WESTON, Mass. – The Regis College women's lacrosse team aims to create another memorable moment as it heads into the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Lacrosse Tournament championship match against Johnson & Wales University Saturday, May 4, starting at 1 p.m. at the Scotts Miracle-Gro Athletics Complex in Providence, R.I.
Regis, the second seed in the tournament, advanced to the title game by defeating seventh seed Emmanuel last Saturday, 13-5, and third seed Lasell this past Wednesday, 15-14. Currently 15-2 overall, the Pride have tied the program record for most victories in a season, originally set in 2017, rattled off a program-record 13-match winning streak, and established a new team record for best winning percentage in a single season no matter what Saturday's result is.
Junior attacker Kerri Anselmo (Natick, Mass.) scored six goals Wednesday, including the game-winning goal with 30 seconds remaining in regulation. She leads the Pride with 39 assists, a single-season school record, and 85 total points so far this season. She has also scored 46 goals, second on the team behind senior Alyssa Kelly (Lee, Mass.), who notched her 12th hat trick of the season with three goals against Lasell to improve to 51 goals during the season.
Sophomore Brittany McPherson (Lynn, Mass.) has played every second in net for the Pride in 2019, posting a 7.45 goals against average and a .533 save percentage with 145 total saves. McPherson is 12th in the country in goals against average and 14th in Division III in save percentage. The Pride defense in front of McPherson has been stellar throughout the year, currently ranking 26th in the country in scoring defense. Junior Meghan Sargent (Brattleboro, Vt.) leads that defense, as she is 48th in Division III with 2.63 caused turnovers per game.
Johnson & Wales brings a 15-4 overall record in Saturday's match, including a perfect 11-0 record in GNAC play to earn the top seed and home field advantage in the tournament. The Wildcats have won 38 straight matches, regular season and tournament, against GNAC opponents, with their last loss coming in the 2016 GNAC Tournament final against Lasell, 12-9. Johnson & Wales cruised past eighth seed Norwich, 25-5, and fifth seed Simmons, 20-5, to make its fourth straight appearance in the league title game.
The Wildcats average 18.11 goals per match, fourth-best in all of Division III, led by JWU all-time leading goal scorer Allison Pazienski, currently fifth in the country with 93 goals and ninth in Division III with 114 total points. Maria Patane and Dani Lydecker are tied for the team lead and 43rd in Division III with 41 assists apiece, with Patane scoring 57 goals and Lydecker earning 56 goals so far in 2019.
Sophomore goalkeeper Cassidy O'Hara has started 14 matches for the Wildcats this season, posting an 11-3 record with an 8.86 goals against average and a .424 save percentage with 92 total saves. Marley Medina leads the team with 32 caused turnovers and 49 ground balls, followed by Deja Hursey with 26 caused turnovers and 46 ground balls and Madeline Bishara with 17 caused turnovers and 47 ground balls.
Johnson & Wales has won all five previous meetings over Regis, starting with non-conference victories in 2014 (13-10) and 2015 (10-8). The Pride joined the GNAC last season and lost to the Wildcats both in the regular season (18-2) and in the semifinals of the conference tournament (19-4).
Just over a week ago, Johnson & Wales traveled north to face Regis on the final day of the regular season and came away with a 17-8 victory. Pazienski led all players with seven goals, while Lydecker finished with three goals, five assists, six ground balls, 10 draw controls, and three caused turnovers. Anselmo led the Pride with three goals and four assists, and McPherson made 13 saves, her sixth match this season with 10 or more saves.
With two victories over the past week, Regis is now 13-1 in conference tournament contests, including 5-0 in league championship matches, all in the NECC from 2013 to 2017. Johnson & Wales has improved to 11-3 in GNAC Tournament games and brings a 3-1 mark in GNAC title matches into Saturday's contest.
Links to live stats and a live video stream will be available on GoRegisPride.com, with a full recap on the official Regis athletics website later in the day.