Norwich Reaches GNAC Finale in Women's Lacrosse
NORTHFIELD, VT. – A fast start helped lead Norwich University past Simmons 13-9 in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference semifinal game April 26.
The Cadets (13-0), registering their 28th straight win against league competition and 18th in a row at Howard Field, jumped out to a 9-2 halftime lead on the Sharks (8-9). NU managed the first half advantage by scoring eight of the game’s first nine goals. Sophomore midfielder Grace Fitzpatrick (Falmouth, Maine) tallied all four of her goals in the opening frame, including three in the first 16 minutes, to bolster the attack.
Fitzpatrick’s five-goal game, marking her 11th straight multiple-goal game, led Coach Elizabeth VanParys’ offense. Senior midfielder Mollie Fitzpatrick (Falmouth, Maine) joined her sister on the offensive barrage with three goals and an assist for a four-point game. Fellow senior midfielder Kacey Abbriano (Hicksville, N.Y.) added two goals and two assists to spotlight her 24th consecutive multiple-goal contest, while senior attacker Danielle Del Dotto (Andover, Mass.) also turned in a strong outing with two goals and two assists.
Norwich’s defense registered eight caused turnovers and picked up 27 ground balls. Mollie and Grace Fitzpatrick and Abbriano combined for seven of the eight forced Sharks’ errors, and freshman defenderEmma Smith (Patterson, N.Y.) had a big game in the back with five ground ball pick-ups which equaled Abbriano’s total. Senior goalkeeper Meghan Kennedy (Lowell, Mass.) earned her 18th consecutive victory in net and stopped nine Simmons’ shot-on-goal attempts.
Despite trailing by as much as nine goals during the afternoon, Simmons did manage to fight back with a late charge. Fueled by a pair of goals each from sophomore Callie Warnock and junior Rachel Wallace, the Sharks scored six of the game’s final seven goals. Wallace closed the contest with four goals, and junior goalkeeper Kelly Last registered 14 saves.
Norwich advances to the 2012 GNAC tournament championship game Saturday, April 28. The top-seeded Cadets take on second-seeded Lasell at 1 p.m. at Howard Field. The winner earns the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III national tournament.
GAME NOTES – The Maroon and Gold makes its fifth successive appearance in the GNAC tourney title tilt. … Saturday’s clash with the Lasers is a rematch of the 2011 finale that NU won 12-8.