No. 2 Women's Lacrosse Falls To No. 3 Monmouth, 9-4, In NEC Semifinals

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FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The No. 2-seeded Quinnipiac women's lacrosse team was defeated by No. 3-seeded Monmouth, 9-4, in the Northeast Conference Semifinals on Friday afternoon in Fairfield, Conn. With the loss, the Bobcats finish their season with an 8-8 overall record, while the Hawks move on to the NEC Championship Game with an 8-10 overall record.

"Any time you have a lead in the second half you want to take some time off the clock and Monmouth did that very well," said head coach Danie Caro. "Our problem wasn't getting the ball back, it was not turning it over as soon as we got it back. Our defense did a good job getting it back; our defense just didn't take care of it in transition and on attack."

Senior Marissa Caroleo (North Babylon, N.Y.) collected two points (one goal, one assist), while juniors Chelsea Guerrera (Wantagh, N.Y.) and Lianne Toomey (Hicksville, N.Y.), as well as freshman Kyra Ochwat (Farmingdale, N.Y.), each netted one goal apiece for the Bobcats. Monmouth goalie Katie Donohoe frustrated the Bobcats offensive attack all afternoon, as she finished with nine saves in the game.

"I don't think our shot selection was great but she (Donohoe) made the saves she needed to make," said Caro. "She made some plays for them, she had a really great game and she's a very good goalkeeper and unfortunately for us, she's a freshman so we'll be seeing her for the next few years."

Gibney's defensive efforts led to her game-high four ground balls and four caused turnovers, as Guerrera finished with a team-high three draw controls in the contest.

The Bobcats' goalie tandem of senior Noelle Martello (Westbury, N.Y.) and freshman Samantha Tilts (Port Washington, N.Y.) combined to make 11 saves in net.

Monmouth's Alex Marino potted a game-high four points (two goals, two assists), as Sam Lillo (two goals, one assist), Kaleigh Gibbons (two goals, one assist), and Olivia Salata each tallied two goals. Danielle Rakowitz also notched a first-half goal, sending the Hawks to the NEC Championship Game for the first time since 2007.

"It hurts to not be able to get possession," said Caro. "We tried a couple different things; some of them worked better than others but it just seemed everything that happened went the other way. We were bad and unlucky today. That's not a good combination if you want to win. "

The Hawks got on the board first on Sam Lillo's first score of the day at the 3:37 mark into the opening half. Quinnipiac then responded to tie the score just over five minutes later on Ochwat's unassisted goal at the 9:00 mark into the first period, making the score 1-1.

Monmouth then tallied two straight goals to take a 3-1 lead, but Guerrera's goal with 11:51 remaining in the first half cut the Hawks' lead to one. Marino notched a goal for the Hawks just under a minute later to increase their lead to 4-2, but the Bobcats responded with two-straight of their own to tie the score at four apiece. During the spurt, Caroleo tallied her first score after collecting a bounding ball from Gibney following a draw control, while Toomey's goal (exactly one minute later) came off a smart feed from Caroleo.

Rakowitz and Salata then notched back-to-back scores for Monmouth, as the Hawks increased their lead to 6-4 heading into halftime.

The Bobcats and Hawks continued their defensive battle in the second half, yet it was Monmouth who scored the only three goals in the half. Salata scored the first goal just under four minutes into the half, while Gibbons' two scores (14:23 and 6:19 remaining in the contest) rounded out the game's scoring.

Contact: Ross Bennett,