MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The top seeded Morrisville State College women's lacrosse team defended their North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) title Sunday afternoon, as they handed second seed Medaille College a 21-10 loss on Drake Field in Morrisville, capturing a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
Morrisville State (12-7) will learn their championship tournament destination tonight (Sunday) during the NCAA Division III selection show scheduled to air at 10 p.m. on www.ncaa.com.
Senior Celia Abbott (Shortsville, N.Y.) led all scorers on the day, netting a total six goals and assisting two others, and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player award after collecting a tourney total nine goals and five assists for 14 points.
Marissa Woodard (Unadilla, N.Y.) collected her 11th victory between the pipes on the season, turning away a game total nine that included three down the stretch to secure the win and title for the hosts.
Morrisville State outgained the Mavericks in nearly all categories, holding the 35-23 advantage in shots, 27-20 lead in the ground ball game and edging Medaille 17-15 in draw controls.
The Mustangs got a game high six draws from Branca and Cavellier, with Cavellier picking up a team high eight ground balls.
Lexi Firkins (Brockport, N.Y.) played a tough defensive game for the top seeds, adding five ground balls to go along with her one caused turnover. Cavellier added four caused turnovers and Lydia Cooley (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) recording three.
Senior Kennedy Cox (Blythe, Calif.) also collected two caused turnovers, putting up a tough defensive wall with Mavericks leading scorer Emma Campagna, who was limited to just one goal on the day.
Morrisville State posted the first two tallies of the contest, the first coming nearly five minutes in as Branca broke free of her face guard and posted her 66th score of the season to give the hosts the 1-0 advantage.
Not even a minute later McNeal added her 30th tally of the year for the 2-0 lead, before Medaille's Thelma Outlaw put the Mavericks on the board with an unassisted score.
Abbott's unassisted goal at the 22:03 mark regained the two goal lead for Morrisville, but again Medaille would close it to one at 20:35 with a tally from Macayla Barry.
The Mustangs then put together a four goal run to increase their lead to five, and then battled back and forth with the second seeds throughout the duration of the opening half to carry the 10-5 advantage into the halftime break.
In the second, Hughes and Branca each netted one, before Medaille got a second from Barry to stop the Mustang scoring.
Morrisville State collected three straight to widen the gap to eight, with all three scores coming within a span of one minute and 30 seconds. Santini collected one on a free position before Abbott hit back to back scores to increase the lead to 14-6.
Medaille netted three straight, but it was Morrisville State who proved to be too much offensively for the Mavericks to handle as they rattled off seven consecutive scores to pull away and collect their second consecutive title.
Abbott served the final dagger with 3:18 to go, hitting her third free position score of the afternoon, and fourth of the tournament.
Morrisville State will learn their tournament opponent tonight at 10 p.m.
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.