NEC Championship Game
No. 2 Quinnipiac University Bobcats (13-2) at
No. 1 Sacred Heart University Pioneers (11-6)
Sunday, April 26 1 p.m.
Fairfield, Conn. Campus Field
The Quinnipiac University women's lacrosse team squares off with Sacred Heart in the Northeast Conference Championship Game for the second year in a row Sunday afternoon in Fairfield at 1 p.m. The Bobcats advanced to the title game by dispatching Mount St. Mary's, 11-9, in the semifinals for the second-straight season. The top-seeded and tournament-host Pioneers took out No. 4 Monmouth, 13-7, earlier in the day's first semifinal matchup. Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart finished the season Co-Regular Season Champions after posting identical 7-1 league records with the Pioneers owning the tie-breaker. The Bobcats pushed their winning streak to nine games and their record to 13-2.
Scouting Sacred Heart
The Pioneers also knocked off a familiar foe to reach the championship game. Sacred Heart eliminated the Hawks for the second year in a row in the NEC semifinals to set up the rematch of last season's title game. The trio of Carissa Hauser, Mary Montesarchio and NEC Player of the Year Amanda Williams combined for 10 of the Pioneers' 13 goals on Friday. All-NEC First Team goalkeeper Chelsea Wagner made just three saves in the semifinal win, while allowing seven goals in the game. Williams now leads the league with 54 goals and 76 points this season. The Pioneers won the regular-season matchup between the team, 9-8, March 22, the Bobcats' last loss of the season.
On The Air
Sunday's NEC Championship Game can be heard on the WQAQ webstream. Miles T. McQuiggan will provide play-by-play, while Robin Schuppert will add color analysis. Sacred Heart will provide live stats and a live video feed. All three can be activated by clicking the appropriate links above.
Junior Brittany Hauser (East Northport, N.Y.) scored her second goal of the season with 11:02 remaining in the second half to take a 10-9 lead. The goal proved to be the game winner as the Bobcats added one more goal for the 11-9 win. Hauser's twin sister, Carissa, scored the game-winning goal for Sacred Heart in the first game, setting up a meeting between the two in the conference title game for the second consecutive season.
First For Forty
Junior Katie Latonick (Severna Park, Md.) recorded five assists against the Mount Friday afternoon. She now has 41 this season, continuing to build on her single-season program record. Latonick also added a goal for six points in the game.
Six Pack of Goals
In the first half against the Mountaineers, six different players scored goals. All-NEC First Team honoree Tiffany Manzi (Agawam, Mass.) was the lone member of the Bobcats to score more than once in the first 30 minutes of play. She has 32 goals this season heading into Sunday's game.
Stepping Up In The Second Half
Senior goalkeeper Hannah Nelson (Glastonbury, Conn.) stepped up her game in the second half. Nelson turned away seven shots in the final stanza, while allowing just one goal. She finished the game with 11 saves.
Sophomore Christine Sinnigen (Sudbury, Conn.) joined Latonick as the only members of the Bobcats to record multiple assists in Friday's game. Sinnigen assisted on first-half goals from Manzi and Ashley Valentine (Friendship, Md.).
The 2009 NEC Rookie of the Year freshman Marissa Caroleo (North Babylon, N.Y.) scored the second goal of the game for Quinnipiac, giving the team a 2-1 lead. She also netted the final goal of the game to give the Bobcats' a two-goal advantage, 11-9. Fellow freshman Devon Gibney (Hopkinton, Mass.) scored twice in the game in her postseason debut.
We've Seen This Before
The Bobcats and Pioneers meet for the second-straight season in the NEC Championship. Last season, Quinnipiac was the No. 1 seed and tournament host after defeating Sacred Heart by one goal in the regular season meeting. This season, Sacred Heart is hosting and holds the No. 1 seed after winning the season's earlier meeting, 9-8, and earning the subsequent tie-breaker.