Monmouth Hands Mount First NEC Loss
from press release
EMMITSBURG, Md. - Monmouth University's (9-4,
4-1 NEC) women's lacrosse handed Mount St. Mary's (5-8, 4-1 NEC)
its first conference loss of the season Friday night, 13-10.
The win is the fourth out of the last five meetings for the Hawks over Mount. Monmouth is now tied for second place with the Mountaineers, trailing undefeated Quinnipiac with four regular season games remaining.
The Hawks used a six-goal unanswered streak in the first half to build an 8-2 lead heading into the break, which was the foundation of the three-goal win. MU enjoyed three-goal efforts from senior Molly O'Brien (Kennett Square, Pa./Unionville) and junior Sam Lillo (Short Hills, N.J./Milburn) while Kirby Mundorf (Cambridge, Md./Seton Keogh) had nine saves in net, including seven in the first half.
"I thought our defense did a nice job of really settling in and making it hard for them to score," said MU Head Coach Denise Wescott. "Our offense moved the ball well to create good looks. I thought we took really nice shots. We did a nice job of getting the draw for a while. Molly and Sam did a nice job of driving to get to the goal and score. The Mount defense started to key in on the two of them, which allowed some of our other players opportunities to score goals."
Mount junior Esther Rufolo notched the first goal of the game at the 6:32 of the game with her 21st goal of the season. Monmouth then rattled off a six-goal unanswered streak, tying the game up on an O'Brien free position goal just over two minutes later. Junior Olivia Salata (Broomall, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) gave Monmouth its first lead almost immediately off the draw. O'Brien, Lillo and Erica Abendschoen (West Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) all scored goals during the run. Salata found a wide open Kirstyn Urbas (Sewell, N.J./Washington Twp.) who came streaking unmarked up the middle and beat MSM goalie Brigid McTavish to put the Hawks ahead 7-2. Junior Lynn White (Deer Park, N.Y./Deer Park) scored MU's final goal of the half on an eight-meter attempt with 1.5 seconds remaining to set MU up with an 8-2 lead at halftime.
Mount's Ruffalo scored a pair of goals in the first 3:03 of the half to close the gap to 8-4 before senior Kaitlin Feeney (Baltimore, Md./Towson HS) scored on her third of three consecutive shots to get one back for the Hawks. Mount St. Mary's tallied a pair of goals to climb to within three but O'Brien tallied a free position goal, her third of the game, to restore the four-goal lead. Freshman Rachel Obregon's goal with 14:51 to play put Monmouth ahead 11-6 and started a three-goal run for the visiting Hawks. Mount scored four goals over the final 7:25 to put a scare into the Hawks, which held on to win 13-10.
Lillo had five ground balls and three draw controls to add to her trio of scores. Salata finished with a goal and two assists while White had a goal and an assist in the win. The Hawks held a 29-25 advantage in shots and forced Mount into 16 turnovers, while committing just 10. The Mountaineers did corral 16 of the 26 draw attempts, which they used to stay in the game while time was winding down.
Rufolo led all scorers with six of Mount's 10 goals, while McTavish had 12 saves in the loss
The Hawks have a Western Pennsylvania road trip ahead of them next week when they Saint Francis University and Robert Morris on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
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