Photos By Kristina Kaufmann
Brandon Chase – Managing Editor
After losing to Norwich University in the 2012 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship game, the women’s lacrosse team avenged last year’s loss to take the 2013 title by defeating Simmons College in thrilling fashion, 15-14 on Sunday, April 28.
Junior Britney Wuorio scored the game-winning goal with 16 seconds remaining to help the Lasers capture their first GNAC championship.
Lasell entered the game with a perfect 8-0 conference record after defeating Mount Ida and St. Joseph’s of Maine in the first two rounds of the playoffs. Their high-powered offense led by Wuorio and senior captain Ashley Slattery has been one of the many highlights of the team’s successful season.
The Lasers led by as many as four during the first half, but Simmons kept it close throughout the entire game. Slattery, who scored two goals and added three assists, was mostly double, and sometimes triple-teamed by the Sharks defense. Lasell’s offense was too strong, however, as they lead 9-6 at halftime.
The second half was the more exciting of the two. Both teams could not establish moment during the early parts of the second half, and the Simmons defense stayed tough, forcing 10 Lasell turnovers in the second half. With the score 14-11, Lasell, the Sharks came back to tie the score with 48.9 seconds left. The Lasers called a timeout after the tying goal by Simmons’ Callie Warnock, and Associate Head Coach Adam Green believes this is what gave Lasell an extra bit of energy in their final offensive push.
“When things weren’t going well, we could’ve easily folded because Simmons definitely got the momentum. But we took a timeout 48 seconds left, so we still had plenty time left to win the game, and they went out there and executed,” Green said.
“You can easily give up when the momentum changes, but they just kept fighting back, and coming back getting draw controls, and taking care of business on attack,” said Head Coach Cait Connolly of her team.
Coming out of the timeout, senior Rebecca Stanton won the draw for the Lasell and their offense went on the attack as the final seconds came off the clock. Wuorio made her move past a defender to get in front of the net where she was met by sophomore Caitlyn Brecher. Brecher fed Wuorio the ball and she put it in the back of the net for the championship-clinching goal.
“I felt pretty good,” said Wuorio in the moments leading up to her goal. “I felt like I knew what was going to happen because Ash [Slattery] passed to Brecher, and her girl went out and I just went around her. It was perfectly executed…everyone did what they were supposed to do.”
Wuorio led all scorers with five goals on nine shots on goal, while chipping in with an assist. Brecher and freshman Bridget Doherty scored three goals each. Freshman Sammy Long made six saves while earning the win in net.
“This is what we’ve been working for the entire season and the past two years,” said Stanton.
After coming back to win the GNAC championship after losing in the same spot last year, Slattery said, “It felt right. It felt like it was supposed to happen; it was meant to be.”
Slattery finished as the tournament MVP, while Stanton, Long, Wuorio, and freshman Bridget Munnelly were named to the all-tournament team.
Lasell will move on to the NCAA tournament, and they will find out who will be their first round opponent on May 5.