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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Griffs lacrosse continues MAAC play with road tilt at Marist

All WNY News     Tuesday, April 11, 2017    

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POUGHKEEPSIE -- The Canisius women’s lacrosse team continues MAAC play Wednesday afternoon, when it heads to battle Marist. The Griffs have excelled in MAAC play, winning each of their four games by a margin of 76-24, and extended their MAAC regular season unbeaten streak to 20 games in a 18-3 win over Monmouth Saturday. The Blue and Gold are 9-4 overall and are riding a six game unbeaten streak.

Marist has the advantage in the series, owning a 16-10 record against the Golden Griffins. The Blue and Gold have won eight of their last 11 matches against the Red Foxes. Canisius has played Marist seven times in the conference tournament, going 4-3. The Griffs have defeated Marist twice in both the MAAC Semifinal and Championship rounds. Canisius won last year’s contest by a score of 17-6.

Junior Erica Evans, who leads the Griffs in goals (49) and points (65), has tallied six or more points in each of the team’s six consecutive wins. The two-time MAAC Midfielder of the Year has totaled 30 goals and 12 assists during the win streak. Senior Ashley Bull has four draw controls or more in seven of her eleven games this year. Junior Jen Reininger has scored in each of her 13 games started, while posting three goals or more in three straight games. Sophomore Tessa Chad has recorded six consecutive multi-goal games.

Marist has a 6-6 overall record, and has won two of their three conference games this year. The Red Foxes are lead offensively by Olivia Pitonzo, who has recorded 23 goals and 26 assists this season. Goalkeeper Abigail Witczak is 6-6, having started all twelve games for Marist, and holds a .494 save percentage. Witczak ranks fifth nationally in saves (134) and fourth in saves per game (11.17). Hailey Wagner has excelled on the draw for Marist, ranking 13th in the NCAA with 5.58 draw controls per game.

Evans ranks among the nations best offensively, totaling the sixth most goals (49) and 10th most points (65) in the NCAA, while having the fifth highest goals per game (3.77) and 10th highest points per game (5.00) totals. Evans also ranks in the top-25 nationally in several categories, placing 11th in ground balls per game (3.46), 14th in shots on goal per game, 19th in shots per game and 21st in caused turnovers per game (2.15). Reininger has made the most of her opportunities this season, ranking third in the nation in shot percentage, scoring on 65.1 percent of her shots. Chad has scored on 60 percent of her free position attempts, ranking 19th in the country. VanLaeken has the 10th most saves in the NCAA (126), and is 20th in save percentage (.492) and saves per game (9.69).

The Griffs are 8-0 this season when scoring 15 goals or more. In those eight games, the Blue and Gold have outscored their opponents 150-69. The team has scored 18-or-more goals in six of the eight wins.

With her second goal in the 18-3 victory over Monmouth, Evans became the fifth player in Canisius program history to reach the 200 point barrier. Evans totaled six points (4g, 2a) in the win, and is now tied with former Griff Carly Quinn for the second most points in program history at 203. Evans, who also holds the Canisius career record for goals (159), is 48 points away from assistant coach Tori Quinn’s Canisius and MAAC career points record of 251.

Bull set the Canisius single-game draw control record in the Griffs 18-3 win Saturday, with 12 draws. The midfielder broke her own record of 11 draw controls that was also held by Evans. Bull has recorded a draw control in 10 of her 11 games played in 2017.

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