May 6, 2009

Courtesy of Union Athletics

SCHENECTADY, NY – Sophomore goaltender Cat Ruggiero (Hungtington, NY/Huntington) made 10 saves, leading the Union women’s lacrosse team to a 8-7 victory in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The Dutchwomen advance to face Franklin & Marshall (17-1) on Saturday, May 9 at 11:30 a.m. on the Diplomats home field. Union, who improves to 15-3 overall, advances to the second round of the national tournament for the second consecutive year. Rowan’s season concludes with an 8-9 record.

With Union ahead 8-7 with just nine seconds remaining, Ruggiero denied a free position shot allowing her team to advance to the second round.

The Dutchwomen took control of the game when junior attack Jill LaForest (Acton,MA/Acton-Boxborough) put Union ahead for good with two seconds remaining in the first half. A balance attack on offense and defense in the second allowed Union to control the lead the rest of the way

Union was led by two goals and an assist from sophomore attack Chelsea Charette (South Hadley, MA/South Hadley) and a goal and an assist from both sophomore attack Kristin Joyce (Longmeadow, MA/Longmeadow) and sophomore attack Casey Danni (Rye, NY/Rye).

The three-headed attack of junior Alayna Morris (Columbus, NJ/Northern Burlington Regional), senior Lauren Crennan (Pottstown, PA/Owen J. Roberts) and junior Tori Hart (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) led Rowen with two goals each.

Ruggiero earned her 13th victory of the season, while Rowen senior Alicia Mannino (Richboro, PA/Conwell-Egan Catholic) made nine stops.

The Dutchwomen controlled the shots (23-19) and groundballs (20-19), but the Profs won the draw control battle (13-4).

The scoring of the closely contested first half began only 51 seconds Crennan netted her 26th goal of the season. Moments later at 26:59, Charette tied it up with a free position goal.

The back-and-forth battle continued as the two team’s exchanged goal. First, Hart scored at 21:32 and Union’s junior midfield Allie Cuozzo (Norfolk, MA/King Phillip Regional) retied the score at 20:53 on a pass from Joyce.

The Profs regained control 20 seconds later when leading scorer Kelly Angstadt (Sewell, NJ/Washington Twp.) potted her 30th goal of the season.

The Dutchwomen responded with goals from sophomore attack Abby Stohler (West Hartford, CT/Conard) at 18:41 and junior midfield Keelin Skurek (Massillon, OH/Western Reserve Academy), giving Union its first lead of the day.

Morris tied things up (4-4) on a free position with 2:55 remaining, but LaForest scored with just two ticks remaining from sophomore attack Casey Dianni (Rye, NY/Rye), giving Union a 5-4 halftime lead.

Dianni added her name to the score sheet 1:20 into the second with her ninth goal of the season, moving the score to 6-4. However, the visitors had a response 33 seconds later when Morris tallied her second of the game.

A point-blank stop by Ruggiero on Crennan kept Union ahead at 19:36, but a nifty move by Morris evened the score at 18:42 after a lengthy Roven possession.

After Union failed to convert on the ensuing attempt, Reggiero was once again up to the task, making a save from six feet out. The Dutchwomen flipped the field, allowing Charette to sneak one through the legs of Mannino at 14:43.

Joyce gave Union its third two-goal lead of the game at 8:37, but the Profs pulled within one (8-7) at 7:25 when Hart found the twine and produced the final result.