April 17, 2009

Monmouth Clinches NEC Tournament Berth

from press release

BROOKLYN- Monmouth University’s women’s lacrosse team (7-9, 5-2 NEC) earned a Northeast Conference Tournament berth with their 21-13 victory at Long Island (3-12, 2-6 NEC) on Friday afternoon.

The win clinched at least the fourth seed in next weekend’s NEC Tournament, which will be held on the campus of the highest seed, currently tied between Sacred Heart, Mount St. Mary’s and Quinnipiac. Monmouth has now qualified for the postseason tournament all 12 seasons in which it has been held.

Monmouth commanded a 15-5 first half lead, with Hawks accounting for the first five goals of the contest. Those goals came from five different Hawks, with junior Ali Pollock (Watervliet, N.Y./Shaker) getting the ball rolling just 2:33 into the game after taking a feed from Megan Brennan (King of Prussia, Pa./Archbishop Carroll). LIU’s Claire Ranney broke the run in the 22nd minute but Monmouth freshman Caitlin Kelly (Mendham, N.J./West Morris Mendham) answered right back with her second marker of the contest. Over an eight minute span, Monmouth went on a 8-2 run, including seven straight goals. Brennan tallied three more goals while redshirt freshman Molly O’Brien (Kennett Square, Pa./Unionville) tallied three. LIU closed out the half with back to back goals but it was Hawk Brittney McLaughlin (Coram, N.Y./Longwood) who scored MU’s 15th goal of the half with 1:20 remaining.

With many of the Monmouth starters resting to start the second period, the Blackbirds scored a pair of quick goals to get back in the game. Long Island would get within five goals of the Hawks at the 12:51 mark after scoring four unanswered goals over a 10 minute period. The Blue & White put any thought of a comeback out of reach with four straight goals of their own, including two from the stick of O’Brien.

O’Brien, Shawn Evans (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) and Brennan each had five points in the game, with the first two scoring four goals apiece. Sophomore Carissa Franzi (Fairfield, N.J./West Essex) had a career-high three assists on the afternoon while tallying three ground balls, three caused turnovers and three draw controls. MU’s two goaltenders split time in the cage, with each making four saves.

LIU’s two goaltenders made nine saves as the Blackbirds were outshot 40-28 in the contest. LIU’s Christie Wienckowski led all scorers with six points on four goals and two assists. Ashley Prizio also had three goals on the night.

The Hawks return home against Quinnipiac looking to improve their seed on Sunday. Both of Monmouth’s seniors will be honored before the scheduled 1 p.m. start.

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