April 24, 2009

Women's Lacrosse Defeats Mount St. Mary's, 11-9, In NEC Semifinals

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University women's lacrosse team defeated Mount St. Mary's, 11-9, in the Northeast Conference Tournament Semifinals at Sacred Heart's Campus Field. Junior Katie Latonick (Severna Park, Md.) scored once and added five assists for six points in the team's 13th victory of the season. The win also pushed the Bobcats' win streak to a program-record nine games, while eliminating the Mountaineers from the postseason for the second-straight year. Quinnipiac will take on Sacred Heart in the NEC Championship Game Sunday in Fairfield at 1 p.m.

"This team played to the level they are capable of in the second half today," said Head Coach Danie Caro. "I told them we need to score one goal at time and to chip away at the lead. This was not our best game, but we had enough at the end to come away with the win."

The Mount opened the scoring 28 seconds in on a Kelly Taylor free-position goal. Senior Nicole Fiore (Monroe, Conn.) and NEC Rookie of the Year freshman Marissa Caroleo (North Babylon, N.Y.) gave the Bobcats a 2-1 lead as Latonick assisted on both goals. The Bobcats and Mountaineers exchanged tallies the rest of the half with the Mount's two-advantage, 7-5, the largest of the period.

Six different Bobcats scored in the opening 30 minutes of play. Tiffany Manzi (Agawam, Mass.) was the lone player to record multiple goals as she netted Quinnipiac's fourth and seventh tallies of the game. The Mount's Kathleen Rossetti scored with five seconds remaining in the half to give the Mountaineers an 8-7 lead at halftime.

The Bobcats scored the first two goals of the second. Manzi's goal with just over 20 minutes remaining put Quinnipiac up 9-8. The senior midfield cut through the eight-meter arc and fired a low shot off the turf past Mount St. Mary's goalkeeper Brigid McTavish for the go-ahead goal.

Quinnipiac tightened defensively in the second half. Senior goalkeeper Hannah Nelson (Glastonbury, Conn.) turned aside seven Mount shots in the final period, only allowing one goal. That one goal came from Kathleen Rossetti with 12:14 on the clock.

Junior Brittany Hauser (East Northport, N.Y.) put the Bobcats back up one, 10-9, on a quick shot into the upper right corner of the goal. Latonick, stationed behind the net, passed to Hauser in the middle of the eight-meter arc for her second goal of the season.

The Bobcats added some insurance just 32 seconds later. Caroleo scored her second of the game and 20th of the season on an identical pass from Latonick behind the net. The assist was Latonick's fifth of the game and 41st of the season, building on her single-season program record.

Neither team scored the rest of the game as the Quinnipiac defense stifled Mount St. Mary's offensive attack, forcing several turnovers in the final minutes. The Bobcats held the ball for the final three minutes of the game, killing the clock and securing the victory, 11-9.

Quinnipiac will take on Sacred Heart in the NEC Championship Game for the second year in a row on Sunday afternoon at Campus Field. The game is set for a 1 p.m., start. Last season, the Bobcats and Pioneers played to a one-goal game, 15-14, with Scared Heart winning on a last-second goal.