WESTON, Mass. – The number one seeded Regis College women's lacrosse team was able to put together eleven second half goals to secure a 20-8 win in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Semifinals against #4 Elms College on Wednesday evening. With the win, the Pride (12-6) will advance to the NECC Championship on Saturday, May 4.
Regis was led offensively by freshman midfielder Sam Salamone (Milford, Mass.), who scored seven goals and added two helpers, while Rachel Gagnon (Ashford, Conn.) had a huge game for the Crimson & Gold on defense after causing five turnovers and scooping up a game-high seven ground balls.
The Blazers, who close out the season with a 5-10 record, saw four different players score two goals apiece to lead the charge, including senior Chelsey Grabowski (South Hadley, Mass.), freshman Ashley Cava (Wilbraham, Mass.), as well as sophomores Nora McDonough (South Hadley, Mass.) and Lauren Mazza (Agawam, Mass.).
After trailing 1-0 early after a free position goal from Cava, Regis got on the board at the 27:53 mark when Grace Politis (Billerica, Mass.) made a pass from the outside to a cutting Andrea Barbosa (Taunton, Mass.), who finished with a shot that went into the top right corner.
Elms would respond just over three minutes later when Grabowski got past her defender and took a low shot that beat goalkeeper Emma Decker (Southborough, Mass.) for the 2-1 lead. Unfortunately for the Blazers, it would be their last lead of the game, as the Pride would rattle off five straight goals for a 6-2 lead. Three of those goals came from Salamone, while Katie Haidemenos (Warwick, R.I.) and Krysten Sheppard (Medford, Mass.) also registered a goal.
Cava and Grabowski each added their second goals of the half, while Regis saw three more goals come from Lindsey Graver (Bellingham, Mass.), Barbosa, and Politis, respectively, as the Pride entered halftime with a 9-4 lead.
The Blazers came out of the break with vengeance, scoring three quick unanswered goals to cut the deficit to only two. Mazza scored back-to-back goals in similar fashion, as she cut through the Pride defense and finished with low shots. McDonough added a free position goal to make the score 9-7 at the 22:29 mark.
Regis was able to regroup and started to turn on the jets, erupting for six unanswered goals over the next twelve minutes to extend the lead. The Pride saw two goals apiece come from Salamone, Politis, and Haidemenos during that run.
After another McDonough free position goal with a little over six minutes to play, Regis closed out the game with an impressive 5-0 run for the 20-8 final score. Salamone notched two of those goals, while Haidemenos, Politis, and Stacy Burns (Waltham, Mass.) also found the back of the net.
Politis would finish with a game-high 11 draw controls to go along with her four goals and one assist on the day, while Decker finished with five saves in goal. Senior Catherine Leonard (Chicopee, Mass.) stopped 15 shots in the losing effort for the Blazers.
Regis will host #2 Becker College at 1:00 p.m. in the NECC Championship on Saturday. The Hawks defeated #3 Wheelock College, 14-13 in the other NECC Semifinal game to advance.