BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Top-seeded Bridgewater State University posted a 7-6 victory over #4 Fitchburg State University in the semifinal round of the 2017 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Women's Lacrosse Tournament on Thursday evening at Swenson Field.
The Bears improve to 12-6 on the season with their seventh straight win, and will advance to their tenth consecutive tournament championship game. Bridgewater will host second-seeded Westfield State University on Saturday afternoon at one. The Owls edged #3 Framingham State University, 13-8, in the other semifinal round match-up this evening.
The Falcons end the season with a record of 11-8.
In a low-scoring affair, the game was tied at 5-5 at the break. Junior midfielder Carrie Long (Foxborough, Mass.) potted all three of her goals in the first half for the Falcons, while five different players scored for Bridgewater State. Fitchburg dominated the draw over the opening 30 minutes winning nine of 11 draw controls.
Junior attack Gabby Reinold (Braintree, Mass.) gave the Bears a 6-5 lead with a shorthanded goal with 21:27 remaining in the second half off an assist from senior attack Melissa Renauld (Framingham, Mass.). Senior defender Taylor Brown (Commack, N.Y.) made it a two-goal game just 77 seconds later with an unassisted tally.
The score remained 7-5 for the next ten-plus minutes before the Falcons cut the deficit to one when senior attack Ali Laferriere (Tyngsboro, Mass.) found the back of the net off a feed from classmate Kayla Panek (Belchertown, Mass.).
As the clock ticked down towards five minutes remaining, BSU senior netminder Allie Forman (Marblehead, Mass.) made a huge stop to keep it a one-goal game. The Bears would maintain control for roughly the next four minutes before an unforced turnover gave Fitchburg possession of the ball with just over a minute left to play. The Falcons called a timeout with 30 seconds showing on the scoreboard but were unable to get a shot off out of the timeout as Bridgewater held on for the 7-6 win.
Forman finished with six saves as she recorded her tenth win of the season and 40th of her career. Renauld and junior midfielder Rebecca McGlone (Salem, Conn.) each recorded a goal an assist to lead the BSU offense. Sophomore defender Lisa Moynihan (Norwood, Mass.) notched a team-best four ground balls and forced a pair of turnovers.
The Bears held an 18-16 shot advantage for the game and limited the Falcons to just four shots in the second half.
In addition to Long's game-high three goals, Laferriere added a pair for the visitors, while Panek finished with two helpers. Laferriere also corralled a game-best four draw controls. Sophomore goaltender Marguerite Belcher (Quincy, Mass.) made six saves in the setback.
Bridgewater State is in search of its tenth consecutive conference championship dating back to when the team played in the New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance (NEWLA) from 2008 to 2012.