Women's Lacrosse: Fitzpatrick Hits Career Milestone as Norwich Bests Simmons 11-9 in GNAC Quarterfinals

Women's Lacrosse: Fitzpatrick Hits Career Milestone as Norwich Bests Simmons 11-9 in GNAC Quarterfinals

NORTHFIELD, Vt.—Senior midfielder Grace Fitzpatrick (Falmouth, Maine) netted five goals, including her 200th career goal, to lead the Norwich University women's lacrosse team to an 11-9 win against the Sharks of Simmons College in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Quarterfinal round on Tuesday evening.

With the win, the Cadets improve to 8-4 and advance to the GNAC Semifinals on Thursday, while the Sharks conclude the season at 7-7.

Fitzpatrick netted her milestone goal 7:53 into the second half to cap a Norwich three-goal run that broke up a 6-6 tie. Junior Hope Royce (Washington, Vt.) flipped a high, backwards draw, which Fitzpatrick easily controlled before racing to bury the goal. She becomes just the second player in Norwich history to reach 200 goals. She trails all-time leading scorer Kacey Abbriano '12 by eight goals.

Norwich also saw two goals by senior Baylie Lamarre (Tyngsboro, Mass.). Royce and sophomore Larissa Gokey (St. Johnsbury, Vt.) both tallied a goal and an assist, while freshman Chapel Guarnieri (Pepperell, Mass.) and junior Emma Smith (Patterson, N.Y.) added single tallies.

The Sharks were led by Greer Gilbert with three goals and an assist. Stephanie Oliveri added two goals and two assists, while Ashley Sheehan totaled two goals and an assist. Ali Stonehill and Alexia Malone Oliver added single tallies.

Fitzpatrick paced the Norwich offense in the first half. She netted the first goal of the game 2:25 into the half, and after the Sharks took the lead at 3-2 14 minutes later, Fitzpatrick needed just 12 seconds to net the 3-3 equalizer. With 11:57 left in the first half, Simmons' Stonehouse put the Sharks up 4-3, but Fitzpatrick answered with her third goal 2:06 later. The first half concluded with Simmons' Gilbert and Norwich's Smith trading goals for a deadlocked 5-5 halftime score.

Lamarre opened the second half with a go-ahead goal at 26:32, and the Cadets would not trail from that there. An Oliveri goal at 25:11 briefly knotted the score again at 6-6, but Fitzpatrick scored twice to bookend Norwich's two-minute long, three-goal run. Gokey tallied an unassisted tally in the middle.

Simmons answered Norwich's run with back-to-back goals by Sheehan and Oliveri at 15:41 and 12:53 to come within one at 9-8, but Guarnieri and Lamarre teamed up for their own two-goal stretch at 11:32 and 10:42 to reclaim the three-goal lead.

The Norwich defense held the Sharks scoreless for over eight minutes, but Gilbert netted a final tally with 2:14 to play. The Cadets won the final draw control and maintained possession for nearly a minute, but a turnover gave the Sharks possession with 1:19 to play. The Sharks carried the ball to the offensive zone, but a turnover with 1:02 to play sealed the win for Norwich.

Simmons goaltender Crystal Derosier had an impressive day in net, as she totaled 18 saves. Norwich netminder Irene Okubo (Chicago, Ill.) registered two saves in the win.

The Cadets won 12 of 22 draw controls, led by Fitzpatrick and Smith with three apiece. Fitzpatrick also had team-highs in ground balls with eight and caused turnovers with five. Gilbert paced the Sharks with six ground balls.

Norwich will travel to No. 2 St. Joseph's (ME) on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. GNAC Semifinal matchup at Deering Stadium.