MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The top seeded Morrisville State College women's lacrosse team advanced for a second straight year to the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) finals, handing fourth seed Bryn Athyn College (9-4) a 20-6 defeat on Drake Field in Morrisville in the first of the day's semifinal action.
The Mustangs (11-7) will defend the title they claimed a year ago as they take on second seeded Medaille College who advanced after topping Keuka College 15-7 in the second semi. The opening draw is scheduled for 1 p.m. on the Morrisville State College campus.
Morrisville State came out of the gates quickly, netting the first tally a mere 41 seconds into the semifinal contest, as senior and leading scorer Gianna Branca (Camillus, N.Y.) forced Lions keeper Anja Weisser to turn over the ball just outside the crease, and rolled the opposite way to put the ball into the back of the net for the game's first score.
Branca led all scorers with five goals on the day, adding three assists.
Four additional teammates added hat tricks, including Celia Abbott (Shortsville, N.Y.) who collected three to go along with her three assists.
Marissa Woodard (Unadilla, N.Y.) recorded five between the pipes for the Mustangs in the win, including three kick saves in the first half of action.
Bryn Athyn's Sabrina Colbridge led the Lions efforts, netting three to go along with an assist, while teammates Laura Clymer and Bri Lennox contributed to the efforts with two goals and one goal, respectively.
Weisser made eight stops in her efforts in net, four in each half of action, as the Lions season comes to an end at 9-4 overall.
After the early Branca score, the senior added another nearly 30 seconds later as she was hit in the head on the drive to cage, and put away the free position tally for the 2-0 Morrisville State lead 1:09 in.
Colbridge put the Lions on the board a minute later with an unassisted score, before Morrisville State ran wild with a 12-0 run over the next 22 minutes of play, breaking out to a 14-2 advantage at the break.
In the second, the Mustangs picked back up where they left off and added three quick tallies before Bryn Athyn was able to put their third on the board off the stick of Colbridge.
The visitors were able to pull within 12, but that's as close as they would get as the hosts put the final two daggers in the back of the net in the final five minutes for the 20-6 victory.
Morrisville State dominated play on the day from the opening whistle, out gunning the Lions 31-12 and outgaining Bryn Athyn 18-13 in the ground ball game. Branca and Cavellier each picked up a team best four, with Branca causing three turnovers.
Cavellier assisted the Mustangs in their dominance in the center circle, winning 11 of a team total 22 draw controls.
The winner of tomorrow's championship final will earn the NEAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
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 & World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.