May 1, 2013

Gulls Back in CCC Championship Game After Upending Nor’easters

BEVERLY, Mass. – Endicott broke open a tightly contested Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) women's lacrosse semifinal matchup with an 8-1 second half and defeated University of New England 19-6 on Wednesday afternoon at Endicott Stadium to move into the CCC championship game.

Second seeded Endicott (11-7) advances to their ninth straight conference final and will try to win their eighth consecutive CCC Championship on Saturday when they travel to Springfield for a 1:00 pm game against top-seeded Western New England. The Nor'easters end their season with a mark of 7-10.

After a scoreless first eight minutes, Endicott senior Kelly Tierney (South Hadley, Massachusetts) scored twice in less than 1:30, and Katie Tierney (South Hadley, Mass.) sandwiched a goal in between her sister's tallies to get the Gulls ahead, 3-0.

This mini-run would be a sign of things to come, as Kelly would go on to score six goals and add one assist, while Katie notched a hat trick herself.

Junior Rachel Campos (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and Holly Davis (Guilford, Conn.) continued to do a great job of controlling the draw, as they have all season. Campos won seven draws and Davis notched six draws to go with two goals.

Campos added a goal of her own to put the Gulls up 4-0 before UNE got on the board thanks to a free position shot by Johanna Currier (Holderness, N.H.). A tally by Gina Newsome (Danbury, Conn.) cut the Endicott lead in half, but Katie and Kelly answered with a pair of goals apiece in a 4-2 Endicott run.

UNE senior Emily Lodge (Lyman, Maine) cut the lead back to three goals at 8-5 with 4:13 left to play, but scores by Kelly Tierney, Callie Murphy (Woburn, Mass.) and Caitlin Pratt (Bow, N.H.) gave the Gulls a six-goal advantage at the break. Pratt was the third Gull to have a hat trick, while Murphy had a goal and two assists.

Hannah Tavella (Putnam Valley, N.Y.), the only Nor'easter to score two goals in the game, was also the only UNE player to score after halftime, and her marker with 18:46 left to play made it 13-6 Gulls. The Gulls would score six more times in the half, with Lauren Todd (Newfields, N.H.) notching two goals after the break and Davis, Pratt, and Kelly Tierney all adding to their tallies. Sophomore Kirsten Thor (Longmeadow, Mass.) scored a man-down goal for the Blue and Green in the win.

A 22-5 edge in draw control helped Endicott keep possession, particularly in the second half, when they had a 10-0 advantage in draws and held their opponents to just one marker. The Gulls also caused 13 turnovers in the victory, and outshot their opponents 33-11.

Gina Iannazzi (Methuen, Mass.) and Nicolle Steel (Ocean City, N.J.) each had two caused turnovers for the Nor'easters, while Stacia Geno (White River Junction, Vt.), Davis, and freshman Melissa Bulman (Farmington, N.Y.) had a pair of caused miscues for the Gulls.

Junior goalie Rachel Socolow (Westford, Mass.) stopped five of the eleven shots that she faced in collecting her 11th victory of the season. UNE freshman keeper Courtney Kendall (Waltham, Mass.) made 14 stops but was victimized for 19 goals.

The Gulls will face the Golden Bears on Saturday in a rematch of a game which saw them take their only conference loss of the year, a 19-17 defeated in Springfield on April 24th.