PROVIDENCE, RI– It took some time, but the Johnson & Wales University women's lacrosse team found its offense and advanced the semifinals of the GNAC Tournament. The Wildcats outscored visiting Rivier 10-4 in the second half as they prevailed 16-9.
Johnson & Wales: 12-5
It's the second year in a row that the Wildcats have advanced to the GNAC Semifinals. JWU hosts Emmanuel on Thursday at 7 p.m. Johnson & Wales beat the Saints, 16-10, on Saturday at Emmanuel.
The Wildcats got off to a slow start, only scoring six goals in the first half – the fewest goals JWU has scored in the opening 30 minutes since the St. Joseph's (ME) game on March 26. Rivier scored three-straight goals to take a 4-2 lead on a Paxton Larocque goal at the 13:54 mark.
Johnson & Wales came back to outscore the Raiders, 4-1, to claim a 6-5 lead going into the locker room. Elizabeth Tonn (Wantagh, NY) scored with just one second left in the half to give the Wildcats the lead.
JWU took control of the match by scoring four goals in the first three minutes of the second half to claim a 10-5 lead. Knapp scored two goals during that run and Tonn tallied her second of the day at the 15:28 mark to cap a 6-0 run to start the half.
Five different Wildcats found the back of the net, led by Knapp's four goals. Tonn was next with three while Raquel Pederzani (Coventry, RI), Gabrielle Vasile (Milford, Mass.) and Kayla Smith (Eastham, Mass.) tallied two goals each. Pederzani added three assists as did Marissa Hart (Cohoes, NY).
The Wildcats dominated the game offensively, outshooting the Raiders, 48-18. The 48 shots are a school record. Thanks to a season-high 16 draw controls won by Knapp – the most since she won 20 during the program's third game ever against Regis on March 6, 2014 – JWU had a 20-6 advantage in draw controls as well as a 27-11 edge in ground balls.