ABINGTON, PA – The second seeded Morrisville State College women's lacrosse team withstood a hard fought battle Sunday afternoon in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Championship Final, claiming their second tournament crown in three seasons by an 8-7 final score over fourth seeded Cazenovia College in Abington.
The win gives the Mustangs (13-5) the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament, learning their opening round opponent in tonight's selection show set to air on www.ncaa.com at 9:30 p.m.
This is the second time in three seasons Morrisville State has claimed the NEAC title, and the second time both lacrosse teams will be making appearances in the NCAA Tournament in the same season.
Six contributed to the win, including senior Elizabeth Leva (Hoosick Falls, N.Y.) who notched two tallies and assisted another three.
Brianna DelColle (Huntington, N.Y.) added two and an assist as well, while Courtney Cavellier (Rodman, N.Y.) also posted two goals, including the game winner that came with 4:35 to go in the contest off the feed from Gianna Branca (Camillus, N.Y.).
Senior defender Jordan Anderson (West Edmeston, N.Y.) was named tournament Most Outstanding Player following her two day performance of five caused turnovers, six ground balls and 11 draw controls. In today's championship final, she posted seven draw control wins, three caused turnovers and three ground balls.
Kallie George (Tully, N.Y.) recorded the win in net, making three stops.
Both teams exchanged leads in the first half, but a Cazenovia score with 1:54 to go in the opening period gave the Wildcats the 4-3 advantage at the break.
In the second, Morrisville State was able to post an early tally, netting the equalizer 55 seconds into the half off a Leva feed to McNeal, before Leva posted her second of the day minutes later for the 5-4 Mustang advantage.
Kaitlin Sheppard evened the game at five with a score for Cazenovia with 21:04 to go, but Morrisville State's DelColle quickly regained the lead, netting the unassisted goal 18 seconds later.
Again Cazenovia pulled even with the Mustangs at 16:48, but Leva connected with Cavellier who rifled the ball into the back of the net less than a minute later to regain the one goal lead for Morrisville State.
A penalty against Cazenovia at 5:26 proved costly for the Wildcats as Morrisville State took advantage and posted one for the two goal cushion. Branca hit Cavellier for her second score of the day with 4:35 to go for the 8-6 Mustang lead.
Cazenovia was able to get one score back with 3:38 remaining in the game, but they were unable to post a tying score as Morrisville State's defense kept the Wildcats scoreless for the remainder of the contest.
Morrisville State, who finished the NEAC regular season 8-1, will be making their second appearance in the NCAA Tournament under direction of head coach Kelsey VanAlstyne.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2016 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2016 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.