Defense Leads Second Seed Becker Women's Lacrosse in 13-7 Win over Wheelock in NECC Semifinal
BOSTON, MA – The third-seeded Becker College women's lacrosse team's defensive pressure was too much for host second-seeded Wheelock College in a 13-7 victory for the visitors in the New England Collegiate Conference Tournament semifinals contest at Winsor Field in Boston, MA. The Hawks improve to 9-6 on the season and advance to play top-seeded Regis College, which defeated number four seed Elms College, 20-8, in the other semifinal contest. The NECC Championship game will be played on Saturday, May 3 at 1:00 p.m. in Weston, MA on the campus of Regis. The Wildcats finish their season at 5-8.
Becker converted all 15 of its clear attempts for the game, while holding the Wildcats to just 19-36 for the match. The Hawks also outshot Wheelock by a count of 36-18.
Becker owned an 8-3 lead with 5:41 left in the first half, before Wheelock scored four unanswered goals, including the final two of the opening half. Junior midfielder Katie Gavin (Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA) took a feed from classmate Emma Marrs (Old Lyme, CT) and scored her team-best 52nd goal of the season with 62 seconds left in the first half, before Marrs found junior attacker Valerie Ferrante (Milford, MA) just 21 seconds later for her 18th goal to pull the Wildcats to within 8-5 before the half ended. Wheelock tallied the first two markers of the second half when Ferrante connected with senior middie Christina Cubera (Baltimore, MD) for her 15th tally of the year with 23:22 left in the second half. Marrs dished out to junior midfielder Molly Centore (Kennebunk, ME) for her 47th goal of the season to pull the Wildcats to within 8-7 with 19:23 showing in the second half. It would be the last score of the night for Wheelock as the Hawks' defense went to work.
Becker made it extremely difficult for the Wildcats to clear the ball, preventing them a clear in 10 of 21 attempts in the second half, while scoring the final five goals of the evening. Senior attacker Ashley Mossey (Ballston Lake, NY) scored at the 18:26 mark of the second stanza to give the Hawks a 9-7 lead, followed by sophomore midfielder Christina Boucher's (Pawcatuck, CT) 46th goal of the year at 16:22 of the period. Senior attack Samantha Jo-Dilkes (Little Falls, NJ) increased the Becker margin to 11-7 with a player-down score for her 11thof the season with 12:05 left in the half. Sophomore middie Victoria Belcher (Seekonk, MA) netted her team-high third goal of the game with 10:47 to play on a feed from junior midfielder Tatum Fahs (Foster, RI) to give the visitors a 12-7 advantage, before Mossey capped the scoring with her 50th marker of the year coming at 6:57 to give the Hawks a 13-7 cushion.
The Becker offense was on fire to begin the match, scoring seven of the game's first eight goals in the opening eight minutes of play to take a 7-1 lead. Boucher put the Hawks on the board just 2:09 into the contest, before sophomore midfielder Rachel Welling (Charlestown, NH) scored with 25:33 to go for a 2-0 lead. Sophomore midfielder Victoria Belcher (Seekonk, MA) and classmate Kailee Ruyack (Beacon, NY) followed with a pair of goals in a span of 39 seconds to push the Becker lead to 4-0 with 20:36 left in the first half. Fahs scored at 18:26 for a 5-0 Hawks' lead before Centore snapped the scoring string to put Wheelock on the board with 15:20 left in the initial period. Dilkes responded with a marker just under a minute later and Welling gave Becker a six-goal advantage with her first goal of the contest at 12:51.
Seven different players scored for the Hawks, including three goals from Belcher and two each from Welling, Dilke, Mossy and Boucher. Mossey also added six ground balls, five draw controls and caused a pair of turnovers, while Fahs picked up five ground balls and caused three turnovers. Junior defender Alyssa Bond (Thompson, CT) bothered the Wildcats' offense all night, causing five turnovers, while coming up with five ground balls.
Centore led Wheelock with four goals, while winning seven draw controls, picking up three ground balls and causing three turnovers. Cubera finished her collegiate career with a goal, two ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers, while Gavin and Ferrante also netted goals for the Wildcats.
Sophomore goalie Shelby Wicks (Shaftsbury, VT) stopped nine shots to earn the victory for Becker, while freshman goalie Meghan Lewis (South Berwick, ME) made 15 saves for Wheelock.