May 12, 2013

Cortland Cruises into Third Straight Final Four

from press release

CORTLAND, N.Y. – The nationally fourth-ranked Cortland women's lacrosse team scored 11 consecutive goals spanning the first and second halves to break open a tight game and went on to defeat eighth-ranked Bowdoin, 14-4, Sunday afternoon in the 2013 NCAA Div. III Women's Lacrosse Quarterfinals at the Stadium Complex.

The Red Dragons are making their third straight appearance and fourth overall in the final four and face defending champion Trinity, a 12-7 winner versus The College of New Jersey in a quarterfinal game, in the national semifinals, Saturday, May 18, 1:30 p.m. at Stevenson University in Owings Mills, Md. The other semifinal features Salisbury versus Middlebury as all four of the teams from 2012 return to the final four in 2013.

Senior Maria Di Fato (Camillus/West Genesee) led the Red Dragons (21-1) with four goals and one assist. Freshman Erica Geremia (Camillus/West Genesee) scored a game-high six points on one goal and five assists and set an NCAA Div. III tournament record for assists in the tournament with 18, eclipsing the mark of 15 established by Cortland's all-time leading scorer Lindsay Abbott in 2011.

Sophomores Marilyn Farrell (Fayetteville/Fayetteville-Manlius) and Emma Hayes-Hurley (Huntington) each added two goals and an assist for Cortland. Senior Gina Campese(East Syracuse/East Syracuse Minoa) and junior Taylor Robinson (Manlius/Fayetteville-Manlius) netted two goals apiece and freshman Tara Monaghan (Stony Point/North Rockland) chipped in with a goal.

Senior goalie Shauna Hutchinson (Islip Terrace/East Islip) made five saves for the Red Dragons. Di Fato added five ground balls, junior Jessiva Lavelle (Fayetteville/Fayetteville-Manlius) recorded three caused turnovers and three ground balls and Monaghan registered four draw controls.

Junior Jordan Smith (Glen Ridge, NJ) led Bowdoin (15-4) with two goals. Senior Carolyn Gorajek (Hightstown, NJ/Peddie School) had one goal and one assist, junior Betsy Sachs (Glenside, PA/Germantown Friends) tallied a goal and juniors Molly Popolizio (Rexford/Shenendehowa) and Mackenzie Schleicher (Londonderry, NH) each contributed an assist. Senior goalie Tara Connolly (Simsbury, CT/The Gunnery) made four saves. Sachs and freshman Lindsay Picard (New York/Riverdale Country School) recorded three caused turnovers apiece.

The game was tightly played in the early stages with the score knotted at 3-3 just past the midway point of the first half as Di Fato scored twice for Cortland and Smith netted a pair of goals for the Polar Bears. The Red Dragons then started their 11-goal run with the final four goals of the first half as four different players found the back of the net to make it a 7-3 game at intermission.

Cortland slowly pulled away as Di Fato opened the second half with back-to-back goals and Geremia picked up four of her assists in the final 30 minutes. The lead grew to 14-3 with 12:30 remaining before Gorajek ended a Bowdoin scoring drought of 32 minutes, six seconds with a goal at 10:06. The Red Dragons were able to possess the ball for most of the remaining game time to seal the 14-4 victory.


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