#13/14 Stonehill and #1 Adelphi Set to Battle in NE-10 Semifinal

Junior Ashley Armstrong made a season-high 14 saves in the first meeting of the season against Adelphi, and posted 12 stops in Wednesday's first round win over Le Moyne. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Fourth-seeded Skyhawks and top-seeded Panthers meet in NE-10 semis for third straight year with sixth postseason encounter

NE-10 Women's Lacrosse Tournament Website

NE-10 Women's Lacrosse Championship Page

EASTON, Mass. (May 2, 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, and top-seeded and top-ranked Adelphi University will meet in the semifinal round of the Northeast-10 Conference women's lacrosse tournament for the third straight year at Motamed Field on Long Island on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Adelphi, the regular season champions in the Northeast-10, are serving as host of the NE-10 semifinals and championship on Saturday and Sunday. Second-seeded and No. 4-ranked University of New Haven (15-2, 11-1 NE-10) will face third-seeded and 12th-ranked Saint Anselm College (13-3, 9-3 NE-10) in Saturday's second semifinal at Motamed Field at 2 p.m. Admission for this weekend's games is $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for children and senior citizens and $1.00 for students from participating teams with valid ID. Saturday's games will be webcast free of charge via www.adelphipanthers.tv, with live stats as well through both the Adelphi and Stonehill athletics websites.

Stonehill (12-6, 9-3 NE-10) earned its 16th trip to the NE-10 semifinals with an 11-10 triumph over fifth-seeded Le Moyne College in Wednesday night's first round matchup. Junior goalkeeper Ashley Armstrong (Northborough, Massachusetts/Algonquin Regional) made seven of her 12 saves in the second half to turn back a Le Moyne rally from a 7-2 first half deficit, which had scored five of the first six goals in the second frame to draw even at 8-8 with 12:18 remaining. Armstrong registered three saves in the closing minute and a half, including a pair in the final 34-seconds with the final block coming with 10-seconds remaining to seal the win. Junior Brooke Rudden (Hopkinton, Massachusetts/Hopkinton) led the Stonehill offense with six points on two goals and four assists, while senior Kelsey Shannahan (Mendham, New Jersey/Morris Catholic) added three goals and an assist for four points with two ground balls and four draw controls. Adelphi and New Haven earned first round byes as the top two seeds, while Saint Anselm advanced with a 17-10 win over sixth-seeded Bentley University in Wednesday's other first round matchup.

Senior Kelsey Shannahan leads the Skyhawks with 50 goals and 61 points this season. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Stonehill, which has appeared in all 16 NE-10 Tournaments since the Conference started sponsoring the event in 1999, has now reached at least the semifinal round all 16 years and seek a 12th championship appearance on Saturday. The Skyhawks have won an NE-10 record nine championships – doing so consecutively from 2000 through 2008, but have not advanced to the final since 2010. Adelphi has won three of the four NE-10 championships since joining the Conference in 2010, but had a string of three consecutive titles halted by Le Moyne (8-6) last year. The winner of Saturday's semifinal round games will compete for the NE-10 Championship at Adelphi's Motamed Field on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Stonehill, ranked sixth in last week's NCAA Division II North Regional rankings, won eight of ten over the month of April after back to back wins heading into Saturday's semifinal. The Skyhawks are ranked fifth in the NE-10 for scoring (11.72 goals per game) and goals against average (9.23), ranking third for shooting percentage (.481), third in ground balls (18.7/gm) and draw controls (12.6) and fourth for caused turnovers (7.7). Stonehill has posted a +2.54 scoring margin this season, converted 50.7-percent (36-for-71) of its free-position attempts, compared to 35.5% (48-135) for the opposition, and 81.7% (214-262) of its clears.

Stonehill's defense is keyed by a pair of All-Northeast-10 selections in senior captain Katherine McDonough (Westwood, Massachusetts/Westwood), a first team selection, and sophomore Remi DiRe (Winchester, Massachusetts/Winchester), named to the second team, who along with senior Lauren Bonagura (Rockville Centre, New York/Sacred Heart Academy) spearhead what has been a solid defense for Stonehill this season. McDonough leads the Skyhawks with 39 ground balls (9th) with nine caused turnovers, while DiRe has caused a team-best 18 turnovers (13th) with 29 ground balls. The defense has yielded ten goals or less in 11 games this season and five goals or less four times.

Senior captain Katherine McDonough leads the Skyhawks defense with a team-high 39 ground balls. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Armstrong has played all but two minutes and 20-seconds in the Skyhawks goal this season and has posted a 9.19 goals against average (6th NE-10) and .466 save percentage (3rd) with 8.1 saves per game (4th) in 1,083:40 (1st) in 18 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 145 saves this season is the third-highest single-season total in program history, while her 379 career stops ranks third all-time.

Shannahan, a first team All-Conference performer, leads Stonehill at the other end of the field with 61 points (6th NE-10) and 50 goals (5th) to go with 11 assists, 34 ground balls, 33 draw controls and 12 caused turnovers. Rudden, who collected second team All-NE-10 honors this spring, leads the Skyhawks with 37 assists (4th) to go with 20 goals for 57 points (11th) this season. She ranks 21st nationally for assists with her total this season which ranks third on the program's single-season list.

Junior Mikayla Couch (Towaco, New Jersey/DePaul Catholic) has contributed 24 goals and five assists for 29 points, while sophomore Rebecca Matheson (Reading, Massachusetts/Reading Memorial) has recorded 22 goals and five assists for 27 points with 48 draw controls (9th). Junior Lizzie Lane (Sandwich, Massachusetts/Bishop Stang) has chipped in with 19 goals and six assists for 25 points with a team-high 56 draws (5th), 33 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers.

Adelphi, ranked first in the North Region and No. 1 in both the IWLCA and Lacrosse Magazine polls, lead the NE-10 in scoring (18.2 gpg) and goals against average (4.12). They also lead the Conference in ground balls (21.7/gm), draw controls (16.7) and caused turnovers (12.5) while ranking fifth in shooting percentage (.468). Eight Panthers were also named to the All-Conference first or second team earlier this week.

Sophomore Rebecca Matheson posted two goals and six draws in the regular season meeting with Adelphi. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Senior Devan Crimi (West Islip, New York/West Islip), the NE-10 Player of the Year, leads the NE-10 with 113 points on a league-high 71 goals to go with 42 assists (2nd NE-10), 35 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers (2nd). Sophomore Taylor Hayes (Rockville Centre, New York/Kellenberg), the NE-10 Goalkeeper of the Year, has seen the majority of time in goal for the Panthers and leads the Conference with a 4.39 goals against average to go with a .466 save percentage (3rd) with 3.4 saves per game in 847:06 (7th) over 16 games played. Senior Jacqueline Williams (Merrick, New York/Holy Trinity), the NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year, spearheads the top defensive unit in the NE-10 with 41 ground balls (4th), 47 draw controls (11th) and 21 caused turnovers (8th).

Junior Alexa Froccaro (Port Washington, New York/Port Washington), a first team All-NE-10 pick, has posted 55 goals (3rd) and 25 assists (6th) for 80 points (3rd) to go with 26 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers. Freshman Jackie Jahelka (Garden City, New York/Garden City), the NE-10 Rookie of the Year and a first team All-Conference selection, has added 48 goals (8th) and 11 assists for 59 points (7th), while sophomore Rachel O'Brien (Bayport, New York/Bayport-Blue Point), an All-NE-10 second team selection, has contributed 31 goals and 25 assists (6th) for 56 points (12th).

Saturday marks the 19th meeting all-time between these two programs, the sixth in postseason play and fourth in the NE-10 Tournament. Adelphi holds a 13-5 advantage in the all-time series, having won each of the last 11 encounters, including a 10-4 victory at W.B. Mason Stadium in Easton on March 29. The Panthers have won four of the five previous postseason matchups, including all three in the NE-10 Tournament, after last season's 11-7 victory in the semifinals in Syracuse, N.Y. Two of the three NE-10 Tournament meetings have been decided in overtime by just a single goal, with Adelphi notching a 14-13 victory in the 2010 championship match and a 12-11 decision in the 2012 semifinals.

Junior Danielle Jaycox (Amityville, New York/St. John the Baptist) and Jahelka combined for six goals to lead Adelphi to the regular season meeting between the two programs in March, netting three apiece to key the victory. Armstrong recorded a season-high 14 saves to keep Stonehill in the game, including eight stops on free-position attempts. Matheson scored two goals and collected six of the Skyhawks seven draw controls on the afternoon.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks mobile app on iTunes and the Android Market. 

2014 Northeast-10 Conference
Women's Lacrosse Tournament

First Round
Wednesday, April 30

#3 Saint Anselm 17, #6 Bentley 10
#4 Stonehill 11, #5 Le Moyne 10 

Semifinals (hosted by Adelphi University, Garden City, N.Y.)
Saturday, May 3

#4 Stonehill (12-6, 9-3 NE-10) at #1 Adelphi (17-0, 12-0 NE-10), 11 a.m.
#3 Saint Anselm (13-3, 9-3 NE-10) 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.*