May 1, 2011

Quinnipiac Downs Women's Lacrosse In NEC Tournament Championship Game, 15-3

HAMDEN, Conn. - Top-seed and host Quinnipiac defeated No. 3 Mount St. Mary's 15-3 in the Northeast Conference (NEC) Tournament Championship Game on Sunday. The Mount (8-11) was playing in its fifth NEC title game in program history.

Meaghan Conlon (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty) posted a goal and an assist while Kaitlyn Larrimore (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) and Jen Semler (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) also found the twine in the loss. Semler, Nicole Price (White Hall, Md./North Harford) and Aly Jost (Abingdon, Md./Bel Air) were named to the All-Tournament team. Price helped the Mount advance to the championship game with four goals and an assist in a 13-8 win against Robert Morris on Friday to help the Mountaineers become the first No. 3 seed in league history to notch a win in the tournament.

Devon Gibney, the NEC Tournament Most Valuable Player, paced the Bobcats (13-4) with six markers and an assist while Marrisa Caroleo added three goals and two assists in the winning effort.

Quinnipiac scored 11-straight goals over a span of two periods and never looked back to earn its first NEC Tournament title.

Mount St. Mary's started its fifth NEC Championship Game the same way it started the previous four championship matches with a 1-0 lead. Larrimore scored off a Conlon assist at 1:54 to give the Mountaineers the early edge.

The Bobcats then posted the final six goals of the half to take a 6-1 advantage. Gibney tied the game off a feed from Caroleo at 3:39. Caroleo, the NEC Player of the Year, then found the twine off a pass from Sarah Allen at 11:29 and scored unassisted at 22:09 for a 3-1 lead. Jennifer Skipper then converted a free-position attempt at 24:33. Lianne Toomey took a feeder from Allen at 26:18 before Gibney closed the first half scoring with a tally off an assist from Caroleo at 29:47.

Quinnipiac continued its offensive surge at the start of the second with five unanswered goals to grab an 11-1 lead. Toomey got the second stanza scoring started with a free-position tally at 30:28. Gibney then registered a natural hat trick over the next four minutes and seven seconds. The NEC Tournament MVP scored off a feeder from Lauren Matuszczak at 36:47, found the twine unassisted at 38:57 and off an Allen helper at 40:54. Gibney then capped the surge by returning the favor to Matusczak at 42:21 for a 10-goal advantage.

Semler momentarily halted the run with an unassisted score at 43:35, but the Bobcats rolled off the next three goals to take a 14-2 margin. Allen started the surge with a tally off a Laura Iannotti feed at 45:05. After Matuszczak found the back of the net off a Christine Sinnigen assist at 47:35, Gibney capped her six-goal performance with an 8-meter tally at 52:39.

Conlon answered for the Mountaineers off a Lucy Pompa (Baltimore, Md./Bryn Mawr) assist at the 55-minute mark, but Caroleo scored off a Toomey feed with 25 seconds left to seal the win.

Brigid McTavish (Mount Airy, Md./South Carroll) made three saves and Sarah Jane Leder (Manalapan, N.J./Colts Neck) had two stops while Noelle Martello made nine stops for Quinnipiac.

Jost paced the Mountaineers with four ground balls and three draw controls. The senior finished her career sixth in caused turnovers (83), seventh in ground balls (171) and 10th in draw controls (82). Pompa concluded her career ranked fifth in draw controls (113).

Mount St. Mary's finished the season 8-11. The Mount was playing in its fifth NEC Tournament Championship Game and falls to 2-3 in the title match. The squad won the crown in 2004 and 2005 and finished as the runners up in 2003, 2007 and 2011. The five NEC Tournament Championship Game appearances is the third-most in league history.