ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Junior Sara Hennessey (Winchester, Mass.) scored three goals, while senior Taylor Zebrowski (Verona, N.J.) netted the game-winner as the No. 3 seed Holy Cross women's lacrosse team defeated No. 2 seed American, 8-7, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Friday night in the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament Presented by Rockin' Refuel. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 9-9 overall, while the Eagles conclude the season 8-10 overall. The Crusaders are now 6-1 all-time in Patriot League semifinal games. The Eagles had defeated the Crusaders by a 16-8 score in the regular season on March 16.
Holy Cross will play No. 1 seed and No. 15 nationally ranked Navy (17-1 overall, 6-0 PL) in the championship game on Sunday, April 28 at noon as the Midshipmen defeated No. 4 seed Lafayette by a 9-8 score in the first semifinal. The winner will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This will be a rematch of last year's finals as the Mids defeated the Crusaders by an 18-11 score. Navy also won this year's regular season meeting by a 15-5 score. The Crusaders are looking to win their third Patriot League title as they also won the championship in 2006 and 2007. Go here to watch the game: http://www.patriotleague.org/allaccess/.
The Crusaders scored the first five goals of the contest to take a 5-0 lead. Hennessey posted her 100th career point when she scored off a pass by freshman Kaitlin Concilio (Ridgewood, N.J.) for the first goal of the game. Hennessey is the 19th player in program history to reach 100 points. She also extended her goal scoring streak to 31 straight games. Hennessey then tallied her sixth hat-trick of the season and 14th for her career when she netted her second and third goal of the game. Senior captain Kat Sutton (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) and sophomore Laura Ryan (Stirling, N.J.) each found the back of the net to increase the Crusader lead to 5-0 with 14:24 left in the first half. Alex Lugovina and Emily Maher ended the Crusaders scoring streak by netting the last two goals of the first half as Holy Cross took a 5-2 lead to the half.
The Eagles tied the game at 5-5 when Kimberly Collins scored once and Lugovina found the back of the net twice. With 12:20 remaining in the second half, Zebrowski scored on a free-position shot to give the Crusaders a 6-5 advantage. After a goal by Jordan Harrington tied the contest at 6-6, the Crusaders took a one-goal lead with a goal by Ryan. Zebrowski then extended the lead to 8-6 with 6:50 remaining with a free-position goal. With 3:56 left, Collins made it a one-goal game with a free-position goal of her own. But the Crusader defense was able to keep the Eagles from scoring the equalizer for the 8-7 victory.
Junior goalie Sarah Weber (Summit, N.J.) made four saves to earn the win, while Teal Harrison also posted four saves for the Eagles. Holy Cross outshot American, 21-16, while the Eagles secured eight ground balls and the Crusaders posted five. Holy Cross tallied 10 draw controls and American posted seven, while the Crusaders went 4-8 on free-position shots and the Eagles went 2-2.
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