NE-10 QUARTERFINAL: #6/7 Stonehill Advances Past #17/19 Bentley, 15-10

Senior Lizzie Lane scored a team-high four goals, including three straight to close out the first half. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Fourth-seeded Skyhawks head to semifinals for 17th-straight year 

EASTON, Mass. (April 29, 2015) – Fourth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked sixth in this week's Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Top 20 and seventh in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Association (IWLCA) Division II poll, opened up a nine goal lead in the second half and made it stand in posting a 15-10 triumph over fifth-seeded Bentley University, ranked 17th in the Lacrosse Magazine poll and 19th in the IWLCA poll, in quarterfinal round action of the 2015 Northeast-10 Conference Women's Lacrosse Tournament on Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight.

Stonehill (15-3, 10-3 NE-10) advances to this weekend's NE-10 semifinal round where it will face top-seeded and host Adelphi University (16-1, 12-1 NE-10), ranked No. 2 in both national polls, in Garden City, New York, on Saturday at 11 a.m. The Panthers advanced with a 16-4 victory over eighth-seeded Saint Michael's College in their quarterfinal tonight. Adelphi will host the remainder of the NE-10 Tournament with the championship game scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. Bentley sees its season come to a close with a 10-6 record overall, including a 9-4 mark in the NE-10. Tonight's win also likely solidifies Stonehill's NCAA Tournament credentials with the Skyhawks ranked fourth in this week's North Regional rankings. NCAA Tournament bids will be announced on Sunday at 8 p.m.

Seniors Lizzie Lane (Sandwich, Massachusetts/Bishop Stang) and Brooke Rudden (Hopkinton, Massachusetts/Hopkinton) paced the Stonehill attack with four points apiece tonight. Lane netted a game-high four goals to go with six draw controls, while Rudden added a goal and three assists with a caused turnover. Rudden's career-high 45 assists this season rank second on the program's single-season list, giving her 94 career assists to rank fifth all-time at Stonehill.

Senior Brooke Rudden posted a four point night to help lead the Skyhawks attack. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Senior Jillian Yung (Bridgewater, Massachusetts/Bridgewater-Raynham) and junior Caitlin Sweeney (Hollis, New Hampshire/Hollis-Brookline) each netted three goals for Stonehill, while chipping in a caused turnover apiece. Sophomore Elizabeth Vetter (Great River, New York/East Islip) contributed two goals and an assist for three points, collecting a career-high ten draws with five ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Senior Ashley Armstrong (Northborough, Massachusetts/Algonquin) made seven saves in the Stonehill goal, chipping in with two ground balls, for her 47th career win – matching the program record set by Stonehill Athletics Hall of Famer Lauren Stone '06. Three of her seven stops came on free-position attempts as Bentley converted just 5-of-12 on the night. The Skyhawks finished with a 27-23 edge in shots, but controlled the game by posting a 19-8 advantage in draw controls to help overcome a 13-11 deficit in turnovers. Sophomore Lauren Ochs (Rochester, New York/Irondequiot) registered eight saves in the Bentley goal.

Senior Jackie Brown (Brookfield, Connecticut/Brookfield) led Bentley with three goals and an assist for four points. Junior Kelsey Howard (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) added two goals, four ground balls and a caused turnover, while sophomore Hannah Lindgren (Southborough, Massachusetts/Algonquin Regional) registered a goal and assist with four draw controls. Junior Meredith Hart (Fairport, New York/Fairport) chipped in with a goal and assist, three ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Stonehill seemed poised to salt the game away early, getting goals from four different players to stake out a quick lead before the contest was five minutes old. Rudden led the Skyhawks with a goal and assist during the opening run, capping it with her 17th goal of the season after 4:34. Bentley responded with the next four goals, three on free-position shots, with back-to-back markers by Brown equalizing the contest with 15:21 to play in the opening half.

Sophomore Elizabeth Vetter grabbed a career-high ten draw controls to go with two goals and an assist. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Sweeney nudged Stonehill back in front with an unassisted tally with 12:50 left in the half, but Howard scored Bentley's fourth free-position goal of the half to level things again with 9:57 on the clock. The Skyhawks took control from there with senior Emily Kessel (Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk) restoring the lead just 53-seconds later and the hosts netted the final four goals of the half to replenish their four goal cushion at the intermission (9-5). Lane potted the final three goals of the half to cap her four goal frame for Stonehill, pulling her within four points of the 100-point plateau for her career.

Stonehill built on the closing run in the first half by scoring the first five goals of the second half to open a nine goal lead (14-5) lead it wouldn't relinquish. Vetter opened the second half scoring when she collected the opening draw and ran it down for her second goal of the night just 12-seconds into the frame. She also scored in the opening minute (58-seconds) of the first half. The five goal push, which all came within the first eight minutes of the second half, was keyed by two goals each from Yung and Sweeney, while Vetter also dished out an assist.

Bentley stalled the run with a goal by sophomore Ellie Shuman (Nahua, New Hampshire/Nashua North) with 20:48 to play, but it was answered by a score by Stonehill junior Rebecca Matheson (Reading, Massachusetts/Reading Memorial) with 18:27 remaining. The Falcons wouldn't go quietly, however, scoring the final four goals, led by a goal and assist from Brown, to draw within five after she set up junior Erin O'Connor (Longmeadow, Massachusetts/Longmeadow) with 4:30 left.

Stonehill was able to hold from there, staving off three free-position attempts for Bentley, the latter of which Armstrong saved and Lane collected the ground ball to clear the defensive end. The Skyhawks ran the clock down inside a minute, maintaining possession after two shots before the Falcons were able to get the ball back with 40-seconds left. Stonehill forced one more turnover to reclaim the ball before the clock ran out.       

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