May 1, 2011

Canisius Women Win First MAAC Championship

from press release

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - The Canisius College women's lacrosse team never trailed en route to winning its first MAAC Championship against top-seeded Fairfield, 13-8, on Sunday afternoon. The Griffs extend their best season in school history, improving to 14-5 during the 2011 campaign, and the team now advances to face Atlantic 10 Champion Massachusetts next weekend in a NCAA Tournament Play-In Round.

"This championship is great for our girls and for all of the alumni, who have raised our program to a new level," said Canisius head coach Scott Teeter. "It was a great team effort. We executed our game plan. We knew we had to win the draw controls and we managed to dominate the battle and gain possession. We did a great job answering their scores and didn't allow them to make any runs after gaining the early lead."

Tournament MVP Allison Daley anchored the Canisius defense en route to the title, recording 13 saves to lead the Golden Griffins. Joining Daley on the All-Tournament Team included senior Taylor Gray, juniors Megan Oosting and Theresa Walton and freshman Maria Kotas.

Gray paced the Canisius attack with five points on the afternoon, recording one goal and four assists. For the weekend, Gray totaled 11 points, three goals and eight assists. She has now recorded 68 points during her senior campaign on 44 goals and 24 assists, the most by any Griff in a single season. She topped the previous record of 65, set by Whitney Card in 2006.

Kotas, Oosting and Walton all earned the all-tournament accolades from the midfield. Oosting netted three goals in the victory and recorded seven draw controls on the afternoon - the same total as the entire Fairfield team. Kotas also recorded a hat trick, matching her career high, while Walton added two tallies.

Senior Carly Quinn led the Griffs with six points and four goals en route to the title, while sophomore Lindsey Morgan added an assist to round out the scoring for Canisius.

The Griffs got the early lead on the scoreboard thanks to shut-down defense by Daley. The senior goaltender recorded five saves in the early minutes, all on point-blank looks, as Canisius was able to build a lead. Walton got things rolling for the Griffs, scoring her 18th goal of the season 6:10 into the game. After a successful clear, Walton and Morgan connected on a give-and-go as Canisius took the 1-0 advantage.

Quinn and Oosting quickly stretched the Canisius lead to three, scoring just 19 seconds apart. Oosting then netted her second goal of the day as the Griffs were able to jump out to a 4-0 lead with 18:30 remaining in the first half. Fairfield finally found the scoreboard with 15:22 left in the period and added a second goal to cut its deficit in half. Canisius, however, answered back with two goals of its own. Walton and Kotas each scored on free-position opportunities to give the Griffs a 6-2 edge.

Fairfield (13-5) came back with two tallies to pull within 6-4 with 2:22 left in the first but Gray ended the period on good terms for Canisius. The senior netted an unassisted tally with just nine ticks left as the teams headed into intermission with the Griffs up, 7-4.

Daley anchored the strong Canisius performance during the opening half, recording eight saves to just two for Fairfield. Canisius was also able to dominate possession thanks to a 9-3 edge in draw controls during the opening 30 minutes.

The Stags closed the gap early in the second half, scoring two goals in the first five minutes to pull within one, 7-6. Canisius, however, would not allow Fairfield to get any closer. The Griffs netted the next five tallies in the following 13 minutes to put the game away with a 12-6 lead. Gray and Kotas sparked the rally, with the upperclassmen assisting on two Kotas goals 1:51 apart. Gray then fed Quinn for two tallies and Quinn added a third-straight score for the six-goal advantage.

Fairfield netted back-to-back tallies to pull within four, but Oosting finished off the victory with her team-leading 49th goal of the season with three minutes remaining as Canisius earned the program's first conference championship.

The Stags held the advantage in shots on the afternoon, 25-21, but could not figure out how to beat Daley. The Griffs did dominate possession thanks to a 16-7 edge in draw controls.

Melanie Raso led Fairfield with four points on the afternoon, scoring three goals and adding an assist. Goaltender Katie Keenan recorded five saves in the defeat.

Game Notes: Quinn and Oosting both reached the 60-point mark for the year, joining Gray as the first trio to each post 60 points in a single season ... The win ended a five-game losing streak to Fairfield ... Canisius' last victory against Fairfield was at the 2006 MAAC Semifinals ... The Stags won the draw-control battle, 14-6, en route to a 12-8 victory during the regular season ... The Canisius Class of 2011 extended their school record to 41 victories during their careers ... The Griffs also extended their school record with their 14th win of the season.

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