#5 SUNY-Cortland Holds Off #8 Franklin & Marshall 6-4 in NCAA Women's Lacrosse Region Final

May 14, 2006

CORTLAND, NY - SUNY-Cortland scored four goals to open the second half to rally from a 3-1 halftime deficit and hold off #8 Franklin & Marshall College 6-4 in an NCAA Women's Lacrosse Regional Final.

The win puts the Red Dragons (19-0) into the "Final Four" set for May 20-21 at DeBaun Field on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey where SUNY-Cortland will meet #1 Gettysburg College (20-0) in a matchup of the remaining undefeated teams in the nation.

Trailing 3-1 at the break, the Red Dragons tallied four consecutive goals to take a 5-3 lead with 17:37 left on the game clock.

The run began with 26:59 left on the clock as Ali Bourgal circled the net and put a shot into the lower right corner of the cage to pull the Red Dragons to within a score. Erin Lynn tied the score two and a half minutes later as she put a shot into the upper left corner of the cage with 24:28 to play for a 3-3 tie.

Cortland took the lead less than two minutes later as Jennifer Willis put home a shot for a 4-3 lead with 20:42 to play before Gina Fazio finished a pass from Willis with 17:37 left for a 5-3 lead.

Franklin & Marshall (15-5) pulled to within a goal with 12:20 left on the clock as Jen Pritchard (Fr., Media, PA/Penncrest) beat SUNY-Cortland goalie Regina Grosso to cut the lead to 5-4, but Cortland's Andrea Venditti finished a pass from Bourgal with 3:10 left on the game clock to seal the win.

In goal, Grosso finished with six saves to earn the win, while F&M goalie Kamissa Mort (Sr., Ashton, MD/Sandy Spring) turned away five shots.

The game was a story of halves as the Red Dragons controlled the second half, but the Diplomats dominated the pace of the game in the first half as the Diplomats outshot Cortland 12-7 through the first 30 minutes of play.

Franklin & Marshall jumped out to a 1-0 lead with 14:47 left until halftime as Kelly Cassels (Jr., Downingtown, PA/Great Valley) finished a pass from Eileen Keever (Sr., Prospect Park, PA/Interboro), but the Red Dragons fired back as Jessie Lynch finished a pass from Willis 56 seconds later to knot the game at 1-1 with 13:51 left in the half.

The Diplomats regained the lead at the 11:08 mark as Shannon Summers (Fr., North Wales, PA/The Hill School) finished a pass from Kiki Foster (Sr., Denver, CO/Kent Denver) for a 2-1 lead before Cassels netted her second goal of the game at the 8:08 mark for a 3-1 lead at the break.

The lead marked the first time during the season SUNY-Cortland trailed at the break.

Overall, Cassels finished the regional tournament with six goals as she netted four scores, including the go ahead score and the game-winner with 16:25 and 15:37 left on the game clock in the second half, as the Diplomats knocked off #14 and previously undefeated Nazareth College 10-7 in the first round of the regional tournament.

Statistically, the game was even as Cortland held an advantage in draw controls (eight-to-four) and shots (19-16), including a 12-4 margin in the second half, while the Diplomats led in ground balls (29-to-26).

The key to the game was ball control as the Diplomats held the ball for the last eight minutes of the first half, while Cortland kept the ball for all but 50 seconds in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Franklin & Marshall concludes the season with a 15-5 record as the Diplomats losses came to #1 Gettysburg (8-7 L 3OT, 8-6 L), #3 Salisbury University (14-8 L) and #5 Cortland.

Franklin & Marshall (15-5) 3-1-4 SUNY-Cortland (19-0) 1-5-6

Goals: Franklin & Marshall: Kelly Cassels (2), Jen Pritchard (1), Shannon Summers (1) Cortland: Jennifer Willis (1), Ali Bourgal (1), Erin Lynn (1), Gina Fazio (1), Andrea Venditti (1), Jessie Lynch (1)

Assists: Franklin & Marshall: Kiki Foster (1), Eileen Keever (1) Cortland: Jennifer Willis (2), Ali Bourgal (1)

Goalies (Minutes/Saves/GA): Franklin & Marshall: Kamissa Mort (60:00, 5, 6) Cortland: Regina Grosso (60:00, 6, 4)

Shots: Franklin & Marshall - 16 Cortland - 19

Ground Balls: Franklin & Marshall - 29 Cortland - 26

Draw Control: Franklin & Marshall - 4-of-12 Cortland - 8-of-12

Free Position Shots: Franklin & Marshall - 0-for-2 Cortland - 0-for-3

Fouls: Franklin & Marshall - 8 Cortland - 12

Turnovers: Franklin & Marshall - 21 Cortland - 15