April 26, 2009

GLENSIDE, Pa. - Senior tri-captain Abbe Grimes (Hamden, Conn.) became just the second Manhattanville women's lacrosse player to score 200 career goals with a fourth-quarter tally as the Valiants prepared for the Middle Atlantic Conference Tournament with a 13-7 conference victory Arcadia University in the team's regular-season finale on Saturday afternoon at the Kuch Center Field.

Grimes put a fitting end to Saturday's game with the final goal of the afternoon, coming with eight minutes left off a pass from sophomore Darby Webber (Walpole, Mass.). The senior ranks second on the school's career goals list, trailing only the 213 career tallies of Katie Frattarola '02, while her 246 points place her six behind Liz McNamee '03 for second place on the program's all-time points list.

Manhattanville spread the offense around against the Knights, as no Valiant recorded more than two goals and 10 different players scored at least once. Senior tri-captain Katie Bertel (Colorado Springs, Colo.) had two goals and tied a career high with three assists for a team-high five points, while sophomores Jen Ascencio (Monroe, N.Y.) and Emelda Ogweta (Portland, Maine) each finished up with two goals and an assist for the visitors.

Sophomore netminder Kirstin Betsill (Parkton, Md.) continued to add to her program-record win total in goal, earning her 11th victory of the season by stopping 14 of 21 shots put on net by the Knights. Manhattanville held a 33-21 edge in total shots on the afternoon.

Arcadia freshman Stephanie Holguin scored on a free-position attempt to give the home team its first and only lead of the game 3:10 into the first half, but the Valiants came back with the next three goals to take the lead. Sophomore Cassie Kovac (Saugerties, N.Y.) ignited a run of three straight sophomore scorers with an unassisted tally at the 10:29 mark, followed by goals from classmates Ascencio and Sami Berardo (Rumson, N.J.). Berardo's score, the sophomore's first career goal, gave the Valiants a 3-1 lead with 9:03 left in the half.

Arcadia kept the score close, scoring consecutive goals to tie the game at three with seven minutes remaining, but Ogweta and senior tri-captain Colleen Holahan (New Hyde Park, N.Y.) both found the net in the final 2:37 of the half to give Manhattanville a 5-3 lead headed into halftime.

Manhattanville continued to press on in the second half, as the team slowly expanded its lead. Arcadia got the lead back down to two goals with 18:05 remaining on a score by Jenni Groves, but sophomore Kristy Guichard (Melville, N.Y.) netted a free-position goal less than two minutes later to begin a 4-0 run and the Valiants cruised to their program-record 11th victory of 2009.

With the win, the Valiants finish the regular season with an overall record of 11-5, 6-5 in Middle Atlantic Conference play. Manhattanville will be the sixth-seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament, and will travel to Madison, N.J., to take on third-seeded FDU-Florham in a first-round matchup beginning at 5 p.m. Arcadia (3-11, 2-9 MAC) has its season come to a close with the loss.