April 27, 2014

Niagara Edges Quinnipiac in Regular Season Finale

from Press Release

NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – Freshman Erin Patenaude and junior Carrie-Jo Farrugia pocketed four points each, and senior Paige Sasser pushed aside a season-high 10 saves en route to a 15-11 triumph over the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Sunday afternoon at Niagara Field during Senior Day.

The Purple Eagles conclude the season with a 7-9 overall mark, and a 3-5 MAAC record, while the Bobcats wrap up the year with a 2-13 record and 2-6 in league play.

To go along with the offensive contributions of Patenaude (two goals; two assists) and Farrugia (one goals; three assists), eight other Niagara players earned at least one point in the win. Senior Maria Battista led the Purple Eagles with three goals, while sophomore Danielle Maio, senior Kayla Smith and junior Hannah Barnett each found the back of the net twice. Senior Paige Matecki, junior Brittany Delano and sophomore Jaclyn Schreiber also contributed on point in the contest.

The Purple Eagles' defense was led by freshman Laura Messer who collected a team-high four ground balls in the victory. Messer and Delano caused a team-high three turnovers each, while Smith was the team-leader in draw controls, with six.

Sasser had a superb outing in net, making 10 saves in 60 minutes of action. The senior finished her two-year career with 182 saves for eighth on Niagara's career saves list, and the 1141:34 minutes of action she saw is sixth most in program history.

"It was great to end the season on a high note, and to honor our seniors Paige, Kayla, Moira, Maria and Paige with a win," head coach Wendy Stone said. "We made a tremendous amount of progress throughout the year, and look forward to building upon this year's success in the fall."

The Purple Eagles built a comfortable 5-0 lead to start the game, receiving two goals from Patenaude and one goal from Smith, Battista and Maio. Quinnipiac responded by netting its first of the afternoon from Kathleen Devito, but the Purple and White made it a five-goal deficit less than a minute later from the stick of Schreiber.

The teams traded goals in the remaining 12:17 of the opening stanza to make the score 8-4 heading into the break. Farrugia and Barnett found the back of the net for Niagara, while Kyra Ochwat pocketed her first two of the contest, and Shana Maglio added to the score sheet for the Bobcats.

Quinnipiac proceeded to score four straight goals to start the second 30 minutes of play to knot the game at eight apiece with 21:51 on the clock. The offensive onslaught was led by Ochwat with a pair of goals. The Purple Eagles were quick to regain their lead as Smith score her second of the game to put Niagara ahead, 9-8, at 20:02 and it was a lead the squad would not relinquish for the remainder of the outing.

Battista and Matecki followed Smith's tally with a goal each before Ochwat put away what would stand as a game-high fifth goal. Patenaude combined with Battista nearly three minutes later to the make it a three-goal deficit, but a pair of tallies from Kelsey Mumford and Kathleen Devito closed the gap to one goal with 6:28 remaining. The Purple Eagles offense then went to work for one last time before the final whistle, ripping three straight goals past the QU netminder courtesy of Mail, Delano and Barnett to secure the win.

The victory pushed the NU home record to 5-4 on the season, setting a new record for the program. The previous program record was four home victories, held by the 2000, 2001, 20002 and 2004 squads.

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