BOSTON – Kacey Abbriano netted a team-high three goals to lead the Norwich University women’s lacrosse team to a 13-6 victory over Emerson College in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament championship game Saturday afternoon at Rotch Field.
It marks the second GNAC Tournament title in the last three seasons for the Cadets, who advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the brief history of the program. Norwich will play in the NCAA Tournament first round on May 12 against an opponent still to be determined.
Danielle Del Dotto, Kathleen Hennessy, Suzanne Whitaker and Mollie Fitzpatrick each netted two goals apiece to help lead the Cadets (9-6) to the victory. Chelsea Martin and Lindsay Mathias both scored once to round out the scoring for Norwich.
Emerson scored the game’s first goal, but NU reeled off four straight markers to establish a 4-1 advantage with 16:37 to play in the first half. The Lions netted the next two goals to pull to within 4-3 at the 5:42 mark, but Fitzpatrick scored with 59 seconds to play in the stanza to help the Cadets take a 5-3 lead into the intermission.
The teams traded goals to start the second half, but Norwich held Emerson scoreless for 22 straight minutes to seize control of the game. The Cadets tallied six unanswered goals during that span to take a commanding 12-4 lead with 4:57 to play.
Meg Ross led Emerson (8-6) with a game-high four goals. Carmen Trobaugh and Katie Dodge each added one goal apiece for the Lions, while Amy Gervis dished out a game-high two assists.
Norwich outshot Emerson 25-15, and the Cadets enjoyed a 38-19 edge in ground balls. Abbriano fired a team-high six shots and picked up a game-high nine ground balls to lead NU in both categories.
Norwich goalkeeper Kellie Pickel made four saves in the Cadets’ cage to pick up the victory between the pipes. Emily Saeger stopped seven saves for Emerson in the losing effort.
Abbriano, who also scored three goals in Norwich’s semifinal victory over St. Joseph’s (Maine) on Wednesday, was named the tournament’s “Most Valuable Player.” Pickel, Hennessy, Ally Allen and Lori Baldassara were each selected to the all-tournament team.
Ross, Meg Robinson and Monica Carroll represented Emerson on the all-tournament team.
Norwich will return to action on Wednesday, April 28, when the Cadets host Worcester State in the team’s home finale. The opening draw at Howard Field is slated for 4 p.m.
Goals By Period 1 2 Total
Norwich University 5 8 13
Emerson College 3 3 6