PROVIDENCE, RI– A five-goal deficit was too much for the Johnson & Wales University women's lacrosse team to overcome in the finals of the GNAC Tournament. The visiting Lasell Lasers scored three-straight goals in the second half on their way to a 12-9 victory and the conference crown.
Johnson & Wales: 13-6
Seeking a GNAC title in only its third year of existence, the Wildcats fell behind early as the Lasers got a pair of goals from Taylor Dooley and one from Ashlee Pechulis to take a 3-1 lead at the 14:48 mark. Lasell increased its lead 5-2 on a Bridge Munnelly goal with 7:47 to play.
Johnson & Wales rallied to score three goals in the final four minutes to pull within 6-5 at the half. Attacker Kayla Smith (Eastham, Mass.) started the scoring and midfielder Lydia Knapp (Glens Falls, NY) finished the run at the 1:04 mark.
After the Lasers scored the first three goals of the second half to build a 9-5 advantage, Smith and Knapp found the back of the net again to pull JWU within a pair. Two goals from Taylor Yandow and a score from Bridget Doherty push the margin to 12-7 and gave the Lasers the victory.
All nine of JWU's goals came from a trio of players. Smith had a game-high four goals while sophomore attacker Raquel Pederzani (Coventry, RI) added three. Knapp found the back of the net twice.
Tying Smith for the game-high four goals was the Lasers' Yandrow. Dooley, Pechulis and Doherty each tallied a trio of goals.
Lasell had a 16-9 advantage in ground balls and outshot JWU, 26-20. The Wildcats committed 33 founds, which led to the Lasers converting 4-of-7 free position shots.
Johnson & Wales should have another shot at the title in 2017. The Wildcats bring back five of their six top scorers, including Knapp who led the GNAC this season with 93 points.
Taylor Yandow, Lasell MVP
Bridget Delaney, Lasell
Ashlee Pechulis, Lasell
Bridget Munnelly, Lasell
Lisi Anczok, Lasell
Kayla Smith, Johnson & Wales
Lydia Knapp, Johnson & Wales
Raquel Pederzani, Johnson & Wales
Kristen Tuleja, Emmanuel
Lauren White, Emmanuel
Eliabeth Elcock, Saint Joseph's of Maine
Meghan Williams, Saint Joseph's of Maine