MOUNT ST. MARY'S (16-2, 7-0 NEC) vs. WAGNER (14-3, 6-1 NEC)
Saturday, May 4 | 12:00 p.m.
Emmitsburg, Maryland | Waldron Family Stadium
SETTING THE SCENE
The top-seeded Mount St. Mary's women's lacrosse team will host No. 2 seed Wagner in the Northeast Conference (NEC) Championship on Saturday, May 4 at Waldron Family Stadium at 12 p.m. The winner will earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The NEC Championship Game appearance for the Mount is the seventh in program history, and the first since 2012.
Tickets will be available the day of the game at the front gate of Waldron Family Stadium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for those under 18 and senior citizens. All Mount St. Mary's students, faculty and staff with a Mount I.D. will be admitted free of charge. The first 100 Mount students at the game will receive a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich.
INSIDE THE SERIES
The Mountaineers own a 16-9 advantage over Wagner in the all-time series, including a 10-2 mark in Emmitsburg. The meeting on Saturday will be the third-ever matchup between the teams in the NEC Playoffs. Back in 2005, the Mount rolled to a 16-5 victory over the Seahawks in an NEC Semifinal tilt in Emmitsburg. In the most recent playoff matchup between the two, Wagner came away with a 15-6 win in the 2015 Semifinals in a neutral site game played at Bryant.
The Seahawks had won six straight over the Mount before the regular season meeting between the two on April 13, when the Mountaineers pulled out a tight 11-9 victory at Waldron Family Stadium. Jordan Groover led the Mount in the win with two goals, two assists and a game-high six draw controls, while Alayna Pagnotta netted three scores. Jillian Petito recorded 11 saves to collect the victory in goal.
Mount St. Mary's cruised past Bryant, 18-4, in the Northeast Conference Semifinals on Thursday at Waldron Family Stadium to collect the team's first playoff win since 2012. The Mountaineers extended their program-best win streak to 13 straight, while also setting a new program record with their 16th overall win of the season.
Jordan Butler, who was named the NEC Offensive Player of the Year on Wednesday, led the Mountaineers with a game-high seven points on four goals and three assists. Butler increased her season totals to 76 points and 58 goals, as she now holds the Mount single-season record for points and also sits just six shy of tying the goal record.
NEC Rookie of the Year Jordan Groover recorded a game-high seven draw controls, as she moved into first place on the Mount's single-season list for most draws. Groover now has 74 on the year, surpassing Beanie Colson's previous record of 70, which was set last season. Emily Davis also added five draws in the game, as she pushed her season total to 70 to match Colson's mark from 2018.
Alayna Pagnotta helped pace the attack with four goals and one helper in the contest. Emily Davis (3g) and Kate Kinsella (2g, 1a) each finished with three points, and Colson and Zoe Hurlburt added two goals apiece, as the Mountaineers had six players finish with multi-goal performances.
The Mount defense shut down Bryant, holding the Bulldogs to just 20 shots total and a .200 shot percentage. Goalie Jillian Petito made seven saves to collect her 16th win of the season between the pipes.
MOUNT PLAYOFF HISTORY
Mount St. Mary's is making its 18th appearance in the NEC Tournament since the league's first season back in 1998. The Mount owns a 9-15 all-time mark in the NEC Playoffs after its Semifinal win over Bryant on Thursday.
The Mountaineers have claimed a pair of NEC Tournament Championships in its history, back-to-back titles during the 2004 and 2005 campaigns. They went on to claim NCAA Play-In Game victories over Manhattan in both seasons, before falling in the NCAA First Round at Virginia in 2004 and at Northwestern in 2005.
After going undefeated in league play and claiming the Northeast Conference (NEC) Regular Season Championship, the Mount St. Mary's women's lacrosse team was rewarded with four of the five major NEC end-of-the-year awards, as announced at the conference banquet on Wednesday night. Jordan Butler was named the NEC Offensive Player of the Year, Kaitlyn Ridenour earned Defensive Player of the Year honors, Jordan Groover collected the Rookie of the Year Award, and Lauren Skellchock was tabbed Coach of the Year, as Mount St. Mary's took home more than three major awards in the same season for the first time in program history.
REGULAR SEASON CHAMPS
Mount St. Mary's clinched its fourth NEC Regular Season Championship in program history after going a perfect 7-0 in conference play. The Mount also claimed the NEC Regular Season Title in 2004, 2005 and 2007. This season marks the third time the Mountaineers have hosted the NEC Playoffs, joining the 2005 and 2007 campaigns.
Sophomore Jordan Butler, who played in just three games as a rookie last season, emerged for one of the top seasons in program history in 2019 en route to winning NEC Offensive Player of the Year. Butler ranks second in the league in both goals per game (3.22) and points per game (4.22). With seven points on Thursday, Butler broke the Mount program record for most points in a season with 76, surpassing Jen Stocker's previous record of 75 from the 1997 season. Butler's 58 goals on the year are just six shy of tying Katelyn Catanese's program record of 64 from the 2008 campaign.
Thursday's NEC Semifinal victory over Bryant pushed the Mountaineers to 16-2 overall on the year, as they set a new program record for most victories in a single-season. The previous record of 15 wins was set during the 2004 campaign, when the Mountaineers posted a 15-5 mark and went on to claim their first NEC Tournament Championship.
PERFECT LEAGUE MARK
The Mount recorded its third-ever undefeated mark in NEC play with a 7-0 league record this season. The two previous undefeated seasons for the Mountaineers came in 2004 and 2007. The Mount posted an average margin of victory of 8.43 in conference games this year, defeating teams by double-digit goals in four of seven contests.
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 ran the table in conference play to make it 12 straight victories, and Thursday's Semifinal win extended the program-record win streak to 13 consecutive games. The Mount's previous record was a 10-game win streak during the 2004 campaign.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Mountaineers own a sparkling 10-1 record at Waldron Family Stadium this season. Their lone home loss came against California way back on March 3, as the Golden Bears outscored the Mount by a 7-2 margin in the second half to earn the comeback win.
The Mountaineers lead the conference and rank 17th nationally with 14.56 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 58 goals and 76 points this season, while Carly Miller is the team's leader in assists with 21, and ranks second in points with 45.
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 (.552) and goals against average (7.14). Petito has held opponents to single-digit goals in 14 of 18 games this season.
STEPPING UP ON DEFENSE
The Mountaineers rank second in the nation in scoring defense, as they're yielding just 7.06 goals per game to opponents. They trail only Denver on the list, who is 15th 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 33 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 caused turnovers (26) and ranks second in both ground balls (42) and draw controls (70). Davis, who also places fourth on the squad with 28 goals on the year, has come up with big scores, as she's tied for the league-lead with six game winners.
The Seahawks, who are the defending NEC Champions and will be playing in their sixth straight NEC Title Game, enter the contest at 14-3 on the year. Their lone loss in conference play came at Mount St. Mary's back on April 13. Sophomore Madeline Seims leads the league with 59 goals this season, averaging 3.47 per contest. Sophomore Erin Kerstetter, who was named the NEC Midfielder of the Year on Wednesday, tops Wagner in assists (24), draw controls (108) and ground balls (48). Goalie Kelsey Fee owns a .484 save percentage and 8.25 goals against average in 17 starts.