Canisius Edges Iona to Clinch MAAC Tourney Berth

New Rochelle, N.Y. The Canisius College women's lacrosse team used a late rally to defeat host Iona, 13-12, on Friday afternoon. With the win, the Griffs clinched its third-straight MAAC tournament bid for the first time in the program's history. Canisius is now 9-7 on the season and 4-1 in conference play.

"I'm happy that we earned a berth in the MAAC Tournament," said Canisius head coach Scott Teeter. "It moves us one step closer to our goal of winning a MAAC Championship. We need to use today's game as a learning experience because we need to do a better job of taking care of the ball and sticking to our systems."

Sophomore Megan Oosting (Lakefield, Ontario) led the Canisius attack with five points and four goals, including the game-winning score. Juniors Taylor Gray (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) and Jackie Loson (Newark, N.Y.) each chipped in four points. Gray netted three goals and added an assist, while Loson posted two goals and two helpers.

Senior Brett Poissant (Syracuse, N.Y.) and junior Ashley Curtis (Peterborough, Ontario) both recorded two points on a goal and assist, while junior Carly Quinn (Orangeville, Ontario) and freshman Lindsey Morgan (Lancaster, N.Y.) rounded out the scoring for Canisius with a goal each.

Junior goaltender Allison Daley (Peterborough, Ontario) stopped 13 shots in net to earn the victory. Poissant also added a game-high six draw controls and a key caused turnover to anchor the Canisius defense.

Iona (4-11, 1-4 MAAC) grabbed the early advantage by netting two of the first three goals of the game. However, Canisius responded by scoring the next four goals. Loson and Morgan sparked the run with goals 24 seconds apart as the Griffs claimed their first lead of the day, 3-2. Gray and Oosting both added scores to give Canisius a 5-2 advantage.

The Gaels answered with a 3-1 run of their own to pull within one at the half, 6-5. Iona outshot the Griffs in the first period, 16-9, and controlled possession thanks to 12 Canisius turnovers. Daley kept the Griffs in the game with eight first-half saves.

Iona picked up in the second half right where it left off in the first. The Gales opened the stanza on a 5-2 run to turn what was once a three-goal deficit into a two-score advantage, 10-8.

After the teams traded goals, Canisius began its rally when Curtis tallied her first goal of the day with 7:58 remaining in regulation, scoring on a free-position shot. The Griffs then knotted the game at 11 just 51 seconds later when Oosting tallied an unassisted goal. The Gaels reclaimed its lead when Kasey Hughes scored with 5:27 left but that would be their last goal of the afternoon.

Iona won the ensuing draw control but Daley made a point-blank save to keep the Griffs within one, 12-11. Loson then knotted the game at 12 on the other side, scoring off a pass from senior Marissa Brown (Syracuse, N.Y.) with 3:49 remaining in the game. Canisius won the crucial draw control and Oosting scored a free-position goal with 3:20 left in the contest. Iona gained possession of the ball in the closing minutes but Poissant stick-checked the ball free and scooped it up. The Griffs were then able to kill the clock and earn their third-straight MAAC Championship bid.

The Gales held a 30-24 advantage in shots, 15-12 edge in draw controls and won the ground ball battle, 22-7. Hughes led Iona with five points on three goals and two assists, while Carlee Street recorded four saves in the defeat.

Canisius is back in action on Sunday, closing out the regular season at Manhattan. Game time is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Game Notes: The Griffs earned their fourth invitation to the MAAC Tournament (2006, 2008, 2009) ... Canisius has clinched at least the three seed ... Loson doubled her previous career high of two points ... Poissant matched a career high with her six draw controls ... The senior now has 57 draw controls this season, just five shy of the school record ... Canisius has won all six meetings with Iona ... The Griffs have won all seven games this season when holding the halftime lead.


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