NEWTON, Mass. (5/3/17) -- The third-seeded Lasell College women's lacrosse team begins its quest for a second consecutive Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship when it hosts the sixth-seeded Sharks from Simmons College at Grellier Field in one of four quarterfinal contests this afternoon.
Game time is set for 3:00 p.m. The contest can be viewed live at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/lasell/.
Lasell enters the postseason with a 10-5 overall record and won their last three GNAC games to finish 7-2 in league play. The Lasers concluded the regular season Saturday with a 19-5 win over rival Mount Ida in which junior Taylor Yandow (Moretown, Vt.) scored six goals and sophomore Vanessa Pino (Methuen, Mass.) added five and also posted one assist.
Two other players took home GNAC weekly honors after the Lasers earned victories over St. Joseph (Conn.) and the Mustangs during the final week of the regular season. Samantha Taylor (Hanover, Mass.) was named Rookie of the Week following a 10-point effort over the two games, including five goals. Senior Brooke Bergeron (Lynn, Mass.) made 17 saves on the week, eight of which came in a full 60 minutes against USJ.
Yandow leads the Lasers with 62 points on the season, while her 48 goals rank fifth in the GNAC and her 60 ground balls third. Pino sits just one point shy, but her 16 assists lead the squad. Lasell has five double-digit goal scorers this season, while six players have posted 10 or more total points. Taylor recorded two hat tricks in her last three games to finish the year with 25 goals and 35 points.
On the defensive end, Lasell has allowed 118 goals on the season, the fewest of any GNAC team. Conversely, Simmons ― with its 6-11 record and 3-6 GNAC mark, including seven losses in its last 10 games ― is the league's worst defensive team, allowing 222.
Bergeron and classmate Bridget Delaney (Weymouth, Mass.) have both seen considerable time in goal and rank among the GNAC's top-five in both goals against and save percentage. Bergeron leads the league with a .591 save percentage, 6.12 goals against average, and has allowed just 36 goals in 10 games. Delaney's .559 percentage and 82 goals against in 12 games rank third.
The head-to-head offensive numbers are more evenly matched, as Lasell scores 12.67 goals per game as compared to 11.94 for Simmons. Junior Kasey Fries (Bridgewater, Mass.) leads the Sharks with 47 goals and 54 points, while 18 of sophomore Elana Bragg's (Belmont, Mass.) 53 points have been assists. Bragg has controlled 90 draws, second-most in the league.
Wednesday's game comes exactly one month after the teams played their regular-season meeting down the road at Daly Field in Boston, a 16-12 Lasell win. Taylor, Yandow, and Pino all scored five points in the game, while freshman Amanda Brock (North Haven, Conn.) and sophomore Jillian Vergados (Tyngsboro, Mass.) added two goals apiece.
Johnson & Wales finished the regular season with a 9-0 league mark to nab the No. 1 seed, while Saint Joseph's of Maine and Mount Ida are also hosting Wednesday games. The winner of Lasell's contest will face either No. 7 Norwich or No. 2 St. Joe's in Friday's semifinal round.