Wagner Tops MSM to Clinch First NEC Berth Since 2005

Staten Island, NY Led by five goals from freshman Olivia Streilein (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape), three goals by junior Jessica Mills (Vernon, NJ/Vernon Township) and four assists by sophomore Shea Gegan (Manasquan, NJ/Manasquan), Wagner defeated Mount St. Mary's 15-6 today to clinch the Seahawks' first berth in the NEC championships since 2005.

In recording their fourth consecutive victory, the Green & White improve to 4-1 in the NEC and 8-6 overall, while the Mountaineers fall to 1-4 in league play and are now 2-12 on the season. Wagner, under the direction of first-year head coach Liz Frisoli, closes its regular season with road tilts vs. Robert Morris (4/25) and Saint Francis U (4/27).

The four-team NEC Championships will be contested on May 2 & May 4 with the No. 1 seed hosting both the semifinals and championship game. With two games remaining for each of the eight NEC schools, Bryant is currently in the driver's set to clinch the regular season title with a perfect 5-0 record. Wagner and Robert Morris, which defeated Saint Francis U 13-11 today, are tied for second place with identical 4-1 records. Bryant, RMU and Wagner have all clinched spots in the tournament while Central Connecticut and Sacred Heart, who are tied for fourth at 2-3, are vying the fourth and final berth.

In addition to her career-high five goals, Streilein, the reigning NEC Rookie of the Week, added two assists to finish with a career-high seven points. Gegan's four assists were a career-high and the versatile 5-10 midfielder, who entered the game No. 1 in the nation at 3.45 caused turnovers (CT) per game, came up with six CTs, to go with five ground balls and one draw control.

The Seahawks, who led the nation in CTs per games as a team entering the contest with an average of 14.00, came up with 13 more vs. the Mount. For the game, the Mountaineers committed 18 turnovers while Wagner turned the ball over just 10 times.

Sophomores Kimmy Tumolo (Mullica Hills, NJ/Clearview) and Stephanie Peterson (Vernon, NJ/Vernon Township) each contributed two goals and one assist. Sophomore Gretchen Fay (Spring Lake Heights, NJ/Manasquan) added two goals, while junior defender Morgan Sardella (Liverpool, NY/Liverpool) capped the day's scoring with a fast-break goal off of a Gegan assist. Sophomore Katie Ferraro (Owings Mill, MD/McDonogh) registered the win in goal for Wagner and was credited with two saves while Mount goalie Step Rurkowski had nine saves.

Hannah Gutcher's hat trick paced the Mount in scoring while Bridget McGann, Sammie Knapp and Maddy Bandomer added one goal each. Kelly Maloney paced the Mountaineers in assists with two.

For the game, Wagner held a commanding 28-13 edge in shots and led in ground balls 15-13, while winning 12 of 23 draw controls. The Seahawks converted 3 of 6 free-position shots as opposed to the Mount's 1 of 2. In extra-man opportunities, the Seahawks were 1 of 4 while the Mountaineers were 1 of 2 in this category.

The first half was a nip-and-tuck affair that featured four ties with neither team leading by more than one goal at any point. With Wagner trailing 4-3, the Seahawks forged the fourth tie of the opening stanza on an unassisted goal by the lightning-quick Tumolo, who whizzed a shot past Rurkowski, to deadlock the game at 4-4 with 9:28 left in the half. Neither team could connect the rest of the half as the teams reached intermission with the game tied at 4-4

Mills quickly gave Wagner the lead for good, notching an unassisted tally just 34 seconds into the second half to make it a 5-4 game. This goal kick-started a 6-0 second-half opening run for the Seahawks, which, on the heels of Tumolo's late first-half goal, made it a 7-0 run bridging the halves.

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2014-04-18



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