May 3, 2012

WD2 Notebook: C.W. Post-Adelphi Rivalry Runs Deep

by Mark Macyk | LaxMagazine.com

Nan Mayott is second on C.W. Post with 35 goals and has eight assists and 21 ground balls.
© Lee Weissman

C.W. Post and Adelphi have plenty in common. The Long Island schools have combined to win seven of the 10 North Region titles and are separated by 10 miles in Nassau County. West Islip (N.Y.) High alone counts two alums on C.W. Post and three on Adelphi.

All that familiarity breeds contempt when the two teams get together for what is Division II's bitterest rivalry.

"They knew the history," C.W. Post coach Meghan McNamara said. "There's not one person that goes to C.W. Post or Adelphi as a recruit that does not know the rivalry, the energy going into that game."

The rivalry swung in C.W. Post's favor for the first time since 2010 on Saturday, as the Pioneers defeated Adelphi in overtime, 13-11.

Adelphi (14-2) led 6-1 early, but Post (14-2) rallied back, taking a 9-8 lead on Alexis Newman's goal with 7:04 remaining in regulation. Adelphi's Marissa Mills scored a minute later to ultimately force overtime. Post opened overtime with four straight goals and held on to win.

"The girls were ready to fight until the end whether it was overtime or the last six minutes of the game," McNamara said "They didn't think twice about it."

Jackie Sileo led C.W. Post with a game-high five assists and two goals, both in overtime. Ashley Olen added four goals and one assist and Abbie Ross three goals. Erica Devito led Adelphi with four goals and three assists and Mills and Meg Brown had three goals each.

"You have to play every moment and not really stress about the score," McNamara said. "Just don't look back at it. You can't get down. Adelphi is a phenomenal team. Awesome offensively, unbelievable defensively."

The win comes on the heels of a difficult stretch for C.W. Post, which defeated No. 8 Stonehill, 15-13, a week earlier, and fell to West Chester, 18-15, last Tuesday.

"I love the competition," McNamara said. "Is it a stressful week? Yes. But it's a great challenge and I want my players to be able to compete."

The Pioneers competed all season despite losing four starters to injury during its course. Luckily Post has remarkable depth, with seven players topping 20 goals each and nine players cracking 10 points.

"It hasn't been an easy year," McNamara said. "We've never lost focus. I'm proud of the team."

Last year Post had to recover from a season-ending injury to Ashley Olen. This year she leads the team with 58 goals. Sileo, a sophomore, has also raised her game, setting the table with a Division II-leading 81 assists and 115 points. Nan Mayott is second on the team with 35 goals and has eight assists and 21 ground balls. Lauren Spagnoletta has 29 goals, 10 assists, 12 caused turnovers and a team-high 38 draw controls. Kate Rotan has scored 25 goals and has 29 ground balls and 34 draw controls.

Anchoring the defense, which ranks sixth in Division II in points per game, are Chelsea Donaldson, who has 11 caused turnovers and a team-high 35 ground balls, Melissa Rohr, who has 26 ground balls, 10 caused turnovers and 11 ground balls, and Ashley Babst, who has 18 ground balls, nine caused turnovers and eight draw controls.

"We are 25 strong," McNamara said. "It is really a great feeling."

Post is now in excellent position to reach the NCAA tournament, but first it will have to get past Dowling, and win the East Coast Conference, on Saturday. The Pioneers were in a similar must-win position last season and fell 15-14 in triple overtime to Dowling, which went on to receive the North's final spot.

It's a loss the Pioneers have not forgotten.

"Sudden death," McNamara said. "Oh yeah, I think every athlete would remember that one."

Four Remain in Northeast-10

The field is set for the Northeast-10 semifinals, to be hosted this weekend by Le Moyne. Top seed Le Moyne (15-1) will face No. 4 Bentley (13-5) and No. 2 Adelphi (14-2) takes on No. 3 Stonehill (14-4).

Bentley and New Haven predictably played an epic first round game on Wednesday. The Falcons eliminated New Haven, 9-8, when Taylor Bastien scored to break an 8-8 tie with 31 seconds remaining. Bastien had three goals and three assists to lead Bentley, which matched program record for wins in a season. Alexis Gabbe had two goals and one assist for New Haven (13-5).

Stonehill rolled past Merrimack, 15-3, in the other quarterfinal.

Upset Adds Intrigue to PSAC Semis

With a potential Lock Haven-West Chester rematch on the horizon, the PSAC tournament had plenty of story lines already. On Tuesday, sixth-seeded Bloomsburg added to the drama, winning at No. 3 Gannon, 20-13, and setting up a re-match with West Chester Saturday afternoon at Lock Haven. Bloomsburg (10-7) defeated West Chester (14-2), 14-13, in overtime on March 25.

Top seed Lock Haven (11-5) hosts Mercyhurst (12-6), which eliminated IUP, 19-11, in the other semi. Mercyhurst's wins prevents another upset rematch. IUP defeated Lock Haven by one on Friday. Lock Haven defeated Mercyhurst, 15-6, on April 14.

Mark Macyk has covered Division II and III women’s lacrosse for Lacrosse Magazine since 2011. He can be contacted at markmacyk@gmail.com.


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