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Canisius women’s lacrosse earns share of regular season title


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Sophomore Rachel Ryan tallied a career-best five goals to help the Canisius women's lacrosse program earn a 15-10 victory over rival Niagara, on Wednesday afternoon. With the win the Golden Griffins earned a share of the MAAC regular season title, with a 6-2 MAAC record and 9-8 overall mark. Niagara dropped 8-9 overall and 5-3 in conference action.
The Blue and Gold used a four-goal run at the tail end of the first half to stake claim to a 8-4 lead at the midway point of the contest.
The Griffs kept the pressure up in the second half, pushing its lead to seven goals, the largest advantage of the contest, as Ryan tallied her fifth of the game with just over three minutes left in regulaton.
The offense was spread up and down the Griffs lineup with three players boasting five-or-more points. JuniorJourdan Roemer paced all point scorers with two goals and four assists, for six points. Senior Jen Reiningerjoined Ryan, as she scored five goals.
Sophomore Bryar Cummings also tallied two goals and one assist, and senior Lauren Smolensky chipped in a goal and an assist.
The MAAC's leading goal scorer Rachel MacCheyne was held in check for most of the game, finishing with a goal and two assists. Caroline Crump was the team's leader in points with three goals and one assist.
Senior Rebecca VanLaeken stood strong in the nets once again, as she recorded 13 saves and allowed 10 goals in the win. The Purple Eagles split time as Olivia Shroeder got the start and allowed six goals and made two saves, as she was saddled with the loss. Aubrey DeVeau also saw time and made two saves and allowed nine goals.
The Blue and Gold controlled the draw circle as they outdrew the Purple Eagles 14-12, while Niagara came up with more ground balls 21-18.
With the win today Canisius secured the No. 4 seed in the tournament, and will host a MAAC quarterfinal game on Saturday. The team will host Niagara who finished with the No. 5 seed.
"We talked all week about getting a hot start and focusing on ourselves and the girls really answered the challenge. It was really important for us to get that early lead and after they battled back we really responded. I think today showed what this team is all about. We're very resilient and when we face adversity and we battle through, we've always come through stronger on the other side."
• With the win Canisius is now 15-10 all-time against Niagara
• The win is also the team's 15th straight victory over the Purple Eagles.
• Ryan's five goals is a new career-high for the sophomore.
• Reininger and Roemer both extended their point streaks to 36 and 45 games, respectively.
• VanLaeken posted 13 saves which is her 13 game of 10-or-more saves this season. 
Canisius enters the MAAC championship as the No. 4 seed as they finished in a four-way tie for with a 6-2 record. The Blue and Gold will host No. 5 Niagara on Saturday at the Demske Sports Complex. Game time will be announced later this week.

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