Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/30/21
From Press Release
Four St. Joseph’s players scored four goals apiece and Atlantic 10 Co-Offensive Player of the Year Stephanie Kelly had a banner day as the fourth-seeded Hawks dominated top-seeded #18 Richmond from the get-go en route to a stunning 19-8 win the semifinals of the 2021 Atlantic 10 Women’s Lacrosse Championship on Friday afternoon at Garber Field at UMass.
The Hawks will play No. 2 seed UMass, a 14-7 winner over Davidson, in the championship game, set for noon on Sunday.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Quickly. Lauren Figura (Lenape) put the Hawks on top just 78 seconds into the game before Bridget Cerciello (Southern Lehigh) doubled the lead a minute later. Sam McGee (Abington) extended it to 3-0 before consecutive goals by Sophia Kolkka (Plymouth Whitemarsh) put SJU ahead 5-0 less than nine minutes into the game.
• Richmond (10-2) scored two of the next three, but Cerciello scored a player-down goal before Figura ripped off three in a row to push the Hawks’ margin to 10-2 with 5:07 remaining in the first half. The Spiders would then get one more to make it a seven-goal game at the break.
• Emma O’Neill picked things up right where they left off for Saint Joseph’s (10-6) three minutes into the second half before the Spiders started to work their way back into the game with two quick goals to cut it to 11-5, but Kolkka and O’Neill restored the margin with 17:59 to go.
• It was all Hawks from there, as SJU responded to a Richmond goal with the game’s next five tallies, including one from Alyssa Manley and two from Cerciello. That effectively sealed the win; Richmond would add two goals around another tally from McGee to set the final score.
BEHIND THE BOX SCORE
• Kelly did not find the net herself, but matched a career high with seven assists; that brings her to 45 for the season, a new single-season program record, surpassing the previous mark of 42 set by Francesca Donato in 2019. Kelly is also one point shy of Donato’s single-season points mark of 89, set that same season.
• Melissa Semkiw was outstanding between the pipes once again, making nine saves to prevent the Spiders from gaining a foothold in the game. Megan Gianforte and Nicole Burney combined for five saves for Richmond.
• Cerciello, Figura, Kolkka, and McGee each potted four goals on the day, while Cerciello added an assist for a five-point performance.
• A big part of the Hawks’ success on Friday was the ability to secure possession; SJU held a 15-14 edge in draw controls, with Julia Pash leading the way with eight and Kolkka grabbing four. Kolkka also caused three turnovers, while Taylor Newman-Farr caused a pair herself.
• SJU outshot Richmond 31-21 and forced the top seed into 14 turnovers, including five on failed clears. The Hawks also went 7-of-8 on free position attempts.
Tags: St. Joseph's University