WESTON, Mass. - Sophomore Mackenzie Cattaruzza (Guilford, Conn.) and freshman Kerri Anselmo (Natick, Mass.) each scored a hat trick on Thursday night, lifting the top-seeded Regis (Mass.) women's lacrosse team to a 13-5 win over #4 Wheelock College in the semifinals of the New England Collegiate Conference Tournament.
With the win, the Pride (14-4) advances to its fifth consecutive NECC Championship, to be played on Saturday at Regis Stadium at 3:00 p.m. They will take on #2 Elms, who defeated Southern Vermont 14-11 in the other semifinal. Wheelock's season ends with a record of 10-7.
The game had the all the makings for a defensive struggle in the early going, as the game's first goal didn't come until over eight minutes in, when Cattaruzza scored her first goal of the game. Linsay Bumila (Raynham, Mass.) scored almost four minutes later to stretch the Pride lead to 2-0, followed by a goal by senior Arianna Woodley (Norwood, Mass.). Wheelock sophomore Alexah Mellis (East Longmeadow, Mass.) opened the scoring for the Wildcats with 9:18 left in the first half, cutting the Pride's lead to 3-1, but two more Cattaruzza goals and one from junior Nicole Roche (Waltham, Mass.) moved the Pride's lead to 6-2 as the horn sounded for half time.
The Pride continued to pour it on after the break, scoring the first five goals of the second half, with Roche, Anselmo (two), Bumila and freshman Brooke Ross (Hanover, Mass.) all adding tallies to stretch the Regis lead to 11-2. Wheelock sophomore Georgia Schindele (Sparkill, N.Y.) ended the Pride's 7-0 run with 11:03 left on the clock, but the goal proved far too little too late. Anselmo and sophomore Malorie Kiehl (Burlington, Mass.) would add late goals for the Pride, while Wheelock's Katie Frade (Dartmouth, Mass.) and Colleen Macdonald (Sandwich, Mass.) added late goals for the Wildcats to close out the game 13-5.
The Pride's Taylor Assarian (Arlington, Mass.) was sharp for the home side on the evening, dishing out a career-high four assists in the win.
Wheelock goalkeeper Meghan Lewis (South Berwick, Maine) impressed in her final collegiate game, making 18 saves in the losing effort. Maresa Malcolm (Barrington, N.J.) made two saves to pick up the win for the Pride.