Women's Lacrosse: #7 Norwich at #2 Saint Joseph’s (Maine) – GNAC Playoff Preview

2017 Norwich University women's lacrosse team

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University women's lacrosse team has qualified for the Great Northeast Athletic Conference playoffs and will travel to Portland, Maine for a 4 p.m. tilt against Saint Joseph's College of Maine on Wednesday, May 3 in the league's quarterfinals. 

The Cadets registered a 7-8 record during the regular season and enter the conference playoffs as the seventh-seeded team. Norwich has qualified for the GNAC postseason for the 10th-straight season, taking on the Monks, who enter play seeded second in the league tournament. 

LAST MEETING: The Cadets hosted the Monks earlier in the season, but fell by a 14-6 margin at Sabine Field. The Cadets and Monks finished the game with matching 2-2 overall records, but Saint Joseph's secured its first Great Northeast Athletic Conference win. 

Junior Meaghan McGrath (Barre, Vt.) led the Cadets with two goals and one assist. Sophomore Kathryn Albretsen (Cotuit, Mass.) scored twice while senior Chapel Guarnieri (Pepperell, Mass.) and freshman Mary-Kait Mace (Canton, N.Y.) notched single tallies. Guarnieri and senior Kasey Jacobs (Killingworth, Conn.) each recorded three caused turnovers for the Cadets. 

The Cadets led by a 5-4 margin with only 13:14 left in the first half, but the Monks rattled off eight-straight goals to capture a commanding 12-5 lead with 20:39 remaining in regulation time. A late strike by Albretsen slowed the Saint Joseph's run, but the visitors capped off the game with two additional goals to secure a 14-6 win. 

SCOUTING THE CADETS

  • Albretsen enters play on Wednesday ranked third in the GNAC with 56 goals, trailing Saint Joseph's Elyse Calazzo by only three goals for second place.
  • Albretsen's 62 points ties her for fifth place in the league and her 15 free-position goals ranks third.
  • Guarnieri ranks ninth in the league with 53 draw controls and ranks second with an impressive 31 caused turnovers alongside 36 goals.
  • Last time out against Rivier, Guarnieri fired home eight goals which stands as the third-most scored by a single player.
  • Her nine-point effort against Rivier stands as the seventh-best single game performance in team history.
  • She enters play against the Monks on Wednesday with 123 career goals and 22 assists for 145 points (123-22=145) and needs only one additional draw control to reach 150 for her career.
  • Albretsen also matched a single-game personal record, scoring six goals and one assist for seven points (6-1=7) against Rivier.
  • McGrath has had a stellar campaign for Norwich – the junior transfer has fired home 39 goals and a team-leading 10 assists for 49 points (39-10=49).
  • Norwich has secured 201 draw controls on the year, the single-season record.
  • The Cadets also posted 46 free-position goals, far and away the program record, shattering the 33 posted in 2016. 

SCOUTING THE MONKS

  • Saint Joseph's recorded a 12-3 overall record in 2017, posting an 8-1 mark against league opponents – the team's lone GNAC loss came against Johnson & Wales (R.I.) on Apr. 22.
  • That loss to the Wildcats was the team's first regular season conference loss dating back to Apr. 19, 2014 and snapped a 23-game regular-season winning streak versus conference opponents.
  • The Monks were the top-seeded team in the GNAC tournament in 2015 and 2016 and won the team's first league championship during the '15 season.
  • Caiazzo leads the team with 59 goals and 12 assists for 71 points (59-12=71), picking up 51 draw controls and 45 ground balls.
  • Four-different players have tallied at least 30 points on offense.
  • Jackie Wilson has secured 69 draw controls for the Monks, causing 28 turnovers. 

ALL-TIME SERIES

  • Saint Joseph's leads the all-time series over Norwich by a 7-6 margin – the Monks have defeated the Cadets in the last six meetings between both programs dating back to the 2014 season.
  • Norwich has won three GNAC Championships in the team's brief program history, securing three-straight wins in the league's title game from 2010 to 2012.