Easton, Mass. (LE MOYNE ATHLETICS) – Abigail Moynihan scored in transition with 1:02 remaining in the second half of overtime to give eighth-ranked and top-seeded Stonehill College a 13-12 victory over the Le Moyne College women’s lacrosse team in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship game on Sunday afternoon at W.B. Stadium.
The Dolphins drop to 15-5 on the season and now await word on their seeding in the NCAA Championships. The NCAA will announce the 16-team field (four from each region) tonight on NCAA.com at 8:30 p.m. The Dolphins were ranked third in the most recent rankings released by the NCAA on Wednesday. Stonehill moves to 17-2 and will be the first or second seed in the East regional.
The Dolphins, who made their ninth appearance in the NE10 title game in their 11 years in the conference, scored the game’s first three goals over the opening 7:08. Graduate student midfielder Sydney Meagher (Fairport, N.Y./Fairport) opened the scoring just 46 seconds into the game off a pass from senior midfielder Adrianna Nojaim (Camillus, N.Y./West Genesee). Following a yellow card on the Skyhawks, sophomore midfielder Reilly Geer (Syracuse, N.Y./Westhill) converted a free-position shot in the extra-player situation with 10:45 left in the first. Redshirt junior midfielder Katelyn Karleski (Syracuse, N.Y./Westhill/Onondaga C.C.) gave the Dolphins their first three-goal lead of the game at the 7:52 mark with her 21st goal of the season.
NE10 Player of the Year Lydia Rudden got the Skyhawks on the scoreboard at the 6:22 mark by scoring off a free-position shot.
Le Moyne regained its three-goal margin with 2:15 to go in the quarter as junior attacker Kelly Thomas (Minoa, N.Y./East Syracuse-Minoa) netted her seventh goal of the season.
Lilly Leach capped the scoring in the quarter by converting a free-position shot with 1:01 remaining.
The see-saw continued over the opening nine-plus minutes of the second quarter. Thomas scored again with 11:59 left, but Leach scored off another free-position shot with 10:09 remaining for her 30th goal of the year. Sophomore attacker Sarah Hutchings (Marcellus, N.Y./Marcellus) made it 6-3 with 9:04 left with her 37th goal of the campaign from the left edge of the crease after taking a feed from behind the net from junior attacker Gemma Addonizio (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius). Leach responded again with another free-position goal, this time in an extra-player situation with 7:50 until halftime. Addonizio pushed the margin back to three with her 30th goal of the season at the 5:52 after curling around the left side of the goal.
Karleski recorded her second goal of the game with 4:17 left to give the Dolphins their largest lead of the contest.
Kendall Fressle finished off the scoring in the half with her 49th goal of the season with 3:36 to go.
Stonehill, which has announced it will reclassify to Division I and join the Northeast Conference on July 1 and replicated a feat performed by Merrimack College in 2019 by beating the Dolphins on their way out of the NE10, scored the first three goals of the third quarter to tie the score for the first time. Fressle scored 50 seconds into the quarter to start the run, Rudden followed with her 40th goal of the year at the 12:47 mark and then Sullivan finished off a feed from Rudden one minute later to force a Le Moyne timeout.
The Dolphins regained the lead at the 10:19 mark as Meagher scored off a free-position shot in an extra-player situation.
The Skyhawks scored the next two goals to take their first lead of the game. In an extra-player situation, Rudden tied the score for the second time with 9:23 left. After almost five minutes of scoreless action, Leach netted her 32nd goal of the season.
Le Moyne regained the lead with a pair of goals in a span of 51 seconds. After having her initial shot in transition saved, Addonizio picked up the loose ball on the front of the crease and dumped it over the goalkeeper at the 3:34 to even the score at 10. Following a save by junior goalkeeper Paige Crandall (Adams, N.Y./South Jefferson), senior attacker Jessica Meneilly (Cicero, N.Y./Cicero-North Syracuse) scored from in front of the cage with 2:43 to go off a transition pass from Hutchings.
Stonehill scored twice in the first 7:02 of the fourth quarter to take the lead back. Abby Ahearn tied the score for the fourth time at the 11:49 mark off a dish from Rudden. After each team had a shot saved and committed a turnover, Caroline Davey scored her fifth goal of the season at the 7:58 mark on a fast break.
The Skyhawks won the ensuing draw control, but Crandall was able to turn away a free-position shot by Leach and the Dolphins collected the loose ball. After a green card and a yellow card on the Skyhawks, Meagher converted a free-position shot in the 7-on-5 situation to even the score for the final time with 5:30 to play.
Crandall and Stonehill netminder Sarah Faley recorded saves around turnovers by both teams over the next five minutes to keep the score knotted at 12.
The Dolphins had an opportunity to take the lead back with just under 30 seconds remaining with a free-position attempt, but the near referee called the Dolphins for a false start as the shot was going into the net, giving the ball back to the Skyhawks. The Skyhawks were unable to get the ball over midfield before time expired.
Stonehill won the opening draw of overtime, but committed a turnover just prior to the possession clock running out. Le Moyne cleared the ball and called timeout with 1:08 left in the first half of overtime. Addonizio had a clean shot on goal with 26 seconds left, but Faley came up with the save and the Skyhawks ran the clock out.
The won the opening draw of the second half of overtime as well, but got off a shot this time, which Crandall was able to turn aside. After clearing the ball, the Dolphins were issued a free-position shot from the left side with 1:24 remaining in overtime. Meneilly fired on goal, but Faley turned it away. Meneilly was able to get to the loose ball first and sent another shot towards the goal, which Faley was able to corral.
Moynihan received an outlet pass and raced up the right side of the field. She outran a defender near midfield and with no help sliding over, she was able to get in front of the cage and send a shot into the right side of the net for her seventh goal of the season the game winner with 1:02 left on the clock.
Crandall finished the game with eight saves, including five in the fourth quarter and overtime. Faley, who made 11 saves in the win over the Dolphins in the regular-season meeting, tallied 14 saves, including five in the fourth quarter and overtime.