WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore Kat Sutton (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) recorded a career best five goals and six points, while the Crusaders went a perfect 8-8 on free-position shots as the Holy Cross women's lacrosse team defeated American, 16-11, on Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale and Senior Day at the new Holy Cross Field in Patriot League action. With the win, the Crusaders earn the fourth seed in the Patriot League Tournament and improve to 6-10 overall (3-3 Patriot League), while the Eagles conclude the season 6-10 overall (3-3 Patriot League).
The Crusaders will play at No. 1 seed Lehigh in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals on Friday, April 30, at the Ulrich Sports Complex in Bethlehem, Pa. The winner will play in the finals on Sunday, May 2, against either No. 2 seed Navy or No. 3 seed Colgate. This is the fourth time in the last six years that the Crusaders have made the Patriot League Tournament and the first since 2007. Holy Cross won the title in 2006 and 2007.
Sutton extended her goal scoring streak to 28 straight games and went 4-4 on free-position shots. Senior Katie Gardner (Garden City, N.Y.) was also outstanding as she posted three goals and one assist for four points and has now recorded at least one point in 19 straight overall games. Freshman Maddie Carrellas (Middletown, R.I.) scored two goals and had one assist for three points including her second game-winning goal of the season, while seniors Megan Fenton (Bridgewater, N.J.) and Ali Baird (Wilbraham, Mass.) each scored two goals. Junior Annie Boylan (Andover, Mass.) and sophomore Catherine Furman (Garden City, N.Y.) each posted one goal and freshman Taylor Zebrowski (Verona, N.J.) added one assist. Sutton and junior Meg O'Leary (Longmeadow, Mass.) each picked up four ground balls, while O'Leary led the team with three caused turnovers.
American was led by Paige Lin who recorded four goals and one assist for five points.
With the winner of the game earning the last bid to the Patriot League Tournament each team produced strong offensive performances in the first half as 19 total goals were scored. The Crusaders took a 2-0 lead with a goal by Baird from Sutton and a goal by Fenton from Gardner. After Lin put the Eagles on the scoreboard, goals by Boylan, Sutton, Baird, and Carrellas gave the Crusaders a 6-1 advantage. Following another score by Lin, Gardner netted a goal to make it a 7-2 contest. American responded with three straight goals to cut the lead to 7-5. But that is as close as they would get the rest of the game as Gardner and Sutton found the back of the net to make the score 9-5. With the score now 9-6, Fenton recorded a goal, but the Eagles answered to make it a 10-7 game. The Crusaders closed out the half strong with goals by Sutton and Carrellas as Carrellas scored the eventual game-winner on a free-position shot with just one second left.
Defense was the theme to the second half as each team was held to four goals. Holy Cross scored the first two goals to increase its lead to 14-7. Sutton scored and then Furman scored off a pass by Zebrowski. With the score now 14-8, Sutton found the back of the net for the fifth time on the afternoon. After the Eagles scored three straight goals to make the score 15-11, Gardner scored off a pass by Carrellas for the last goal of the game with 1:07 remaining for the 16-11 final score.
Junior goalie Amy Martin (Bloomfield, Mich.) made 12 saves and has now made double-digit saves in 11 of the 16 games this season. The Eagles outshot the Crusaders, 28-27, while Holy Cross picked up 22 ground balls and American earned 18. The Crusaders secured 15 draw controls and the Eagles recorded 13. Holy Cross caused nine turnovers and American caused eight.
Seniors Baird, Allison Donovan (Saco, Maine), Gardner, Laurie Noreika (New Fairfield, Conn.), Katie Riddle (Cheshire, Conn.), and co-captains Fenton and MaryKate Finnegan (Rockville, Centre, N.Y.) were honored before the game.
Baird has played 56 career games with 54 goals and 13 assists for 67 points. As a freshman she scored a goal in both Patriot League Tournament games and in the NCAA Tournament versus Northwestern. Donovan stopped seven of 10 shots for an outstanding .700 save percentage this season at Harvard. As a junior she made a career-best eight saves versus Boston College.
Gardner has been one of the most productive offensive players in the history of the program. After only playing one game as a freshman because of an injury, she has gone on to record 75 goals and 58 assists for 133 points in only 49 games. She is third all-time at Holy Cross in career assists and is seventh in points. Gardner has also been strong in the classroom as she is a two-time member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll.
Noreika, who also missed time due to an injury, has displayed strong team leadership by being a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. This season she has one caused turnover and one draw control. Riddle has played in 39 career games with 16 ground balls. She has been outstanding in the classroom as she has been on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll in every season.
Fenton has played in 56 career games. Despite missing most of her sophomore season with an injury, she has 108 career points with 85 goals and 23 assists, while her 76 career draw controls are sixth all-time at Holy Cross. As a freshman, Fenton earned first team All-Patriot League honors and she is a two-time member of the Patriot League Academic Roll. Finnegan has been a fixture on defense as she has played 51 career games with 48 straight starts. Her 42 career caused turnovers are third all-time at Holy Cross, while she is a two-time member of the Patriot League Academic Roll.