STANDISH, Maine – Top-seeded Saint Joseph's College (Maine) captured its fourth straight Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) field hockey championship Saturday afternoon with a 4-0 victory over second-seeded Lasell University at the SJC Athletic Complex.
The Monks, who defeated the Lasers in the GNAC title game for the third year in a row, improve to 18-3 overall and earn the conference's automatic berth in the NCAA Championship Tournament, which begins on Wednesday, November 13. The Lasers complete their season at 10-10.
The hosts carried the play most of the afternoon, out-shooting the Lasers 32-1. Lasell's only shot came in the first quarter by freshman Mya Maxim (South China, Maine).
It was a 1-0 Monks lead at halftime despite a lop-sided shot advantage (13-1), as Lasell sophomore goalie Sofia Rodriguez (Peabody, Mass.) made eight saves to keep her team within striking distance. The Monks continued to press the Laser goal in the second half, and Rodriguez finished with 16 saves for the game. Junior Claire Shepherd (Huntington Beach, Calif.) also recorded a defensive save for the Lasers.
Freshman Megan Quirion (Oakland, Maine) scored two goals for St. Joe's, the first and eventual game-winner with three minutes remaining in the first quarter and the second four minutes into the third frame. Senior Maddy Beaulieu (West Gardiner, Maine) added an insurance goal late in the third period and classmate Libby Pomerleau (Limerick, Maine) rounded out the scoring with the team's fourth goal with 7:21 remaining in the game.
Esposito and Taylor led a senior class that wound up their Lasell careers with a combined record of 52-28. The group includes Izzy Contois (Conway, Mass.), Grace Duguay (Watertown, Mass.), Brooke Landry (New Milford, Conn.), Sarah Rudker (Salem, Conn.), and Chloe Shugrue (Worcester, Mass.).
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