New Britain, Conn. (April 19, 2013) -- The Mount St. Mary's women's lacrosse team held off a late push by Central Connecticut State to come away with a 5-4 road victory on Friday and punch a ticket to next weekend's Northeast Conference Tournament. The win coupled with Robert Morris' 16-15 loss to Quinnipiac guarantees the Mount at least the No. 4 seed with a chance to jump as high as No. 2.
Hannah Gutcher scored a goal in both halves and added a first half assist for the Mount (7-9, 6-2 NEC) while Sarah Jane Leder turned away eight CCSU shots to hand the Blue Devils (9-7, 7-1 NEC) their first conference loss of the season.
The four goals given up is the Mount's second-fewest allowed and the second-fewest yielded by a CCSU opponent this season. The Mount held the Blue Devils off the scoreboard in the first half, accomplishing the feat for the first time since the Delaware State game on March 4.
The Mount took a 4-0 halftime lead and after CCSU's first goal with 21:05 remaining, regained a four-goal advantage with just over 18 minutes to go. The Blue Devils scored three times in the final 12:18, but the Mount was able to hold on by preventing CCSU from taking a shot in the last 1:30 of the game.
The first of Gutcher's two goals on the day got the Mount's offense rolling 5:33 into the game. After a CCSU foul, Lindsay Diaz's free position goal with 15:35 remaining on the first half clock extended the advantage to 2-0. Diaz leads the team with 11 free position goals and seven in NEC play.
Erin Seipp scored her 21st goal of the season with just under 10 minutes before the half off a feed from Gutcher to make it a 3-0 Mount advantage.
In the first 10 minutes of the second half, Larrimore fired one shot that hit the post and another that was saved by CCSU goalkeeper Morgan Tullar, who made five saves in the game.
The Blue Devils managed their first goal with 21:05 to go off the stick of Falynn McCartney. Three minutes later, however, Gutcher answered with a strike of her own to put the lead at 5-1.
Betsy Vendel assisted on the Blue Devils' next three goals beginning with Elyse Malecki's tally with 12:18 to go. With 3:47 remaining, she found Mackenzy Ryan to cut the Mount's lead to 5-3.
CCSU's comeback was nearly complete after Amanda Toke's goal with 1:37 left in the game trimmed the advantage to 5-4. The Mount was able to hold on to the slim lead after Melissa Cox won the ensuing draw and after CCSU got the ball back on a turnover, the Mount forced a crucial turnover with 20 seconds left for the win.
In addition to her goal, Seipp chipped in with three ground balls and three draw controls. Gabe Little added to her league-leading total with five ground balls to bring her to 52 for the season.
Andrea Tarsi picked up four ground balls for the Blue Devils, who had clinched a playoff spot last week.
The Mount, which has now won three games in a row, improves to 14-0 against Central Connecticut State in the all-time series. The Blue Devils outshot the Mount, 18-13, but the Mountaineers won the draw controls battle by a 7-4 margin.
On Sunday, the Mount will take on Bryant in Smithfield, R.I. at 1:00 p.m. in the regular season finale.