Women's Lacrosse Visits Sacred Heart On Friday At 4 PM; Hosts Fairfield On Sunday At 12 PM

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Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 4 p.m.
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (7-4, 6-0 Northeast Conference) vs
Sacred Heart University Pioneers (5-7, 4-2 Northeast Conference) 

Campus Field – Fairfield, Conn.

Sunday, April 15, 2012 @ 12 p.m.
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (7-4, 6-0 Northeast Conference) vs
Fairfield University Stags (8-3, 3-0 MAAC)

QU Lacrosse Turf Field – Hamden, Conn. 

Nutmeg State Matchups
The Quinnipiac women's lacrosse team (7-4, 6-0 NEC) takes its undefeated Northeast Conference mark on the road when it travels to face Sacred Heart (4-8, 3-3 NEC) on Friday, April13 at 4 p.m. The Bobcats then step out of conference action for a home game against Fairfield (8-3, 3-0 MAAC) on Sunday at 12 p.m. at QU Lacrosse Turf Field in Hamden, Conn.

Live stats for this weekend's games can be accessed by visiting the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.  

About Sacred Heart
The Pioneers are coming off a 14-11 victory over Saint Francis (Pa.) on Saturday, April 7. Emily Pepe controlled the game for Sacred Heart, as she compiled three goals and four assists for a game-high seven points. Kelsey Russo and Aurelie Pluijmakers each tallied four goals as well for the Pioneers, while goalie Kelly Keenan made six saves in goal.

Overall, the Pioneers are led by Pepe's 52 points (21 goals, 31 assists), followed by Pluijmakers' 34 points (31 goals, three assists). Russo leads all field players with 31 ground balls, 49 draw controls, and 18 caused turnovers. Keenan has started in 11 of the team's 12 games and has a 11.92 goals against average and a .457 save percentage. 

All-Time Against The Pioneers
Friday's game marks the 18th time the two teams will have faced each other. The Bobcats dominated the season series in 2011, winning handily, 14-5 on April 1, and again, 18-9, on April 29 in the Semifinals of the NEC Tournament. On that day, senior Lauren Matuszczak collected a game-high nine points (four goals, five assists), as junior Devon Gibney (Hopkinton, Mass.) added five points on two goals and three assists. After holding the Pioneers to just four first-half goals, the Bobcats continued their strong defensive stand (while piling on another nine scores) to run away with their first post-season victory against the Pioneers in program-history. 

About Fairfield
The Stags are coming off a 12-11 overtime victory against Canisius on Saturday, April 7. Amanda Best earned a team-high five points on three goals and two assists, which included the game-winning goal in the overtime frame. Courtney Chmil and Jenna Slowey each recorded two goals as well, while Katie Keenan made six saves in net.

On the season, the Stags are led by Chloe Mangan (23 goals, three assists) and Melanie Raso's (16 goals, 10 assists) 26 points, followed by Addie Reilly's 21 points (20 goals, one assist). Chmil is the team leader in ground balls (34), draw controls (24), and caused turnovers (14). Kennan has accumulated a 8.89 goals against average and a .511 save percentatge. 

All-Time Against The Stags
Sunday's game will be the third time the two sides matchup against each other, as Fairfield holds a 2-0 all-time series lead. During last season's game on Friday, Feb. 25, the Stags came away with a 17-11 win in what marked the Bobcats season-opening contest. On the day, junior Marissa Caroleo (North Babylon, N.Y.) finished with a game-high six goals, as senior Laura Iannotti added three points for Quinnipiac on two goals and an assist. Senior Lexi DeStefano and junior Noelle Martello combined to make six saves in goal for the Bobcats, who were unable to recover from a 13-3 halftime deficit (despite outscoring Fairfield eight to four in the final 30 minutes of action). 

Last Time Out
Quinnipiac continued its tear through the NEC, winning its closest game of the season, 6-5, against Robert Morris on Saturday, April 7. The contest was a defensive battle throughout, as the teams entered halftime deadlock at two-apiece, by far the lowest scoring half of the season for Quinnipiac. Marissa Caroleo ignited the offense in the second half, scoring the first two goals, before freshman Kyra Ochwat (Farmingdale, N.Y.) added her second score with under 15 minutes remaining to make the score 5-3. The Colonials retied the score at five apiece with 4:46 remaining in the game, but sophomore Michaela Tinsley (Shrewsbury, Mass.) netted the game-winner with 3:24 left to play. Senior goalie Noelle Martello played outstanding in goal once again, making nine saves on 14 shots. 

Co-Defensive Player Of The Week
Senior goalie Noelle Martello (Westbury, N.Y.) had one of the best weekends of her career, compiling an incredible 4.34 goals against average and a .692 save percentage in games against Saint Francis (Pa.) and Robert Morris. On Thursday against Saint Francis, Martello allowed only three goals in 50:36 minutes of action, turning away a game-high nine shots. She followed up that performance by allowing only 5 goals on 14 shots in 60 minutes of action on Saturday against Robert Morris. Martello has now won four straight decisions (five overall on the season) and is leading the NEC in conference in goals against average (5.69) and save percentage (.594) 

Gibney Gets Gritty
In a weekend marked by defensive excellence by the Bobcats, senior Devon Gibney (Hopkinton, Mass.) stood out as one of the leaders with her tenacity and aggressive play in both games. She finished the weekend with nine total ground balls, three draw controls and four caused turnovers, and held both Saint Francis' (Pa.) and Robert Morris' offensive stars in check for the entire respective games.  On Thursday's game against Saint Francis (Pa.) Gibney not only marked, but completely shut down the Red Flash's second leading scorer, Samantha Barton, who finished with zero points in the contest. Gibney was also ferocious in the middle of the field, as she collected two ground balls, two draw controls and two caused turnovers during the 14-4 win.

On Saturday's game against Robert Morris, Gibney once again eliminated the opposition's top scorer, Talia Waskowicz, who finished with zero points despite leading the team this year with 29. Gibney earned a game-high seven ground balls to go along with one draw control and two caused turnovers, and was the emotional leader in the Bobcats closest victory of the season (winning 6-5).

Rookie Rattles Opposition
Freshman Kyra Ochwat (Farmingdale, N.Y.) continued her impressive rookie season with another five points over the weekend against Saint Francis (Pa.) and Robert Morris. On Thursday against the Red Flash, Ochwat matched senior Marissa Caroleo (North Babylon, N.Y.) with a game-high three points, collecting two goals and an assist in the team's 14-4 win. She followed that performance with a two-goal effort during the team's 6-5 win over Robert Morris on Saturday, as she once against matched Caroleo with a team-high two goals. Overall, Ochwat leads all freshman on the team with 31 points (25 goals, six assists), and is fourth overall on the squad in total points. 

Allen Shatters Records
Junior Sarah Allen (Glastonbury, Conn.) dished out seven more assists on Thursday, April 5 against Saint Francis, breaking the program's all-time single-season assist record (previously 44, held by Katie Latonick), to increase her season total to 48 at the time (NCAA-best).

In Sunday's game against Robert Morris, Allen assisted on four more Quinnipiac goals to give her a season total of 52, breaking the NEC's all-time assist record of 51 set by Robert Morris' Ashley Levering in 2009.

Allen currently leads the team, the NEC and all of Division I Women's Lacrosse with a 4.73 assists per game average. With nearly five assists a game, Allen is on pace to break the all-time NCAA record for assists per game in a season which is currently held by Brown's Lauren Becker, who accumulated a 4.17 assists per game mark in set in 1986. 

Defense Shines
The Bobcats allowed a season-low four goals on Thursday against the Red Flash. The Bobcats have held five of its first six NEC opponents to single digit goal totals, as the squad's 7.00 goals against average is best in the league. 

NCAA Nation Takes Notice
The Bobcats' NEC-high 10.91 caused turnovers a game currently ranks the squad fifth overall among all NCAA Division I teams. Junior Chelsea Guerrera (Wantagh, N.Y.) leads the team with 14 caused turnovers on the season, followed by sophomore Kelsey Maroney (West Granby, Conn.) and Gibney's 13 caused turnovers, and junior Kiera Carey (Long Beach, N.Y.) and senior Kim Davis' (Darien, Conn.) 11.

Coming Up Next
Following this weekend's games Quinnipiac hosts Central Connecticut on Friday, Apr. 20 at 4 p.m. and Bryant on Sunday, Apr. 22 at 12 p.m. in its final two regular season games of the season.

Contact: Ross Bennett; rsbennett@quinnipiac.edu