Hawks Reach NEC Tournament With Win Over the Mount

hawks reach nec tournament with win over the mountMonmouth University’s women’s lacrosse team qualified for the 2012 Northeast Conference Tournament on Friday after dispatching rival Mount St. Mary’s 11-6 on Kessler Field.

The Hawks, 7-10 6-3 NEC, used a complete team effort to defeat Mount, who also owns a 7-10 and 6-3 league record. The Hawks were led offensively by seniors Olivia Salata and Alex Marino, each who registered five points in the win. The Hawks were accurate with the ball, putting 18 of 21 shots on net and holding Mount to just six goals.

“This was probably the best I’ve seen our team play overall,” said MU Head Coach Denise Wescott. “Our offense settled and got good looks. They took great shots and moved the ball well together along with doing a a tremendous job tackling back. I thought some of the turnovers we created early created goals for us. Our midfield ran the field well and put pressure on them. Defensively, we did a nice job handling their drivers.”

MU expanded its lead to 6-1 on a pair of Sam Lillo goals, but Mount got those two back with two consecutive scores within 85 seconds of one another. After Coach Wescott called a timeout the Hawks regained their composure, scoring two straight to push the lead to 8-3. The two teams traded goals over the remaining 13 minutes, with MU coming out on top 11-6.

After almost 20 scoreless minutes, Monmouth senior Lynn White got the Hawks on the board, beating Mount goalie Brigid McTavish one on one. Two minutes later Marino tallied an unassisted goal at the 8:44 mark to put the Hawk ahead 2-0. The MU lead swelled to 3-0 after a Salata goal with 5:40 to play before Mount’s Erin Seipp cut the lead to 3-1 with 1:40 to play, capitalizing off a MU turnover in the midfield. Lillo notched the final score of the half, putting MU up 4-1 going into halftime.

MU, who has now won three straight, got five saves from goalie Katie Donohoe, who seemed to make clutch stops when the Hawks needed them most.

Marino finished with three goals and two assists, while Salata had one goal and four helpers. Lillo scored a trio of goals while gaining a team-high four draw controls. Defensively, junior Gianna D’Urso had three draw controls, three caused turnovers and two ground balls.

Seip led Mount with a pair of goals. Senior goalie Brigid McTavish had seven saves in the game as MU outshot Mount 21-18. Monmouth now leads the series 18-8 all-time.

The Hawks, the third seed in the upcoming NEC Tournament, will face second-seeded Quinnipiac on Friday at Sacred Heart.

PHOTO COURTESY of MU Photography