NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Fueled by a sparkling performance from sophomore midfielder Grace Fitzpatrick, Norwich picked up its third consecutive Great Northeast Athletic Conference tournament title with a 17-6 win against Lasell.
Fitzpatrick, en route to tournament Most Valuable Player honors, scored nine goals to guide the Maroon and Gold (14-0). The key part of her performance occurred in the late stages of the first half when, with Lasell (15-3) having rallied to within 4-3, Fitzpatrick reeled off two scores in 10 seconds to spark a six-goal NU run that put the home team up 10-3 at halftime.
“We were able, during that stretch, to get our offense into space and get their goalkeeper moving around, too,” Norwich coach Elizabeth VanParys said. “When we were able to execute passes, we were really clicking.
“Lasell is a strong team,” she added. “We knew this would be a tough game. The players were very motivated for this afternoon.”
Fitzpatrick and senior midfielder Kacey Abbriano, as they have throughout the season, led the Cadets’ offensive attack. Abbriano, compiling her 25th consecutive multiple-goal finish, turned in five goals. Senior midfielder Mollie Fitzpatrick also had a multiple-goal outing with two to go with one assist. Her sister, Grace, also added an assist to her 12th consecutive multiple-goal contest for a 10-point afternoon.
Defensively, NU senior goalkeeper Meghan Kennedy, recording her 19th consecutive win, turned in eight saves. The Cadets also forced seven Lasell turnovers and picked up 17 ground balls.
Lasell did manage a 17-shot attack. The sophomore attacker duo of Erin Gertonson and Britney Wourio combined for four goals. Freshman goalkeeper Alexa Katsigianis kept the Lasers close, especially early on, with 10 saves.
With the win, the Cadets return to the NCAA Division III tournament for a third consecutive year.