April 30, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. - The Holy Cross women's lacrosse team won the program's first-ever Patriot League Tournament title with a 9-6 win over two-time defending champion Colgate on Sunday afternoon at the Hart Turf. The Crusaders (13-6 overall) scored seven straight goals in the second half to erase a 5-1 halftime deficit for the championship. Holy Cross advances to the NCAA Tournament Play-In Game where it will face LeMoyne (15-3), which won the MAAC Tournament championship earlier in the day.
Colgate finishes its season with a 10-9 overall record and a 5-1 mark in Patriot League play.
Holy Cross senior co-captain Carolyn Smirti (Huntington, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor) was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player after scoring two goals and adding an assist in the game. For the tournament, Smirti finished with five goals and an assist.
Sophomore Amy Archambault (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) led the Crusaders with three goals, while Patriot League Player of the Year Patricia Sutton (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Saratoga Springs), First Team All-League selection Nikki Bolduc (Exeter, N.H./Exeter), Kelly Winslow (Wrentham, Mass./King Philip Regional), and Cara O'Sullivan (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) also added goals in the win.
Colgate jumped out to a 4-0 lead 18 minutes into the game after goals by Katie McVeigh, Jessica Vander Meulen, Maddie Kearns and Megan Janson. Winslow stopped the bleeding for the Crusaders with a strike at the 11:54 mark after she collected a Bolduc pass and rifled a shot past Colgate goalie Sue Bielamowicz. But Janson scored her second goal of the day with less than five minutes to go in the half to give the Raiders a 5-1 advantage at the break.
The Crusaders came out with a vengeance in the second half, however, scoring seven straight goals to erase the four-goal deficit, tie the game, and eventually take the lead for good.
Archambault got the home team going with back-to-back goals just 14 seconds apart to get the Crusaders within two (5-3). Bolduc then made good on a free position shot less than a minute later to cut the Raider lead to one (5-4) with 21:10 on the clock. Holy Cross completed the comeback with an unassisted effort by Sutton to tie the game at 5-5 with 18:27 to go.
Smirti then gave the Crusaders their first lead of the afternoon (6-5) with 15:00 on the clock, and added an insurance goal 2:09 later. Archambault scored her third goal of the game and the seventh straight Holy Cross tally with 10:36 left to play to put the Crusaders up, 8-5.
Tara Casey snapped the Crusaders' scoring streak and cut the Colgate deficit to two (8-6) with a goal with 6:28 left, but O'Sullivan kept the momentum on Holy Cross' side with a goal at the 4:43 mark, for the 9-6 final.
Janson led Colgate with two goals, while McVeigh and Vander Meulen each contributed a goal and an assist.
Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year, Megan Orr, earned her 13th win of the season after making six stops for the Crusaders, while Bielamowicz made three saves for Colgate.
The NCAA Play-In game will be held in Worcester, Mass., on Saturday, May 6. The site of the game will be determined later this week.