No. 11 Union Escapes St. Lawrence in Liberty Semifinals

CLINTON, N.Y. -- Melissa Hine '11 scored three goals and assisted on five others to lead nationally ranked No. 11 Union College to an 11-9 win against St. Lawrence University in a 2010 Liberty League women's lacrosse championship semifinal at Hamilton College's Steuben Field on May 7.

Union -- the tournament's No. 2 seed -- advances to Saturday's final where they will play top seed and undefeated Hamilton for the fifth straight year. The game is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. at Steuben Field.

The Dutchwomen (11-6 overall) defeated Hamilton for the league title in 2006, but the Continentals have won each of the last three years. Union will play in the championship final for the seventh year in a row. Third-seeded St. Lawrence (12-5) ended the season with a three-game losing streak.

Hine leads the league with 55 assists. Kristin Joyce '11 chipped in three goals and Allie Cuozzo '10 had two. Joyce leads the league with 71 goals. Cat Ruggiero '11, who leads NCAA Division III in save percentage, stopped 11 shots. Kat Egizi '12 scooped up five ground balls and caused four turnovers to lead the defense.

Brigid Hurley '13 and Nora Langan '12 paced the Saints' offense with three goals apiece. Anna Marchand '11 made five saves and picked up four ground balls. Mary Jane Sweetland '10 collected five ground balls and Kendall Harty '12 won a game-high four draw controls.

The Dutchwomen routed St. Lawrence 16-4 at home on April 24, but this game was much more competitive. Langan gave the Saints a 1-0 lead 3 minutes, 45 seconds into the first half. It turned out to be St. Lawrence's only lead of the afternoon. Union scored the next five goals and held the advantage for the rest of the game. Hine was credited with three assists during the run as five Dutchwomen scored one goal each. Joyce capped the spurt with a goal with 11:44 left in the half.

The Saints stormed back with three straight goals to end the half. Hurley scored twice during the mini-run, and her free-position goal with 3:40 remaining in the half made the score 5-4. St. Lawrence never tied the score in the second half, but Union's largest lead was just three goals in the final 30 minutes.

Joyce gave the Dutchwomen a two-goal cushion with 23:34 left on an assist from Chelsea Charette '11. Joyce's score started a trend where the teams traded goals four times. It ended with Langan's 18th goal of the year on a free-position shot that pulled the Saints within 9-8 with 11:13 remaining.

Hine then took over with two unassisted goals to give Union some breathing room. The first one came with 8:44 left and the second with 5:30 remaining made the score 11-8. Hurley's 21st goal with 49 seconds left provided the final margin.

St. Lawrence owned the advantage in shots (27-22), ground balls (21-18) and draw controls (12-10). The Saints were aiming for their first win against the Dutchwomen since 2003, but Hine didn't let it happen. Union goes for its third league tournament title because of her performance.

2010-05-07



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