April 25, 2009

Catamounts Catapult into America East Tournament

from press release

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Freshman Samantha Stern (Cherry Hills, N.J.) led Vermont with four goals on "Senior Day" as the Catamounts defeated Stony Brook, 19-11, at Moulton Winder Field. With the win and a 15-10 UMBC loss to Boston University, UVM advances to the America East Women's Lacrosse Championship for the second straight year.

Vermont closed out the regular season with a 9-7 overall record, its first winning record since 1994 (7-4). The Catamounts also tied the school record for most wins in a season in the program's history. Both the 1984 and 1993 UVM teams posted nine-win campaigns.

Both UVM and UMBC finished the America East slate with a 3-3 mark, but the Catamounts defeated the Retrievers, 11-6 in Burlington on March 28 and that victory gives Vermont the nod into the America East Tournament.

Vermont's senior class, which has posted 27 wins in their career, the second most ever by a four-year class in the program's history, did not let Stern steal the spotlight. Seniors Kristen Millar (Whitby, Ontario) and Sarah DeStefano (Eliot, Maine) combined for 10 points with a hat trick and two assists each. On defense, classmates Jessa Merrill (Kennebunk, Maine) and Annie Strout (North Andover, Mass.) combined for three ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Millar, who became the NCAA's all-time leader in draw controls in Division I women's lacrosse history on Tuesday, recorded a career-high 12 draws against the Seawolves. It's the fourth straight year she's posted 12 draw controls in a game.

The Catamounts scored the first five goals of the game, including a pair by DeStefano, and held a 6-1 lead after a goal by Sara Buxton (Northfield, Ill.) with 15:01 showing on the clock in the first half. Following a Stony Brook timeout, the Seawolves went on to out score UVM 5-1 over a five minute stretch to climb back within one, 7-6, with 9:31 remaining.

Vermont scored three of the next four goals to close the half and took a 10-7 lead into the break.

Jenna Celano scored the first goal of the half to bring the Seawolves back within two, 10-8, but UVM rattled off five straight, including two by Millar, to shove ahead 15-8 with 23:09 left in the contest.

Neither team was able to score over the next 11 minutes, but the Seawolves tallied three goals over a six minute span to make the score 16-11 with 6:45 remaining. Vermont closed out the game with the final three goals to secure the win.

Celano finished the game with a team-high four goals for the Seawolves. Jillan Weinstein and Samantha Djaha added hat tricks. Mickey Cahill was credited with nine stops in the Stony Brook net.

Eight different Catamounts scored and Olivia Hatfield (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Laura Barber (Middlebury, Vt.) combined for seven saves in the Vermont net.

Vermont will be making its second straight appearance in the America East Women's Lacrosse Championship. The Catamounts have earned the No. 4 seed and will take Boston University, the No. 1 seed and No. 12 team in the country, in Boston at Nickerson Field at 1 p.m. on Thursday (April 30). The Catamounts dropped a 12-9 decision to the Terriers at Moulton Winder Field on April 11. No. 3 New Hampshire will take on No. 2 Albany in the other half of the tournament bracket at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday at Boston U.

GAME NOTES: Freshman Allison Pfohl (Niskayuna, N.Y.) scored twice against the Seawolves to set a new single-season record for most goals by a rookie, breaking the mark of 29 set by sophomore Megan MacDonald (Wayland, Mass.) last year. Millar's two assists against SBU gives her 100 for her career. She is the first player in school history to score 100 goals and record 100 assists. Vermont improves to 15-0 when it scores 19 or more goals in a game. This is the third time this season UVM posted 19 goals. After dropping four straight to the Seawolves in the all-time series, UVM has won back-to-back decisions and the 19 goals were the most scored against SBU in the all-time series.

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