EWING, NJ -- The College of New Jersey continued its unbeaten season as the Lions’ opened the 2011 NCAA Division III Tournament with a 17-0 win against visiting Gwynedd-Mercy on Wednesday.

The win put the Lions at 18-0 on the season, while the Colonial States Athletic Conference champion Griffins capped their successful season at 11-8. It was also Gwynedd-Mercy’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

TCNJ’s top-ranked defense picked up its third shutout of the season and limited the Griffins to only a pair of shots on goal. Those shots came in the closing minutes and senior goalie Mary Waller denied Gwynedd-Mercy’s Colleen Dellostretto on back-to-back free-position shots in the final minute of the game.

With the win, TCNJ advances into the regional round of the tournament where they will take on Catholic University, which defeated the University of Mary Washington.

After losing the opening draw, the Lions quickly forced a turnover and freshman Lauren Pigott ignited the offense getting the hosts on the board 53 seconds into the game with an assist from Leigh Mitchell. Pigott scored again just over a half-minute later before TCNJ tacked on three more goals in a 58-second span. Senior Alison Jaeger factored in on all three of those scores setting up Kathleen Notos  on each end, while scoring the middle goal. All five of those goals came in the first five minutes of the game.

The Lions dominated the rest of the half scoring all 14 goals and were able to log the bulk of the period on offense thanks to a 13-2 edge in draw controls.

TCNJ tacked on the only three goals in the final frame to close out the win.

Jaeger finished with a game-high nine points on four goals and five assists giving her 99 points on the season. Mitchell is also one point away from a milestone as she dished out five assists giving her 111 points this season leaving her one shy of tying a program record for points in a season. Lee Moreau set the current mark of 112 in 1989.

Notos added to TCNJ’s potent attack with four goals, while Pigott registered a hat trick.