KINGS POINT, N.Y. (May 5, 2018) – The top-seeded U.S. Merchant Marine Academy women's lacrosse team defeated #3 seed St. Joseph's-L.I., 13-10, on Saturday afternoon in the Skyline Championship Game to capture the program's first-ever conference title. The Mariners improve to 14-2 after the win, while the Golden Eagles end the season 8-9.
With the victory, the Mariners earn the Skyline's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, which will begin next weekend, as they will play in the national tournament for the first time ever. The full field of 42 teams will be released tomorrow night, Sunday, May 6, on a selection show that can be viewed at this link.
Junior Meredith Willard (Portland, Maine) led all scorers in the game with seven points on six goals and an assist. Willard won a game-high five draw-controls and earned the 2018 Skyline Tournament Most Outstanding Player award for her 16 points over the two games.
Freshman Kelly Midas (Clarksville, Md.) registered a career-high with four goals on the afternoon. Junior Maura Malone (Yorktown, Va.) added two goals to go along with two groundballs and two caused turnovers. Junior Jessica Reilly (Sayville, N.Y.) chipped in with a goal and an assist and also recorded a game-high four groundballs and caused four turnovers.
The Mariner defense forced 14 St. Joe's turnovers for the game. Junior goalie Hannah Gizzi (Finksburg, Md.) made eight saves to go along with four groundballs and three caused turnovers.
After both squads traded the first six goals of the game in the opening 12 minutes, the Mariners scored five of the last six of the first half to lead 8-4 at halftime.
Merchant Marine built its lead up to 11-6 at 16:30 of the second, but the Golden Eagles would not go down quietly. They quickly cut the deficit down to just three goals and each time the Mariners scored the rest of the game, they responded with one of their own. However, time ran out on the visitors and USMMA claimed the hard-fought victory.
SJC was led by senior Kristin Carroll and junior Nicole Stoppelli, who both tallied three goals and an assist apiece. Stoppelli also picked up a team-best five draw controls and three groundballs, while also leading the Golden Eagles with three caused turnovers. Senior Kristin Carroll found the back of the net once and dished out one assist and three other played scored on the day for St. Joe's. Junior goalie Lindsay Ramos made seven saves in the losing effort.
Once again, the Mariners will find out where they will be headed and who they will take on in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Division III National Tournament tomorrow night, Sunday, May 6, during a selection show set to air on NCAA.com at this link.
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