KINGS POINT, N.Y. (April 21, 2018) – The USMMA women's lacrosse team used a spectacular second-half to defeat visiting Skyline opponent St. Joseph's-Long Island, 12-8, on Saturday at Brooks Stadium. With the win, the Mariners have qualified for postseason play for the first time in program history, clinching a spot in the upcoming Skyline Tournament. They improve to 10-2 (5-0 Skyline), while the Golden Eagles fall to 5-7 (3-2 Skyline).
Merchant Marine was trailing 7-5 at halftime, but the defense went into shutdown mode in the second half and the offense picked up and the Mariners outscored SJC, 7-1, to secure one of the biggest wins in program history.
Junior Hannah Gizzi (Finksburg, Md.) made a couple of huge stops throughout the game and finished with 14 saves over the 60 minutes – seven in each half. Classmate Jessica Reilly (Sayville, N.Y.) led all players in the game with six points (four goals and two assists), while also causing a game-best eight turnovers and picking up five groundballs.
Fellow junior Meredith Willard (Portland, Maine) and freshman Kelly Midas (Clarksville, Md.) both added hat-tricks with three goals apiece, while junior Maura Malone (Yorktown, Va.) and freshman Grace Neary (Highland Falls, N.Y.) also found the back of the net. Willard also picked up a team-high four draw controls in the victory.
The Golden Eagles led nearly the entire first half, as they scored just 58 seconds into the game and built up a 4-2 lead over 16 minutes in. The Mariners tallied back-to-back goals to tie the score up at 4-4 at 8:27, but St. Joseph's scored the next three goals, with the first coming just 45 seconds after USMMA tied it up. Trailing 7-4 late in the half, Willard cashed in for her third goal of the game at 1:25 to close out the scoring in the opening frame.
The Mariners scored the first five goals of the second half in just under 14 minutes to open up a 10-7 lead. They did a great job of limiting St. Joe's chances, as the Golden Eagles only got off nine shots in the second half (as opposed to 21 they had in the first half), and Gizzi made seven big stops. The only SJC goal of the half came at 14:04, which made it 10-8 in favor of the hosts, but Merchant Marine scored the next two goals to end the scoring on the day.
St. Joseph's had two players record three points on two goals and assist apiece – junior Nicole Stoppelli and sophomore Lauryn Gregson. Two others – senior Kristin Carroll and sophomore Alexis Hillman – both had two points, Carroll with two goals and Hillman with a goal and one helper. Stoppelli picked up a game-high six groundballs, while Carroll had a team-best three groundballs. In goal, junior Lindsay Ramos made six saves in the losing effort.
Up next, Merchant Marine will travel up to Mount St. Mary this Tuesday, April 24, for a Skyline contest against the Knights. Opening draw is scheduled for 7 p.m. at MSMC's Kaplan Field. Live stats for the game will be available at this link.
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