April 27, 2012

Crusaders Advance To Patriot League Finals With 13-12 Win Over Colgate

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Senior Caitie Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) recorded a career-best four goals and a career-best six points as the Holy Cross women's lacrosse team defeated Colgate, 13-12, in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals on Friday night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. With the win, the No. 3 seeded Crusaders have won four straight and nine of their last 12 games to improve to 10-7 overall and will play No. 1 seed Navy (16-2 overall) in the finals on Sunday, April 29 in Annapolis, at noon. The No. 2 seeded Raiders conclude the season 6-11 overall. Navy defeated No. 4 seed American by a 14-7 score in the first semifinal.

The Crusaders will be making their fifth Patriot League Tournament finals appearance and their first since 2007 as they are now 5-1 all-time in the semifinals. Holy Cross will be looking to win its third title as the program previously won the championship in 2006 and 2007. The winner of the Patriot League Tournament will play at the champion of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation on Saturday, May 5, in a NCAA Tournament play-in game.

This is the Crusaders' seventh 10-win season in program history and the 10 wins are their most since going 13-6 in 2007. The Crusaders' four game-winning streak is their longest since winning five in a row in 2007.

Freshman Laura Ryan (Stirling, N.J.) tallied three goals and one assist for four points, while sophomore Seton Hartnett (Westfield, N.J.) scored a career-best three goals. Sophomore Sara Hennessey (Winchester, Mass.) netted two goals including her team-best fifth game-winner of the season. She leads the team with 42 goals which are 10th all-time for a single-season at the school. Junior Taylor Zebrowski (Verona, N.J.) posted one goal and one assist for two points. Hennessey led the team with four draw controls, while junior Sara Cox (Chatham, N.J.) and Ryan each picked up two ground balls to lead the team.

The Raiders were led by Courtney Miller who tallied five goals and one assist for six points. Katie Sullivan posted two goals and three assists for five points, while Amanda O'Sullivan scored three goals.

Hennessey gave the Crusaders an early 1-0 lead with 26:43 left in the first half, but just 33 seconds later the Raiders tied the contest at 1-1 with a goal by Sullivan off a pass from Miller. The Crusaders responded with three straight goals to move out to a 4-1 advantage. After Shea found the back of the net to give Holy Cross a one-goal lead, Ryan netted a goal off a pass by junior captain Maddie Carrellas (Middletown, R.I.). Shea then scored her second goal of the game to increase the lead to 4-1 with 20:48 remaining. Sullivan ended the Crusaders' scoring streak when she found the back of the net off a pass from Monica White to make it a 4-2 contest with 18:48 left. After Miller made it a one-goal game when she scored off a pass from Sullivan, Hartnett netted a goal off a pass from Ryan to give the Crusaders a 5-3 lead with 7:52 remaining. Colgate then responded by scoring three consecutive goals to take a 6-5 advantage. But Shea then tied the game as she tallied her first career hat-trick and then gave the Crusaders a 7-6 lead with her fourth goal of the contest. After Megan Ark tied the game, Ryan scored with 55 seconds left, but Miller netted a goal off a pass by Sullivan with just 13 seconds remaining as the game was tied at 8-8 at the half.  

The Crusaders scored the first two goals of the second half as Ryan and Zebrowski found the back of the net to give Holy Cross a 10-8 lead. Ryan's goal was on a free-position shot and gave her five hat-tricks for the season. After O'Sullivan made it a one-goal contest, Hartnett netted her second goal of the game when she scored off a pass from Zebrowski. But the Raiders then tied the game at 11-11 with two straight goals. With 11:23 left, Hartnett tallied her first career hat-trick when she scored off a pass from Shea to give the Crusaders a 12-11 advantage. Then with 8:30 remaining, Hennessey increased the Holy Cross lead to 13-11 when she scored off a pass from Shea. The Raiders made it a one-goal game when O'Sullivan scored with 1:41 left. But after the goal, Ryan was able to secure the draw control and the Crusaders held onto the ball for the remaining 1:41 for the 13-12 victory.         

Sophomore goalie Sarah Weber (Summit, N.J.) made eight saves to earn the win and improve to 10-6 on the season. Her 10 wins are tied for fourth all-time for a single-season in school history. Jennie Berglin posted four saves for the Raiders. Holy Cross outshot Colgate, 25-23, while the Crusaders picked up 10 ground balls and the Raiders tallied eight. Colgate secured 14 draw controls and Holy Cross tallied 13. The Crusaders went 1-6 on free-position shots and the Raiders went 1-2.