Thursday Wrap: Higher Seeds Mostly Prevail in Conference Semifinals

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER

Livy Rosenzweig tallied five goals and two assists and became the fourth player in program history to hit 200 career points as No. 6 Loyola breezed by Lehigh 19-5 in the Patriot League semifinals.


Last weekend featured a wild ACC quarterfinal round and bid-stealing performance from first-time A-10 champion Saint Joseph’s. Yesterday, Oregon stunned Colorado, potentially bursting the Buffs’ NCAA tournament bubble.

What did the women’s lacrosse world do for an encore? With apologies to those who love a good underdog story, Thursday was mostly chalk as several top seeds prevailed in the semifinals. Here’s how it all went down.

MOUNT SAINT MARY’S PREVAILS IN OVERTIME

Mount Saint Mary’s will have a chance to defend its NEC title Saturday after a double-clutch performance from Christina Haspert. The sophomore scored the game-tying goal in the fourth quarter and the winner in overtime as the second-seeded Mountaineers upended third-seeded Wagner 12-11. Haspert finished with five points on three goals and two assists, and Dani Donoghue poured in four goals and added an assist for Mount Saint Mary’s (14-4).

Stefani Peluso and Kasey Dorney led Wagner (8-10) with three points each, and Lauren DiStefano made 11 stops.

Mount Saint Mary’s appeared to be in control, building an 8-2 lead in the first half and 9-3 advantage when Donoghue scored at 13:23 of the third quarter. But the Seahawks stormed back, using an 8-1 run to take their first lead of the game on a Dorney goal with 5:03 left in regulation. But Haspert broke free from behind the cage to knot the score at 11 with 4:11 remaining in the fourth quarter. In overtime, Haspert took a feed from freshman Katie Siverson in front and scored to lift the Mountaineers.  

The Mount will battle its co-regular season champion in top-seeded Bryant. The Bulldogs, who are in their final year with the NEC before moving to the America East, advanced to their seventh NEC title game in program history by blowing past fourth-seeded LIU (6-12) 20-6. Kenna Kaut scored five goals, and Skylar Simmonds added four as the Bulldogs improved to 13-4 overall. 

NO. 7 FLORIDA BACK IN AAC FINAL

No. 7 Florida will have the chance to three-peat as American Athletic Conference champions Saturday after blowing out East Carolina 17-8. Emma LoPinto led Florida (14-4) with four goals and one assist, while Maggi Hall chimed in with four goals. Caroline Kimel tallied three goals and two assists for East Carolina (9-9).

Just as they did when the two teams met last weekend, the Gators raced out to a large early lead. Maggi Hall scored twice on a game-opening 6-0 run. Leah Bestany scored ECU’s first goal of the game from the 8-meter, but Emerson Cabrera scored once and Hall struck again to give the Gators an 8-2 advantage after one. LoPinto found the back of the cage four times in the second quarter, while Florida held ECU scoreless to take a 14-2 lead into the locker room at halftime that proved insurmountable.

The second AAC semifinal was one for the ages. Third-seeded Vanderbilt needed an overtime goal from offensive staple Gabby Fornia to down second-seeded Temple 11-10, setting up a date with the Gators.

Fornia was an absolute force at the end of the game, scoring her team’s final four goals. Down 10-8 with 2:56 left in regulation, Vanderbilt (10-6) leaned on its star. Fornia scored with 2:18 left to put her side down one, then scored the equalizer with 11 seconds to go.

In overtime, Temple won the opening draw but Paige Gunning made one of her 11 saves, resulting in a successful clear and the game-winning goal.

LOYOLA, NAVY WIN BIG IN PATRIOT LEAGUE SEMIS

Livy Rosenzweig tallied five goals and two assists and became the fourth player in program history to hit 200 career points as No. 6 Loyola breezed by Lehigh 19-5 in the Patriot League semifinals. Rosenzweig also corralled a game-high seven draws and caused two turnovers, while Jillian Wilson tallied a hat trick for Loyola (17-1). Emma Eberhardt recorded two goals and one assist for Lehigh (9-9). 

Loyola took control as soon as the opening whistle sounded. Katie Detwiler got the draw, and the Greyhounds took advantage of the quick possession when Sam Fielder found Elli Kluegel for a goal 20 seconds into the game. Goals by Sydni Black and Rosenzweig put the Greyhounds in front 3-0 before 90 seconds had gone by. Jillian Wilson scored at 8:57. With 4:33 remaining in the first quarter, Catie Corolla found Rosenzweig. Rosenzweig finished, notching her 200th point and putting the Greyhounds up 5-0. 

The barrage continued. Rosenzweig would score three more times in the first half, including one at 2:29 of the second quarter that capped a game-opening 12-0 run. Katia Carnevale got Lehigh on the board for the first time with five seconds left in the half. Loyola outscored Lehigh 7-4 over the final 30 minutes. 

The win earned the Greyhounds the right to play for their third consecutive league title. They’ll face third-seeded Navy, which beat Army 16-6. Like Loyola, the Mids (15-4) jumped out to a massive early lead. Reagan Roelofs and Gil Eby scored twice during an 8-0 Navy run to open the game that essentially secured the win. The Mids led 11-1 at the break and never looked back.







PIONEERS, GEORGETOWN ADVANCE TO BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP

Three Pioneers netted hat tricks as No. 12 Denver routed No. 18 UConn 15-6 in the Big East semifinals. The Denver (16-2) defense, ranked sixth in the nation (8.18), held UConn to its lowest goal output of the season. The Huskies (13-4) entered the game ranked fourth nationally in goals per game (16.88). Sam Thacker caused a game-high four turnovers. Lauren Black posted three goals and three assists, and Julia Gilbert finished with three goals and two helpers. Kate Shaffer scored twice for UConn.

Denver showed a balanced offense early. Four different Pioneers found the back of the net (Kayla DeRose, Gilbert, Sloane Kipp and Ellie Curry) to put Denver in front 4-0 at 2:42 of the first half. A Shaffer free position goal cut the lead to 3-1.

The Pioneers scored four unanswered again to start the second, taking an 8-1 lead when Bea Behrins scored from the 8-meter at 7:12. Lia LaPrise and Madelyn George scored free position goals in the final minute to bring UConn within five, 8-3, at the break. Behrins, Mollie Estepp and Black tallied the only three goals in the third quarter. Behrins capped another string of four-straight goals when she netted her third of the day at 13:36 of the fourth quarter to put Denver in front 12-3. 

Denver will face third-seeded Georgetown. The Hoyas (9-8) got six points from Ali Diamond and five points from Kylie Hazen in a 17-13 win over second-seeded Marquette (8-10). Meg Bireley had a hat trick and one assist, and Shea Garcia scored twice and dished two assists for Marquette.

Diamond gave the Hoyas an 11-7 lead in the third quarter, but three-straight Golden Eagles goals brought them within one, 11-10, when Kyra Lamotte scored at 8:09 of the third quarter. But the Hoyas countered with four unanswered and grabbed a commanding 15-10 advantage when Diamond scored less than a minute into the fourth quarter. 

NOTABLE

  • Jenny Kinsey scored four goals and became Jacksonville’s all-time points leader at 262 as the Dolphins (12-4) downed Coastal Carolina (6-11) 20-7 in the ASUN semifinals. Sarah Elms tallied five goals for the Dolphins, who will go for their fifth-straight tournament title Saturday against Liberty. Liberty (11-7) beat Kennesaw State (11-7) in the second game, 21-6 behind a balanced offensive effort. Siena Gore and Chesslyn Lamar led Liberty with three points. 

  • Albany (8-8) advanced to the America East title game for the 11th-straight year by rallying from a two-goal halftime deficit to top UMBC (8-9) 16-13. The Great Danes have finished runner-up to Stony Brook eight times in a row, but the regular-season champion Seawolves are ineligible this year in light of the school’s upcoming move to the CAA. This year, Albany instead will take on Vermont (13-4), which beat Binghamton (7-9) 13-12 in semifinal No. 2. 

  • Robert Morris (9-8) and Central Michigan (11-7) will meet in the MAC championship. Fueled by four-point afternoons from Kendall Hoyt and Brennan Paddy, top-seeded Central Michigan downed fourth-seed Kent State (6-12) 15-5. Jordan Anderson, Julia Koterwas and Colleen Tifft each tallied four points in third-seeded Robert Morris’ 22-14 win over Youngstown State (10-8).

  • Stanford (11-6) blasted upstart Oregon 21-9, one night after the Ducks upset Colorado in the Pac-12 quarters. Annabel Frist scored seven times and Ashley Humphrey had two goals and five assists to lift the Cardinal, who await the winner of USC and Arizona State in the conference championship game.

HOW THE NIKE/USAL TOP 20 FARED

No. 6 Loyola defeated Lehigh 19-5
No. 7 Florida defeated East Carolina 17-8
No. 12 Denver defeated No. 18 UConn 16-6
No. 17 Stanford defeated Oregon 21-9

FULL SCOREBOARD

AAC

No. 7 Florida 17, East Carolina 8
Vanderbilt 11, Temple 10 (OT)

ASUN

Jacksonville 20, Coastal Carolina 7
Kennesaw State 21, Liberty 6

America East

Albany 16, UMBC 13
Vermont 13, Binghamton 12

Big East

No. 12 Denver 16, No. 18 UConn 6
Georgetown 17, Marquette 13

MAC

Central Michigan 15, Kent State 5
Robert Morris 22, Youngstown State 14

NEC

Bryant 20, LIU 6
Mount St. Mary’s 12, Wagner 11 (OT)

Pac-12

No. 17 Stanford 21, Oregon 9

Patriot League

No. 6 Loyola 19, Lehigh 5
Navy 16, Army 6

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