Wagner Downs Saint Francis to Garner NEC #2 Seed

Loretto, PA Sophomores Stephanie Peterson (Vernon, NJ/Vernon Township) and Shea Gegan (Manasquan, NY/Manasquan) scored four goals apiece to lead Wagner to its sixth consecutive victory, a 16-10 road conquest of Saint Francis, a victory that propels the Seahawks into next weekend's Northeast Conference tournament with a 6-1 league record and an overall mark of 10-6.

The Seahawks are the No. 2 seed in the four-team tournament and will meet No. 3 seed Robert Morris on Friday, May 2 at 7:00 pm with No. 1 seed Bryant facing No. 4 seed Central Connecticut in the first semifinal match-up at 4:00 pm. The entire four-team NEC Tournament is held at on the campus of the No. 1 seed, thus Friday's semifinal contests, and Sunday's 1:00 pm championship game, will be held at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI.

Wagner, under the direction of first-year head coach Liz Frisoli, is playing in its first NEC Tourney since 2005 and the six NEC wins ties the 2005 team (6-2) for the most league wins in program history. The Seahawks enter Friday's first-round tilt just one victory shy of equaling the school-record of 11 wins that was achieved in 2002.

A win over Robert Morris, who Wagner defeated by a 9-6 count on the road (4/25), would give the Seahawks the first seven-game winning streak since the program was established in 1997. The current six-game winning streak ties the program record which was set in 2001 when Wagner opened the season 6-0 en route to a final record of 9-7.

In today's win over Saint Francis U, Wagner jumped out to a 3-0 lead less than three minutes into the contest on a pair of Peterson goals at 28:48 and 27:48 of the first half, followed by a tally by junior Jessica Mills (Vernon, NJ/Vernon Township). After Casey Burk put the Red Flash on the board at the 19:29 mark of the opening half, the Seahawks received goals by sophomore Kimmy Tumolo (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview) and Peterson, off a Tumolo assist, with this goal making it a 5-1 game with 15:35 to go before halftime.

Saint Francis U's Rachel Larson got one back at 10:08 to make it 5-2. The Seahawks then embarked on a 4-0 run, during a span of 3:50, on goals by Gegan, Tumolo, sophomore Gretchen Fay (Spring Lake Heights, NJ/Manasquan), and another by Gegan, this one coming at 5:43, which extended the Wagner lead to 9-2.

Katie Schaaf scored at 3:56 to make it a 9-3 game but the Seahawks quickly countered with a 3-0 burst over the final 2:34 of the half on goals by Gegan, junior Megan Sardella (Liverpool, NY/Liverpool) and Mills, as the Seahawks galloped into halftime with a commanding 12-3 bulge.

Wagner effectively put the game out of reach by opening the second half on another 3-0 scoring spree, making it a 6-0 run bridging the halves, on goals by Gegan, Tumolo and Peterson, the latter coming with 15:52 left, which staked the Seahawks to their biggest lead of the game at 15-3. The Red Flash did manage to score six of the game's final seven goals over the final 13:43 but Wagner was never threatened in posting the six-goal victory.

Sophomore goalie Katie Ferraro (Owings Mill, MD/McDonogh) continued her consistent play, recording five saves and allowing just three goals, during a 44:08 stint before junior Shannon Sweeney (Madison, NJ/Madison) came on to play the final 15:52 between the pipes. In addition to her four goals, Peterson added an assist in finishing with a game-high five points on the afternoon. Gegan's four goals gave her four points and the 5-10 midfielder, who leads the nation in caused turnovers per game, added two caused turnovers, two groundballs and one draw control.

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