Monmouth Downs Women's Lacrosse In NEC Championship Game
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Monmouth scored 10 unanswered goals to down Mount St. Mary's 11-3 in the Northeast Conference (NEC) Championship Game on Sunday.
Lindsay Diaz (Timonium, Md./Dulaney), Hannah Gutcher (Hampstead, Md./Mount de Sales Academy) and Gabe Little (Hampstead, Md./North Carroll) scored the three goals for the Mount (8-11) while Brigid McTavish (Mount Airy, Md./South Carroll) made 10 saves in the loss. Little, McTavish and Meaghan Conlon (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty) were named to the All-Tournament team
Sam Lillo fueled the Hawks (9-10) to their fourth NEC title with four goals. Kaleigh Gibbons added three goals and two assists. Katie Donahoe made 11 saves in the winning effort to earn Tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Donohoe, Lillo, Gibbons and Kim McCormick were selected to the All-Tournament team.
In the previous three meetings in the NEC Championship Game between Mount St. Mary's and Monmouth, the game came down to the final minute of the game and was decided by one goal. The Mount had a 2-1 lead before Monmouth rolled off 10-straight goals to take control and earn its second-straight title against the Mountaineers. The last time the Hawks were in the championship game prior to 2012 was in 2007 when they downed Mount St. Mary's 9-8.
Making its sixth NEC Championship Game appearance, the Mount opened the title match with a goal for the sixth time. Diaz converted an 8-meter shot at 1:42 for a 1-0 lead.
Lillo tied the game unassisted at 2:47 before Gutcher regained the lead for the Mountaineers at 5:09 for a 2-1 edge.
Monmouth then scored the final three goals of the half and 10-straight markers to grab an 11-2 advantage. Gibbons tied the game at 2 on a free-position tally at 15:52 and then set up Marino at 22:28 to give the Hawks the lead for good. Lillo then scored unassisted at 25:18 to give Monmouth a 4-2 lead at the break.
Gibbons started a 7-0 run to start the second half at 25:36 before Danielle Rakowitz (39:00), Lillo (43:45), Erica Abendschoen (46:05), Gibbons (52:35), Lillo (54:02) and Lynn White (55:26) found the twine in the run for a nine-goal lead.
Little scored with six seconds left to end the run for her first collegiate tally.
Conlon, an All-NEC first-team performer in 2012, ended her career in 10th place with 101 career draw controls. McTavish will finish her career as the second-best goalkeeper in program history, ranking second with 519 saves, 3926:37 minutes played and 29 victories. Rufolo, a three-time All-NEC selection, ends her career with the second-most draw controls in program history with 157, the 10th most goals in a career with 86 and was the 18th player in team history with 100 points. Semler, a two-time All-NEC performer, had two goals and an assist in the 7-5 win against Sacred Heart on Friday. Semler finishes her career with 67 goals and 18 assists for 95 points.
Mount St. Mary's also played in the NEC Championship Game in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2011. The Mount is 2-4 in the title game with crowns in 2004 and 2005. The Mount is now 2-2 against the Hawks in the championship game after downing Monmouth 11-10 in 2004, 8-7 in an epic five-overtime game in 2005 before the West Long Branch program rallied for a 9-8 decision in 2007 and won this tilt.
Mount St. Mary's advanced to its second-straight NEC Championship in 2012 and finished the season 8-11 for the second time under head coach B.J. Johnson.