Skyhawks launch title bid on home turf in search of 10th conference crown
EASTON, Mass. (May 3, 2011) – Stonehill College has earned the third seed in the Northeast-10 Conference Women's Lacrosse Championship, and will host sixth-seeded Southern New Hampshire University in first round action on Wednesday at W.B. Mason Stadium at 4:00 p.m.
Admission will be $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children, and $1 for students of NE-10 member institutions. Fans can also follow the game online via live stats.
Stonehill (14-3, 10-2 NE-10) has qualified for the NE-10 tournament every year since the program began varsity competition in 1999, winning nine consecutive championships from 2000 to 2008. The Skyhawks will launch their bid for their 10th title Wednesday and will need to start by getting past Southern New Hampshire (9-7, 7-5 NE-10), who toppled Stonehill in the 2009 semifinals to snap the Skyhawks' championship streak. The Penmen, who have earned their sixth consecutive and sixth overall NE-10 postseason entry in their eight years of varsity competition, have twice reached the championship game but remain in search of the program's first conference title.
Stonehill, currently ranked seventh in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division II national poll, has spent all season ranked among the nation's top teams in both offensive and defensive performance. Averaging 16.65 goals per game, the Skyhawks field the fifth most productive offense in Division II, led by the efforts of junior All-Americans Sam Lynott (Holbrook, N.Y./East Sachem) and Sarah Galligan (West Newbury, Mass./Pentucket Regional) and senior Hannah Anderson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie). With 79 total points, Lynott ranks among the top 20 scorers in Division II, while Anderson put away a career-high 48 goals during the regular season and Galligan anchors the midfield in both directions with 50 points on attack and a team-leading 38 caused turnovers.
Limiting opponents to 7.71 goals per game, the Skyhawks rank sixth nationally in scoring defense, and have made trouble for opposing attackers all season with an average of 14.71 caused turnovers per game, by far the best mark in Division II. Sophomore Kelsey Reilly (Hingham, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) had a breakout regular season as one of the NE-10's top midfielders, collecting 36 ground balls, 30 caused turnovers and 28 draw controls along with 31 goals, and senior Emily Kerwin (Bristol, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey) had a career year on defense, ranking third on the roster in ground balls (42) and caused turnovers (36) during the regular season and finishing among the national top ten in caused turnovers. Freshman Kelsey Shannahan (Mendham, N.J./Morris Catholic) made an immediate impact in her rookie season as a consistent force in the midfield, ranking seventh in Division II with 37 caused turnovers and leading the team with 54 ground balls.
Playing all but 60 minutes in net this year for the Skyhawks, sophomore All-American Rebecca Moore (Marlborough, Mass./St. Mark's School) has ranked among the nation's top five goalkeepers all season with a 7.94 goals-against average, lowering her rookie-year mark by a full goal per game. Totaling 124 saves for a .494 save percentage, Moore has limited her opponents to a single goal three times this year, and held them to a .272 conversion percentage on free-position attempts.
The Skyhawks will seek to hold off the 12th-ranked Southern New Hampshire offense, averaging 14.94 goals per game behind two-time All-Conference attacker Emily Mongeau (Westborough, Mass./Westborough). The junior striker ranks ninth in Division II with 60 goals, and classmate Jade Antonangeli (Bourne, Mass./Bourne) totaled 53 points during the regular season on 35 goals and 18 assists. Freshman Phoebe Clark (Concord, N.H./Concord) was also a key contributor for the Penmen in her rookie season with 34 goals to join Mongeau and Antonangeli among the team's top three scorers.
Mongeau has also taken on the task of leading the Southern New Hampshire defensive effort this season, turning in a team-high 69 ground ball pickups and 33 caused turnovers during the regular season. Senior Kaley Waterman (Berwick, Maine/Noble) has collected 42 ground balls to anchor the defensive zone in front of junior goalkeeper Hannah Moriarty (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford), who racked up 158 saves and posted a 12.52 goals-against average during the regular season.
Stonehill and Southern New Hampshire have met in three previous NE-10 tournament matchups, with the Skyhawks holding a 2-1 postseason advantage head-to-head. Stonehill defeated the Penmen in the 2006 semifinal round and the 2008 title game on the way to conference championships in both years, but the Penmen squeaked by 11-9 in the 2009 semifinals to reach their second championship game.
Stonehill won the teams' regular-season meeting this year, rallying for a 14-10 win in Manchester on April 20. Mongeau and Clark led Southern New Hampshire to a 7-6 lead at halftime, but the Skyhawks regrouped to post an 8-3 scoring advantage in the second half as Lynott and Anderson put away four goals apiece.
Wednesday's winner will advance to face second-seeded and second-ranked Le Moyne College in Saturday's semifinal round, hosted at top-seeded and top-ranked Adelphi University. The NE-10 championship match will be played Sunday in Garden City at 1:00 p.m.
2011 Northeast-10 Conference Women's Lacrosse Championship
Wednesday, May 4 - First Round
Game 1: #6 So. New Hampshire at #3 Stonehill (4:00 p.m.)
Game 2: #5 New Haven at #4 Merrimack (4:00 p.m.)
Saturday, May 7 - Semifinals
Final Four hosted at Adelphi (Garden City, N.Y.)
Game 3: Game 2 winner vs. #1 Adelphi (1:00 p.m.)
Game 4: Game 1 winner vs. #2 Le Moyne (3:30 p.m.)
Sunday, May 8 - Championship Final
Game 5: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner (1:00 p.m.)