Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/12/19
From Press Release
West Chester got five goals from Sami Barnett (Interboro) and hat tricks from Ryan McKinney (Downingtown West) and Tara Morrissey (Bishop Shanahan) to rout East Stroudsburg, 16-5, on a rain soaked Vonnie Gros Field Sunday afternoon in the Atlantic Region Final of the D2 Women’s Lacrosse Tournament.
West Chester (19-2) advances to the NCAA Division II Women’s Lacrosse national semifinals for the 11th time in the history of the program and the first time since 2012. East Stroudsburg (15-6) saw its bid for a return trip to the semifinals come to an end one game short.
West Chester faces Adelphi on Friday at 11 a.m. on the campus of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., in the first semifinal. The other semifinal to follow will feature Regis (Colo.) against Queens (N.C.) at 3 p.m.
“Our girls played lights out,” West Chester University head coach Ginny Martino said in a press conference afterwards. “We played a really good team. It was a sloppy game at times, the (weather) conditions dictated that. But, our girls pulled it together with a great effort.”
East Stroudsburg sprung out to a 2-0 lead in the first five minutes of the game. However, the Warriors managed just two more goals over the next nearly 40 minutes of action while West Chester applied the pressure with a suffocating ride that was most likely aided by the conditions in which the game was played.
“I felt like we were relentless the whole game,” Barnett said. “Their goalie is a great goalie. She was going to make her saves. But, when she did, we just wanted to pressure right away. Obviously, the weather helped out a little as well. But, we were relentless the whole time. I thought we did a really nice job on the ride.”
West Chester harassed East Stroudsburg into 27 turnovers, nine of which came on clearing attempts. Ground balls were in the Golden Rams’ favor as well. As a result, ESU could not generate any momentum through the midfield in transition, and their top gun on attack, Krista Mitarotonda, did not get many open looks at West Chester’s cage.
“She is a great player,” West Chester defender Molly Reinhart (Wilson) said. “But, we pushed ourselves. I knew if I didn’t get her slide, or she got open, that the rest of the defense would have my back.”
Julianne Clemens (Springfield-DELCO) made 11 saves, seven in the second half, to backstop West Chester to the regional title. Adding in her nine saves in Friday’s first-round contest, the sophomore goalkeeper made 20 saves on the weekend.
Devon Mela (Council Rock North) and Maggie Stella (Central Bucks East) each contributed a pair of goals in the win as well. Stella added six draw controls.
Following ESU’s opening two goals, West Chester responded by scoring eight of the next nine tallies in the game to take an 8-3 lead with seven minutes left in the first half. Six different Golden Rams scored those eight goals during that run.
However, the back-breaker came in the final 15 seconds when the Golden Rams scored twice – the second one beating the halftime buzzer with :01 left on the clock.