Holy Cross Downs American to Clinch Patriot Berth

WORCESTER, Mass. Sophomore Kat Sutton (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) recorded a career best five goals and six points, while the Crusaders went a perfect 8-8 on free-position shots as the Holy Cross women's lacrosse team defeated American, 16-11, on Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale at the new Holy Cross Field in Patriot League action.

With the win, the Crusaders earn the fourth seed in the Patriot League Tournament and improve to 6-10 overall (3-3 Patriot League), while the Eagles conclude the season 6-10 overall (3-3 Patriot League).

The Patriot League semifinals will be on Friday, April 30 at the home field of the highest seed which will be decided after Navy, Colgate and Lehigh, who all have 4-1 league records, play today. Navy plays versus Bucknell and Lehigh plays at Colgate. This is the fourth time in the last six years that the Crusaders have made the Patriot League Tournament and the first since 2007. Holy Cross won the title in 2006 and 2007.

Sutton extended her goal scoring streak to 28 straight games and went 4-4 on free-position shots. Senior Katie Gardner (Garden City, N.Y.) was also outstanding as she posted three goals and one assist for four points and has now recorded at least one point in 19 straight overall games. Freshman Maddie Carrellas (Middletown, R.I.) scored two goals and had one assist for three points including her second game-winning goal of the season.

Seniors Megan Fenton (Bridgewater, N.J.) and Ali Baird (Wilbraham, Mass.) each scored two goals. Junior Annie Boylan (Andover, Mass.) and sophomore Catherine Furman (Garden City, N.Y.) each posted one goal and freshman Taylor Zebrowski (Verona, N.J.) added one assist. Sutton and junior Meg O'Leary (Longmeadow, Mass.) each picked up four ground balls, while O'Leary led the team with three caused turnovers.

American was led by Paige Lin who recorded four goals and one assist for five points.

With the winner of the game earning the last bid to the Patriot League Tournament each team produced strong offensive performances in the first half as 19 total goals were scored. The Crusaders took a 2-0 lead with a goal by Baird from Sutton and a goal by Fenton from Gardner. After Lin put the Eagles on the scoreboard, goals by Boylan, Sutton, Baird, and Carrellas gave the Crusaders a 6-1 advantage.

Following another score by Lin, Gardner netted a goal to make it a 7-2 contest. American responded with three straight goals to cut the lead to 7-5. But that is as close as they would get the rest of the game as Gardner and Sutton found the back of the net to make the score 9-5. With the score now 9-6, Fenton recorded a goal, but the Eagles answered to make it a 10-7 game. The Crusaders closed out the half strong with goals by Sutton and Carrellas as Carrellas scored the eventual game-winner on a free-position shot with just one second left.

Defense was the theme to the second half as each team was held to four goals. Holy Cross scored the first two goals to increase its lead to 14-7. Sutton scored and then Furman scored off a pass by Zebrowski. With the score now 14-8, Sutton found the back of the net for the fifth time on the afternoon. After the Eagles scored three straight goals to make the score 15-11, Gardner scored off a pass by Carrellas for the last goal of the game with 1:07 remaining for the 16-11 final score.

Junior goalie Amy Martin (Bloomfield, Mich.) made 12 saves and has now made double-digit saves in 11 of the 16 games this season. The Eagles outshot the Crusaders, 28-27, while Holy Cross picked up 22 ground balls and American earned 18. The Crusaders secured 15 draw controls and the Eagles recorded 13. Holy Cross caused nine turnovers and American caused eight.

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