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Mustangs Defend Home Turf in First Playoff Opportunity, Are On to Semifinals

Mustangs Defend Home Turf in First Playoff Opportunity, Are On to Semifinals

NEWTON, Mass. – Wednesday afternoon's Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's lacrosse quarterfinals game at Alumni Field was the first home game in Mount Ida program history, and the Mustangs were not about to let the experience pass them by.

The #4 seeded Mustangs got four goals apiece from senior Nicole Pavao (Peabody, Mass.) and sophomore Brooke Scahill (Ledyard, Conn.) and dispatched Emmanuel College 12-9 to earn a spot in Friday's semifinals.

It was the third consecutive year that the Mustangs and Saints have locked up in the playoffs, and Emmanuel has ended the Mustang's season for the last two times, but this time, with a home crowd behind them, Mount Ida never trailed and scored five straight goals in the first half to end the period with a 7-3 lead.

Scahill and Pavao each scored in the same minute to open the game, with Scahill collecting her 50th goal of the year.

The Saints answered with goals by Savannah Lundwall (Fiskdale, Mass.) and Emily Baker (Stratham, N.H.), but Scahill re-gave the Mustangs the lead at 10:55 and Pavao completed her hat trick with the next two goals.

Six different players scored for the Saints, but Abaigeal Merrigan (Rye, N.H.), who had four markers, was the only Emmanuel player to find the back of the net twice.

Merrigan notched her first goal of the game with just six seconds to play in the first half, and then Stephanie Warn (Hanson, Mass.) and Merrigan scored on either side of a goal by Alyssa Kelly (Lee, Mass.) as the Saints cut the lead to 8-5.

After Scahill knocked home a free position shot, Emmanuel scored three straight goals to pull within one, with Kylie Rice (Bethlehem, Conn.), Andrea Liddell (Weymouth, Mass.) and Merrigan each completing free position shots of their own.

Hayley Napier (Fairhaven, Mass.) took a feed from Kelly with 14:30 to play and then four minutes later, Pavao scored an unassisted goal to restore a three-goal advantage.

Napier would add her second of the game in the final minute after Merrigan completed her scorecard with her fourth goal of the game at the 2:00 mark.

With a goal and an assist, Kelly reached an even 100 points for the year, expanding on her already-claimed single season scoring record for the program.

Lundwall led the Saints with seven draw controls, helping Emmanuel out-draw the Mustangs 12-10, despite six draws from Scahill.

Mount Ida freshman Jenessa Corbett (Westbrook, Maine) caused two turnovers and picked up a game-high nine ground balls.

Freshman netminder Jessica Henry (Wilbraham, Mass.) made 14 saves to improve to 11-4 on the year, while sophomore Bethany Bonilla (Milton, Mass.) stopped 18 shots by the Mustangs.

Mount Ida awaits the winner of the #1 Johnson & Wales vs #8 Rivier quarterfinal that will be played tonight in Providence.

Emmanuel, the number five seed in the tournament, ends their year with a record of 6-10.