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Record-setting season ends for NU women's lacrosse


BUFFALO -- The fourth-seeded Niagara women's lacrosse team played in the MAAC semifinals for the first time since 2003, taking on the first-seeded Canisius Golden Griffins. The Purple Eagles were ousted by Canisius 16-6, ending a record-setting season for the team. Niagara tied for the second-most wins in a season in program history with nine, and matched the 2016 team's record for most conference wins in a season with five.
With the season coming to a close, Niagara's senior class wraps up its time on Monteagle Ridge with the second-most wins by any class in program history with 31 wins in four seasons. Kara Martin leaves as the program career record holder with 147 ground balls, and goalkeeper Andrea Francisco ranks third all-time with 471 saves.
Game Summary

Game Recap

  • Canisius controlled the early possession and took a 3-0 lead in the first five minutes, as Erica Evans set up Jen Reininger for the game's first goal 1:17 into the game before Evans scored twice in a row.
  • The Golden Griffins would take a 5-0 lead before Mackenzie Molodetz got Niagara on the board with a free-position goal at the 17:54 mark.
  • Canisius closed the first half on an eight-goal run, taking a 13-1 lead after 30 minutes of play.
  • Freshman goalkeeper Olivia Schroeder turned in a strong second half for the Purple Eagles, playing 26:15 after halftime and making three saves on five Canisius shots on goal.
  • Tessa Chad opened the second-half scoring, but Molodetz picked up her second of the game at the 21:27 mark, breaking down the middle of the Canisius defense and beating goalkeeper Rebecca VanLaeken.
  • Reininger gave Canisius a 15-2 lead at the 17:42 mark of the second half before the Niagara offense found its stride with a four-goal run, starting with a free-position strike from Alexis Morales with 14:14 to play.
  • Rachel MacCheyne broke through with her first goal of the game with 7:02 left to cross the 60-goal plateau for the season. Caroline Crump had a hand in two straight late goals for the Purple Eagles, scoring at the 4:09 mark before finding Audrey Fithall on a sharp cut to the goal as the freshman made it 15-6 in the closing seconds.
  • Canisius tacked on one more goal from Allie Stewart in the closing seconds, ending the semifinal game in a 16-6 loss for Niagara.
Coach's Corner

  • Head coach Wendy Stone: "We could not be more proud of the progress that we made this season, and we cannot thank our four seniors, Belle, Hannah, Andrea, and Kara enough for all they have done for our program over the last four years. They have left their mark on this program, and we will continue to build upon their legacy."
Inside the Numbers

  • The loss ends the career of Niagara's four seniors, Andrea FranciscoIsabella LeonKara Martin, and Hannah Vause.
  • Martin leaves Niagara as the program record holder with 147 ground balls, adding 63 caused turnovers, 37 draw controls, and one goal in 71 games as a Purple Eagle.
  • Francisco ends her Niagara career third all-time with 478 saves, and her career-high 171 this season rank sixth in a single season.
  • Isabella Leon set career-highs with five ground balls and five caused turnovers this season, and Hannah Vause scored her first career three points (2+1) this year.
  • Rachel MacCheyne finishes her sophomore season with 60 goals and 75 points, both single-season program records at Niagara. Her 60 goals are the fifth-most by a MAAC player in one season, and her 75 points are tied for the 13th-highest single-season total in conference history.
  • Grace Hunt ends the 2017 campaign with 38 assists, tied for the most in a season in program history and tied for the seventh-most in a season in MAAC history.
  • Alexandra Higgins, the 2017 MAAC Defender of the Year and a unanimous All-MAAC First Team selection, finishes with Niagara single-season records of 58 ground balls, 111 draw controls, and 37 caused turnovers.
  • Lauren Paul had a career-high four draw controls Friday night, adding one ground ball and two caused turnovers at defense.
  • Olivia Schroeder made a career-high three saves playing 29:30 in goal.
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