Wagner Tops RMU to Win Fifth Straight

Moon Township, NJ Sophomore Shea Gegan (Manasquan, NJ/Manasquan) scored two goals, collected a career-high nine ground balls and matched her career high with eight caused turnovers, while sophomores Kimmy Tumolo (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview) and Taylor Pastore (Baldwinsville, NY/C.W. Baker) added two goals apiece, to carry Wagner to an impressive 9-6 win at Robert Morris this afternoon.

In recording its fifth consecutive victory, Wagner secured the No. 2 seed in next weekend's NEC Championship, a four-team affair that will be held on the Bryant University campus in Smithfield, RI. The Seahawks and Colonials entered today's match-up tied for second place in the Northeast Conference (NEC) standings. In falling to the Seahawks, Robert Morris is the No. 3 seed thus Wagner and RMU will meet again in the NEC semifinals on Friday, May 2 in the No. 2 vs. No. 3 contest.

Bryant sewed up the No. 1 seed, improving its NEC mark to 6-0, with a 16-9 victory at LIU Brooklyn today and will host No. 4 seed Central Connecticut in the other semifinal match-up. The Blue Devils gained the No. 4 seed following today's 11-9 victory over Sacred Heart.

As regular season champion, Bryant will serve as the host institution for both the May 2 semifinals as well as the May 4 NEC Championship game.

Wagner out-shot Robert Morris 25-15 while the teams each scooped up 27 groundballs. The Colonials held a 12-5 edge in draw controls with Corey Karwacki winning all 12, but this advantage was largely negated by the fact that the Seahawks held a plus-nine advantage in the turnover department.

The aggressive and determined Wagner defense, which has allowed the Seahawks to lead the nation in caused turnovers, came up with a staggering 23 caused turnovers vs. the Colonials as RMU turned the ball over 31 times while Wagner had 22 turnovers.

The respective defenses dominated early as the game's first goal did not come until 17:23 remained in the first half as a Gegan free-position shot broke a game-opening 12:37 dry spell. Pastore made it a 2-0 game with 11:24 to go in the half after receiving a feed from Gegan. The Colonials answered with a 3-0 run over the next 2:35 in gaining a 3-2 lead en route to a 4-3 halftime lead.

At the 26:16 mark of the second half, Wagner drew even on an unassisted goal by sophomore Stephanie Peterson (Vernon, NJ/Vernon Township) before taking a 5-4 lead just 59 seconds later on a Pastore goal which came off an assist from two-time and reigning NEC Rookie of the Week, Olivia Streilein (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape).

RMU's Stefany Gale then forged the game's final tie, knocking home an unassisted tally with 22:06 left that deadlocked the game at 5-5. Junior Jessica Mills (Vernon, NJ/Vernon Township) then gave the Seahawks the lead for good on an unassisted tally at 19:22 that was followed by goals by Gegan and Tumolo. The latter goal completed the 3-0 Wagner run and staked the Seahawks to a comfortable 8-5 cushion with 11:20 to play.

Kristen Yoviene brought RMU to within two goals at 8-6 by converting a free-position shot at the 10:34 mark. Wagner slammed the door, however, when Tumolo nailed a free-position shot of her own with 8:47 to play, putting Wagner in front by a 9-6 count in what would prove to be the game's final score.

The Seahawks will conclude the regular season on Sunday, April 27 with a 1:00 meeting at Saint Francis U.


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