Women's Lacrosse reaches first ever GNAC Semi-Finals

Women's Lacrosse reaches first ever GNAC Semi-Finals

(Newton, Mass.) The fifth seed Rivier University Women's Lacrosse team has advanced to the Great Northeast Athletic Semi-Finals as they defeated the fourth seeded Lasell College Lasers this evening, 11-7 at Lasell's Grellier Field. Rivier improves to 9-7 on the season and will travel to top seeded Emmanuel College on Thursday evening. Lasell finishes the 2014 campaign with a 9-8 overall mark.

Senior Rebecca Wickens (Tyngsboro, Mass.) paced Rivier with four goals and one assist and her younger sister, freshmen Amanda Wickens (Tyngsboro, Mass.) added four goals in the victory. Jessica Amaral (E. Providence, R.I.) added a goal and two assists for Rivier who got eight saves in goal from Danielle Moran (San Diego, Calif.) who was credited with the win.

Britney Wuorio (Bolton, Mass.) scored two goals and dished out two assists for Lasell, Caitlyn Brecher (Cheshire, Conn.) added a pair of goals, and Bridget Doherty (Franklin, Mass.) chipped in a goal and an assist for the Lasers. Alexa Katsigianis (Amherst, N.H.) made nine saves in the loss, finishing the season with a 9-8 record in the cage. Wuorio's four points gave her 100 for the season, the third time she has accomplished the feat in her career and she finished second on the Lasers career goals scored list while finishing with the highest career points total at 420 points.

Rivier held a 12-8 advantage in draw controls, and while the Raiders were outshot 24-22 they put 20 of their 22 shots on goal compared to 15 o goal for Lasell. Rivier also converted 3 of 5 free position shots while Lasell struggled, going 1 for 6 on free position shots.

Rivier opened the scoring as Rebecca Wickens scooped up the opening draw and cut through the Lasers defense to score in the opening seconds of the game for a 1-0 lead. Toni Minelli (Newington, Conn.) evened the score at 1-1 for Lasell three minutes later, but Rivier went back in front 2-1 when Amanda Wickens scored on a feed from Amaral just a minute and a half later.

Neither team was able to find the net again until Rivier pushed their lead to 3-1 when Rebecca Wickens finished a free position attempt at the 12:31 mark in the first half. Brecher scored to bring Lasell back within a goal with just under 10 minutes left in the half, but Rivier restored their two-goal lead when Amanda Wickens scored an unassisted goal with just over six minutes until the half. Wuorio cut the Lasers deficit to 4-3 with a free position goal with 53 seconds until the half, as the visiting Raiders took their 4-3 lead into the intermission.

Brecher and Wuorio traded goals with the Wickens sisters in the first 15 minutes of the second half, leaving Rivier leading 6-5 on Rebecca's third goal of the game with 14:20 to play. Paxton LaRocque put Rivier ahead 7-5 on a feed from Amaral, but a goal by the Lasers Doherty cut the deficit to a goal at 7-6 with 13:21 on the clock.

Rivier then put the game out of reach with four unanswered goals, taking an 11-6 lead with just under a minute to play in the game. Lasell's Ashlee Pechulis (Westfield, Mass.) scored on a pass from Taylor Dooley (Barnstable, Mass.) to produce the final, 11-7 margin.

This is the first time in Rivier Women's Lacrosse history that the program has advanced to the Semi-Finals.