Senior captain Katherine McDonough leads the Stonehill defense and looks to lead the Skyhawks to a 16th-straight NE-10 semifinal appearance. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Fourth-seeded Skyhawks seek 16th NE-10 semifinal appearance
EASTON, Mass. (April 29, 2014) – Fourth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked 13th in this week's Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division II poll and 14th in the Lacrosse Magazine rankings, gets the postseason underway when it hosts fifth-seeded Le Moyne College, ranked 9th in the Lacrosse Magazine poll and 10th in the IWLCA poll, in first round action of the 2014 Northeast-10 Conference women's lacrosse tournament at Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Admission for tomorrow night's game is $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for children and senior citizens and $1.00 for students from participating teams with valid ID. The first 100 Stonehill students will be admitted free of charge, courtesy the Office of Student Affairs, when presenting their HillCard at the ticket gate. Live stats can be followed via www.stonehillskyhawks.com.
Stonehill (11-6, 9-3 NE-10) has appeared in all 16 NE-10 Tournaments since the Conference started sponsoring the event in 1999. The Skyhawks have reached at least the semifinal round all 15 years to date and have won an NE-10 record nine championships – doing so consecutively from 2000 through 2008. Le Moyne (12-4, 9-3 NE-10), the defending NE-10 Tournament champions, is making its fourth straight appearance in the NE-10 Tournament since reclassifying the program from Division I status in 2010. The Dolphins will be appearing in the first round for the first time and have reached the championship game each of its first three years in the event with the one championship.
The winner of tomorrow night's game will advance to the semifinal round to face host and top-ranked Adelphi University (17-0, 12-0 NE-10), the NE-10 regular season champions, on Saturday at 11 a.m. The Panthers and second-seeded University of New Haven (15-2, 11-1 NE-10), ranked fourth nationally, both earned first round byes to this weekend's final four event at Motamed Field in Garden City, N.Y. Sixth-seeded Bentley University (8-8, 7-5 NE-10) visits third-seeded Saint Anselm College (12-3, 9-3 NE-10) in tomorrow's other first round matchup in Manchester, N.H., at 4 p.m.
Junior Ashley Armstrong has been the backbone of the Stonehill defense this season. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Stonehill, ranked sixth in last week's NCAA Division II North Regional rankings, enters the postseason winners of seven of nine over the month of April after a 9-3 decision over Saint Michael's College to close out the regular season last Thursday. The Skyhawks are ranked fifth in the NE-10 for scoring (11.76 goals per game) and goals against average (9.18), ranking third for shooting percentage (.474), fourth in ground balls (18.9/gm), draw controls (12.7) and caused turnovers (7.8). Stonehill has posted a +2.52 scoring margin this season, converted 48.5-percent (33-for-68) of its free-position attempts, compared to 36.4% (47-129) for the opposition, and 78.2% (205-262) of its clears.
Senior captains Katherine McDonough (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) and Lauren Bonagura (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy) along with sophomore Remi DiRe (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) spearhead what has been a solid defense for Stonehill this season. McDonough leads the Skyhawks with 35 ground balls (12th) with eight caused turnovers, while DiRe has caused a team-best 15 turnovers (20th) with 25 ground balls.
Junior Ashley Armstrong (Northborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) has played all but two minutes and 20-seconds in the Skyhawks goal this season and has posted a 9.15 goals against average (6th NE-10) and .460 save percentage (6th) with 7.8 saves per game (6th) in 1,023:03 (1st) in 17 starts. She also ranks 20th nationally in Division II for goals against average and has also chipped in with 26 ground balls and four caused turnovers. Her 133 saves this season is tied for the fifth-highest single-season total in program history, while her 367 career stops ranks third all-time.
Senior Kelsey Shannahan (Mendham, N.J./Morris Catholic) leads Stonehill at the other end of the field with 57 points (9th NE-10) and 47 goals (7th) to go with ten assists, 32 ground balls, 31 draw controls and 12 caused turnovers. Junior Brooke Rudden (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) leads the Skyhawks with 33 assists (4th) to go with 18 goals for 51 points this season. She ranks 21st nationally for assists with her total this season which ranks seventh on the program's single-season list.
Senior Kelsey Shannahan leads the Skyhawks in scoring with 57 points this season. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Junior Mikayla Couch (Towaco, N.J./DePaul Catholic) has contributed 24 goals and five assists for 29 points, while sophomore Rebecca Matheson (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) has recorded 22 goals and five assists for 27 points with 48 draw controls (9th). Junior Lizzie Lane (Sandwich, Mass./Bishop Stang) has chipped in with 18 goals and six assists for 24 points with a team-high 52 draws (5th), 33 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers.
Le Moyne, ranked fourth in the region, has won three straight and five of six after back to back defeats to New Haven and Stonehill to open the month of April. The Dolphins rank second in the NE-10 for goals against average (7.81) and third for scoring (13.50) with a .462 shot percentage (6th).
Postgrad Marley Ciferri (Ithaca, N.Y./Ithaca), a transfer from Syracuse University, leads Le Moyne with 32 assists to go with 14 goals for a team-high 46 points this season. Senior Kathleen Conese (Liverpool, N.Y./Liverpool) leads the Dolphins with 27 goals to go with nine assists for 36 points, while sophomore Claire Monnat (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker) has added 23 goals and eight assists for 31 points.
Freshman Christina Humbert (Webster, N.Y./Webster Thomas) has seen the majority of minutes in the Le Moyne goal and posted an 8.00 goals against average and .453 save percentage with 5.8 saves per game in 524:58 over ten starts. Junior Molly Marbut (Edgewater, Md./South River) has started the last six games in goal for the Dolphins and has posted an 8.33 goals against average and .462 save percentage with 7.2 saves per game in 360-minutes played.
Tomorrow night marks the sixth meeting all-time between these two programs, the second in postseason play. Le Moyne holds a 4-1 advantage in the all-time series which dates back to the Dolphins first Division II season in 2011. Le Moyne posted a 15-7 victory over Stonehill in its lone NE-10 Tournament encounter in the 2011 semifinals in Garden City, N.Y. The Skyhawks claimed its first win over Le Moyne with a 7-6 decision at W.B. Mason Stadium on April 5.
Lane's two second half goals put Stonehill in front for good in the regular season win over Le Moyne this season and Armstrong made seven of her ten saves in the second half to make the Skyhawks seven goals stand, including two stops in the final minute to preserve the one goal lead. Conese led Le Moyne with a pair of goals, converting 2-of-3 free-position attempts, with a draw control and caused turnover. Humbert finished with 11 saves in goal for the Dolphins, with seven in the first half.
2014 Northeast-10 Conference
Women's Lacrosse Tournament
Wednesday, April 30
#6 Bentley (8-8, 7-5 NE-10) at #3 Saint Anselm (12-3, 9-3 NE-10), 4 p.m.
#5 Le Moyne (12-4, 9-3 NE-10) at #4 Stonehill (11-6, 9-3 NE-10), 7 p.m.
Semifinals (hosted by Adelphi University, Garden City, N.Y.)
Saturday, May 3
Le Moyne/Stonehill winner at #1 Adelphi (17-0, 12-0 NE-10), 11 a.m.
Bentley/St. Anselm winner vs. #2 New Haven (15-2, 11-1 NE-10), 2 p.m.
Championship (hosted by Adelphi University, Garden City, N.Y.)
Sunday, May 4
Semifinal winners, 3 p.m.*