Diaz Fuels the Mount Past Sacred Heart

FAIRFIELD, Conn. Lindsay Diaz (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) scored a career-high four goals to lead Mount St. Mary's past Sacred Heart 11-6 in Northeast Conference (NEC) women's lacrosse action on Sunday.

Diaz posted more than two goals in a match for the first time in her career. The sophomore registered a marker at 12:00 before scoring the first two goals of the second half at 31:33 and 39:16 and then capped her first four-goal performance by finding the twine at 53:27. She has recorded 12 goals this season after tallying six goals and two assists for eight points as a freshman.

Esther Rufolo (Woodstock, Md./Chapelgate Christian Academy) added two goals for the Mount (4-8, 3-1 NEC) while Aubrey Rubino (Allendale, N.J./Northern Highlands Regional) posted a goal and an assist and Brigid McTavish (Mount Airy, Md./South Carroll) made six saves in the winning effort.

Emily Pepe paced the Pioneers (3-7, 2-2 NEC) with a goal and two assists and Aurelie Pluijmakers found the twine twice. Kelly Keenan turned away five shots in the loss.

Mount St. Mary's jumped out to the early advantage and never looked back for its second-straight win against Sacred Heart.

After last year's meeting went down to the wire with the Mountaineers earning a 10-9 win in the final minute to clinch a spot in the NEC Tournament, this year's match had little suspense as the Mount jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first 12 minutes.

Rufolo got the scoring started with a free-position goal at 5:04. Kaitlyn Larrimore (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) found the back of the net for her 23rd goal of the season at 8:40 before Diaz converted an 8-meter chance at the 12-minute mark for a 3-0 edge.

Kelsey Russo put the Pioneers on the scoreboard with a free-position tally at 20:19 and then Pepe scored at 26:35 to trim the margin to 3-2.

Rubino and Erin Seipp (Towson, Md./Notre Dame Preparatory) answered right back for Mount St. Mary's with markers at 27:02 and 28:05, respectively to restore the three-goal lead.

Kaitlin Rochler scored with three seconds left to trim the margin to 5-3 at halftime.

Fueled by two goals from Diaz, the Mount scored the first four tallies of the second half. Diaz found the twine at 31:33 unassisted and then converted a free-position opportunity at 39:16. Bridget McGann (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Regis Jesuit) then notched her first collegiate tally off an assist from Rubino at 40:12 before Rufolo capped the 4-0 run with an 8-meter goal at 45:07 for a 9-3 advantage.

Pluijmakers halted the Mount's 4-0 surge off a feeder from Pepe at 52:41, but Diaz converted a free-position chance at 42 seconds later to restore a six-goal margin. The two teams traded markers again after Kate Kmiotek found the twine at 53:59 and Jen Semler (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) responded at 56:23. Pluijmakers closed the scoring with an unassisted score with 18 seconds left, but Mount St. Mary's came away with an 11-6 victory.

Diaz, Meaghan Conlon (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty), Gabe Little (Hampstead, Md./North Carroll) and Megan Gluck (Chantilly. Va./Freedom) each had two caused turnovers. Conlon had a team-high four draw controls and Little had a team-best three ground balls in the win.

Mount St. Mary's returns to action at home against Bryant on Thursday. Game time is 4:00 p.m.


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