league standings. The 13 wins for the Mountaineers are tied for the third-most in a season in program history. The team's record for victories came during the 2004 season when they won 15 games.
The Mountaineers hit their stride to close out non-conference play, defeating Radford, George Washington, Longwood, Campbell and UC Davis in five consecutive games. They've opened NEC play with wins over Saint Francis U, Robert Morris, Wagner, CCSU and Bryant to make it 10 straight victories, which ties the program record for the longest win streak. The Mountaineers also won 10 consecutive contests during the 2004 campaign, when they went on to claim their first-ever NEC Championship.
Sophomore Jordan Butler, who played in just three games as a rookie last season, has emerged as one of the league's top scorers in 2019. Butler currently ranks fourth in the NEC in both goals per game (3.00) and points per game (3.80). The Bel Air, Maryland product has scored three or more goals in nine of the last 10 games. She tied her career-high with six goals in the team's win over Bryant last time out, as she converted six of her eight shots for scores.
The Mountaineers lead the conference with 14.07 goals per contest, which is the highest goals per game average in program history. The team's balanced attack boasts eight players with 20 or more goals on the year. Jordan Butler leads the squad with 45 goals and 57 points this season, while Carly Miller is the team's leader in assists with 19, and ranks second in points with 40.
PROTECTING THE CAGE
Goalie Jillian Petito, who led the nation in save percentage last season, has carried her strong play into her senior campaign. The Ocean City, Maryland native currently ranks second in the country in both save percentage (.553) and goals against average (7.24). Petito has held opponents to single-digit goals in 12 of 15 games this season.
STEPPING UP ON DEFENSE
The Mountaineers rank third in the nation in scoring defense, as they're yielding just 7.13 goals per game to opponents. They trail only Denver and Maryland on the list, both of which are among the top-14 teams in the country in the IWLCA Coaches Poll. The Mount's defensive unit is led by starters Emily Dees, Kaitlyn Ridenour and Devon Filippone, who have combined for 27 caused turnovers on the year.
DOING IT ALL
Emily Davis continues to do it all for the Mountaineers on both ends of the field, as the senior leads the Mount in draw controls (59) and caused turnovers (23), while also ranking top-five on the team in goals (21), assists (5) and ground balls (36). Davis places sixth all-time in program history with 121 career draw controls and is 12th in caused turnovers with 73.
SCOUTING SACRED HEART
The Pioneers are just 2-12 overall this season and 1-4 in conference play, with their lone league win coming against Central Connecticut. Rookie Lydia Welau has paced the offense with a team-high 35 goals and 42 points on the year, while Cassie Cesario has contributed 36 points on 22 goals and 14 assists. Between the pipes, Shana Hecht has posted a .447 save percentage and 13.59 goals against average in 11 starts.
INSIDE THE SERIES
The Mountaineers own an 18-6 advantage in the all-time series against Sacred Heart, which includes a perfect 11-0 record at home. Last year, the Mount outscored SHU by a 9-4 margin in the second half to pull away and post a 14-9 victory on the Pioneers' home field. Alayna Pagnotta notched four goals and Kate Kinsella added two to lead the offense.
SCOUTING LIU BROOKLYN
The Blackbirds are 6-9 overall and 3-2 in conference play, as they sit in a tie for third place in the league standings. They play at Wagner on Friday before heading to the Mount for Sunday's matchup. Twin sisters Amanda (48g, 18a) and Rachel Masullo (39g, 14a) lead the squad's offense and rank first and fifth, respectively, in the NEC in points per game. Sam Kidd has started 14 games in goal and owns a .484 save percentage and 12.94 goals against average.
INSIDE THE SERIES
The Mount has had immense success against LIU Brooklyn, posting a 14-1 all-time record against the Blackbirds, including a perfect 8-0 mark in Emmitsburg. In last season's matchup, the Mount rolled to an 18-10 victory in Brooklyn as five players recorded multi-goal games. Alayna Pagnotta (3g, 1a), Emily Davis (3g, 1a) and Carly Miller (2g, 2a) each registered four points in the victory.
The NEC Playoffs will take place on May 2 and 4 at the home of the highest seed. A win over either Sacred Heart or LIU Brooklyn would secure home field advantage in the Playoffs for Mount St. Mary's.