EMMITSBURG, Md. - Senior Nicole Price (White Hall, Md./North Harford) scored with 21 seconds left to propel Mount St. Mary's past Sacred Heart and into the Northeast Conference (NEC) Tournament with a 10-9 victory in NEC women's lacrosse action on Saturday. With the win, the Mount (7-10, 6-3 NEC) will play second-seed Robert Morris in the NEC Semifinals at Quinnipiac on Friday. Game time to be announced.
Price took a pass from Jen Semler (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) and found the high-left netting to break a 9-all standstill and cap a 3-0 run by the Mountaineers to secure the win and a spot in the league postseason. Gabe Little (Hampstead, Md./North Carroll) then won the ensuing draw control, but the Pioneers' Kelli Rutledge caused a turnover with nine seconds left. Freshman Maggie Bathon (Pleasantville, N.Y./Pleasantville) then regained possession for the Mount by causing a Sacred Heart miscue and Little picked up the loss ball to secure the victory.
Kaitlyn Larrimore (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) paced Mount St. Mary's with a career-high four goals. Semler added a tally and two assists while Meaghan Conlon (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty) found the twine twice. Brigid McTavish (Mount Airy, Md./South Carroll) made four saves in the winning effort.
Kate Kmiotek paced the Pioneers with two goals and an assist and Jessica Ingrilli registered two goals while Megan Pepe turned away eight shots in the loss.
It was déjà vu all over again seven years later. In 2003, Mount St. Mary's and Sacred Heart came into the final game of the regular season with the winner of that match advancing to the NEC Tournament. The Mount downed the Pioneers that day after rallying to win in overtime, 9-8. The 2011 edition had similar results as the Mountaineers scored the final three goals of the match to earn the victory.
Sacred Heart took a 9-7 lead at 47:21 after Alyssa Dorsey scored her only tally of the game off a Kmiotek assist before the Mount rolled off the next three scores.
Larrimore scored the next two markers unassisted at 52:04 and on an 8-meter opportunity at 58:43 to tie the game at 9. Price then buried her shot to the upper left twine to give the Mount the lead and the win for her only score of the day.
The Pioneers jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the first 12 minutes of the match. Ingrilli got the scoring started unassisted 36 seconds into the contest. Conlon tied the game off a feeder from Esther Rufolo (Woodstock, Md./Chapelgate Christian Academy) at 2:23 before Alexis Salerno (South Setauket, N.Y./Ward Mellville) gave the Mountaineers its only lead till the final minute on an unassisted marker at 4:58.
Sacred Heart rolled off the next five scores to grab a 6-2 margin. Ingrilli registered her second tally of the afternoon at 6:41 on a free-position chance to tie the game before Kelsey Russo found the twine unassisted at 7:09. Kaitlin Rochler scored off an Emily Pepe assist before Pepe found the twine on her own at 10:41 and Shelby Vaccaro capped the spurt unassisted at 11:20 for a four-goal edge.
Mount St. Mary's closed the first half by scoring the final three markers of the stanza to go into halftime trailing, 6-5. Lindsay Diaz (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) started the run with an unassisted goal at 12:30 before Semler set up Conlon at 15:16 and Larrimore scored off a Salerno feeder at 25:48 to make it a one-goal game.
The Pioneers started the second half with two goals to reclaim a three-tally margin. Kmiotek scored her only goals of the day unassisted at 30:42 and 37:41 for an 8-5 lead.
Mount St. Mary's answered with two scores of its own to trim the deficit to 8-7 thanks to unassisted markers by Semler (46:05) and Larrimore (46:43) in a span of 38 seconds.
Dorsey then gave Sacred Heart a 9-7 lead at 47:21, but the Mountaineers scored three times in the final 12 minutes and 39 seconds to earn the come-from-behind victory. The Pioneers had four shots after taking a two-goal lead including two free-position attempts, but could not convert.
Rufolo had six draw controls and two ground balls. Aly Jost (Abington, Md./Bel Air) registered three draws and a ground ball.
The Mountaineers honored seniors Jost, Price, Salerno and Lucy Pompa (Baltimore, Md./Bryn Mawr) prior to the start of the game. Pompa played in a match for the first time in five games.
Jost moved into 10th place on the program's all-time career draw control list (79) while Rufolo moves into fourth place for draws (118).
Robert Morris makes the NEC Tournament for the first time in its seven-year history. The Colonials scored the final seven goals of the game to rally past Mount St. Mary's 15-12 early this year in Moon Township. Sacred Heart will play top seed and host Quinnipiac in the other semifinal. The Pioneers and Bobcats have met the last three years in the NEC Championship game with Sacred Heart winning all three matchups. With the win, Mount St. Mary's knocked out Monmouth of the NEC Tournament.
The Mount will be making its ninth-straight tournament appearance and 13th in the 14-year history of the league.
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