Cadets Upend Lasell to Take Lead in GNAC

NORTHFIELD, Vt. Sparked by the play of a pair of seniors, Norwich turned in a critical 16-12 Great Northeast Athletic Conference win over Lasell April 17.

Senior midfielder Mollie Fitzpatrick (Falmouth, Me.) scored five goals, dished out two assists and finished with seven points, each team highs for the Cadets (8-0, 6-0 GNAC). Fellow senior Meghan Kennedy (Lowell, Mass.) was strong in goal defensively, recording seven saves and repelling some late-game offensive charges from the Lasers (12-2, 7-1 GNAC).

"We needed our upperclasswomen players to step up in a match like this," Coach Beth VanParys said. "Mollie and Meghan played very well in leading us.

"We had talked about staying within the game we wanted to play before hand," she added. "Lasell is a good team and is very strong in what they do. "

The victory gave the Cadets solo possession of the GNAC lead with three games to go. It also increased a pair of impressive streaks marking the program's 14th successive home and 23rd consecutive conference victory.

Both offenses started the game quickly. Fitzpatrick tallied the game's first score 41 seconds off a free position attempt to start a roll of seven goals in the opening 10 minutes. VanParys' side was able to build a 6-3 lead with less than 14 minutes to go in the first half and increased it to 9-5 at halftime behind three goals from Fitzpatrick and two off the stick of senior midfielder Kacey Abbriano (Hicksville, N.Y.).

Back-to-back Maroon and Gold goals gave the home side a quick six-goal advantage early in the second half. However, Lasell, seeking its 12th straight win, battled back with three straight scores to make it 11-8. NU answered with a haymaker of its own, running off three straight, to move the lead back to 14-8, while the visitors countered with three successive goals to make it 14-11 with 3:38 to play.

From that point, sophomore midfielder Grace Fitzpatrick and her sister reeled off two more goals to put the game out of reach. Norwich held a 29-25 shots edge behind eight attempts from Abbriano. Abbriano also topped the team with seven ground balls picked up. NU had Abbriano and Grace Fitzpatrick each registered three goals, while senior attacker Suzanne Whitaker (Chelmsford, Mass.) ended with two scores.

Sophomore attacker Britney Wuorio and junior midfielder Rebecca Stanton proved an effective one-two punch for Lasell. Wuorio, the league's leader in goals and points, scored four goals and dished out two assists for a six-point goal. Stanton added a hat trick of her own.

"This was a big win, but we still have three games ahead this week," VanParys said. "We just need to continue our focus and be confident moving forward."

Norwich's busy week resumes Thursday, April 19, with a 4:00 p.m. game at St. Joseph's College of Maine. The Cadets return home to celebrate Senior Day 2012 when Anna Maria College visits Northfield for a 1:00 p.m. start Saturday, April 21. Lasell closes its regular season with a league clash at Mount Ida Saturday, April 21.

Notes Abbriano recorded her 19th straight multiple-goal game. ... Grace Fitzpatrick reached similar results for the sixth successive contest. ... Tuesday's tight-knit final continued a recent theme of such games in the series. The two sides have been separated by four-goals-or-less in each of the last three meetings.

2012-04-17



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