Seahawks Run Past RMU in NEC Semifinals

mithfield, RI Sophomore attackers Stephanie Peterson (Vernon, NJ/Vernon Township) and Kimmy Tumolo (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview) scored five and four goals, respectively, and sophomore goalie Katie Ferraro (Ownings Mills, MD/McDonogh) turned away nine shots, to lead Wagner to a dominant 17-7 victory over Robert Morris to advance to Sunday's NEC championship game vs. No. 1 seed Bryant at 1:00 pm.

The No. 2 seeded Seahawks never trailed in running past the Colonials (11-6), who came into the game as the No. 3 seed. When Wagner meets Bryant on the Bulldogs' home field on Sunday, one thing is for certain the NEC will have a first-time champion.

Tonight's victory was historic on many levels for first-year head coach Liz Frisoli and the Seahawks. In defeating Robert Morris, Wagner now has a school-record seven-game winning streak while matching the single-season record for wins with 11, first accomplished by the 2002 Seahawks who went 11-6. Now 11-6 overall, the 2014 Seahawks will gun for a school-record 12th victory against a Bryant team that gave Wagner its only NEC blemish this season.

On April 4, the Bulldogs pulled out a 7-6 double-overtime thriller on Staten Island as Wagner would go onto finish with a 6-1 NEC mark while Bryant was a perfect 7-0 in league play. In today's first NEC semifinal contest of the day, the Bulldogs held off a stubborn No. 4 seed Central Connecticut, 13-7, in improving their overall record to 14-3. Bryant was led by a combined 11 goals from its all-star trio of Lisa Vendel, Lauren Descalzo and Haley Bloom. The Bulldogs return to the championship match after finishing as the 2013 runner-up.

With the game tied at 2-2, Tumolo gave the Seahawks the lead for good with the first of her two consecutive free-position shots, with 21:07 left in the half to make, it 3-2. Just 1:22 later, Tumolo sank another free-position shot to make it a 4-2 game. After a Kristin Yoviene goal at 18:51 drew RMU to within 4-3, sophomore Gretchen Fay (Spring Lake Heights, NJ/Manasquan) and Peterson rattled off consecutive goals within a 32-second span, the latter on a free-position shot extended the Seahawk lead to 6-3 at the 17:29 juncture.

Jessica Karwacki tallied an unassisted goal at 15:49 to make it a two-goal deficit again at 6-4 but this is as close as the Colonials would be the rest of the game freshman Olivia Streilein (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) kicked off a 4-0 half-ending run with an unassisted tally at 3:36 to make it a 7-4 game. At 2:29, Peterson notched an unassisted goal to make it an 8-4 lead before assisting on a Tumolo tally at the 1:48 mark the grew the lead to 9-4.

Peterson then delivered another dagger, hitting the back of the net after receiving a pass from Tumolo 20 seconds before halftime to send the high-flying Seahawks into the locker room with a commanding 10-4 lead.

With Wagner on top 12-7 following an unassisted goal by junior Jessica Mills (Vernon, NJ/Vernon Township) with 23:57 left to play, Karwacki and Emma Baukhages sank two straight goals during a 1:04 span to draw the Colonials to within five goals at 12-7 with 19:55 to go. Wagner would then slam the door, ending the game on a 5-0 scoring spree that was kick-started by a Streilein goal at 18:26 as the Seahawks won going away.

Peterson finished with a game-high six points (5 goals, one assist) while Tumolo had five points (4 goals, 1 assist). Fay, Streilein and Mills finished with two goals apiece with Mills also contributing two assists to the Seahawk cause. Sophomore Shea Gegan, who picked up NEC Defensive Player of the Year honors during Friday night's banquet, added one goal. The nation's leader in caused turnovers (CT) per game, the multi-faceted midfielder added team highs with three groundballs and two CTs.

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2014-05-03



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