BOSTON, Mass. – Home field advantage for the first two rounds of the GNAC Tournament was on the line Saturday when the Johnson & Wales University women's lacrosse team traveled to Emmanuel. The Wildcats secured the number two seed as they downed the Saints, 16-10.
Johnson & Wales: 11-5, 8-1 GNAC
Emmanuel: 10-4, 7-2 GNAC
The eight conference victories are the most by the third-year program. The second-place finish is also JWU's best.
In a battle of the league's top two offensive players, JWU's Lydia Knapp (Glens Falls, NY) got the better of the Saints' Sarah Higgins. Knapp scored four times on five shots with a pair of assists. Higgins only converted one of her 11 shots into a goal.
After Emmanuel opened the game with a pair of goals, Johnson & Wales responded by scoring five-straight to take control of the match. Five different Wildcats scored during that run with Isabelle Saluti (Chatham, NJ) scoring at the 23:29 mark to complete the streak. JWU would score four more time in the opening period, with Knapp accounting for half, as the Wildcats took a 9-5 lead into the locker room.
The Saints scored twice to start the second frame and got within 9-7, but JWU sealed the victory with three goals in a row. Elizabeth Tonn (Wantagh, NY) scored the eventual game-winner with 17:45 to play.
Four other Wildcats joined Knapp with multiple goals. Gabrielle Vasile (Milford, Mass.) tied her season-high with three goals. Tonn, Raquel Pederzani (Coventry, RI) and rookie Allison Pazienski (New Hyde Park, NY) each had two goals and an assist.
Johnson & Wales will host a GNAC Quarterfinal game on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Its opponent has yet to be determined.