Norwich Advances by Emmanuel in GNAC Tourney

NORTHFIELD, VT. Getting four-goal games from senior attacker Danielle Del Dotto (Andover, Mass.), senior midfielder Kacey Abbriano (Hicksville, N.Y.) and sophomore midfielder Grace Fitzpatrick (Falmouth, Maine), Norwich toppled Emmanuel, 14-4, April 24 in quarterfinal round play of the 2012 Great Northeast Athletic Conference tournament.

The top-seeded Cadets, improving to 12-0 with their 27th straight win over a league opponent and the program's 17th in a row at Howard Field, received a stern first half challenge from the eighth-seeded Saints (5-10). Emmanuel rallied from an early 4-1 deficit and cut NU's advantage to 4-3 with less than 7:30 to go. However, goals from senior attacker Lindsey Mathias (Worcester, Mass.) and Abbriano over the final 6:36 of the frame made it 6-3 at halftime.

Coach Beth VanParys' squad opened the second half as it closed the first. Norwich scored three goals in the first nine minutes and was off the races. The offensive roll extended to nine straight goals before Emmanuel scored in the final 10 minutes.

Norwich held a sizable 44-7 edge in total shots, as Fitzpatrick and Abbriano combined for 23. The Maroon and Gold's defense was just as strong with 12 caused turnovers and 40 ground balls picked up with Fitzpatrick leading the category with 11.

Emmanuel was guided by a two-goal, two-assist game from junior midfielder Madeline Leahy. Freshman midfielder Madison Altwies was close behind with a goal and two assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Hillary Dandurant played a strong match in net, earning 18 saves in the face of Norwich's offensive blitz.

The Cadets return to Howard Field for semifinal round play Thursday, April 26, against either fourth-seeded Simmons and fifth-seeded St. Joseph's of Maine. Game time is 4:00 p.m. with the winner advancing to the championship game Saturday, April 28.

GAME NOTES Abbriano's four goals helped her hit the 200-mark for her career. It was her 23rd straight multiple goal contest. ... Fitzpatrick's day marked her 10th consecutive multiple-goal outing. ... Senior goalkeeper Meghan Kennedy (Lowell, Mass.) also continued an impressive string registering her 17th straight win with two saves in net.


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