GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Junior Kelly Pickett (Chelmsford, Mass.) matched a career best with a game-high five goals, but the 12th-ranked and third-seeded Saint Anselm College women's lacrosse team was dealt a heartbreaking 15-14 loss by the fourth-ranked and second-seeded University of New Haven in a Northeast-10 Championship semifinal matchup Saturday afternoon at Adelphi University's Motamed Field.
The Hawks drop to 13-4 on the season, while the Chargers improve to 16-2 and advance to Sunday's title game against Adelphi. Both teams will be in the mix for an NCAA Tournament selection Sunday night.
Pickett scored the first two goals of the game to stake the Hawks to a 2-0 lead 5:15 in, but Kathryn Campbell and Corinne Fisher answered with goals 27 seconds apart to tie with the contest with 23:05 remaining in the opening half.
Doherty put the Hawks back on top with an unassisted tally at the 19:44 mark, but goals from Nicole McKee, Maya Szymanski and Courtney Ackland gave New Haven their first lead of the afternoon at 5-3 with 11:23 left.
The teams then traded goals twice before a Pickett strike was followed by a pair of goals from Kudlate – with the second one set up by sophomore Caitlin Villareal (Portsmouth, R.I.) – to put the Hawks back in front at 8-7 with 3:39 to go. Ackland knotted the game with 1:20 on the clock, but Doherty responded with 36 seconds left to send Saint Anselm into the break with a 9-8 edge.
Villareal's league-leading 20th free-position goal opened the second-half scoring to nudge the lead to two just 1:23 in, but Campbell and Fisher again hit back to tie the game at 10-all with 24:29 remaining.
After McKee answered a goal from junior Kaitlyn Stazinski (Pembroke, Mass.) that was set up by sophomore Erin Marshall (Woburn, Mass.), Kudlate notched her third goal of the day and then handed out an assist on another Doherty goal to give the Hawks their two-goal cushion back at 13-11 with 20:33 to play.
New Haven would respond with four unanswered goals to seize the lead for good. Marissa Fisher scored the first three – two of which were assisted by Campbell – before Campbell herself buried a free-position shot to put the Chargers up 15-13 with 13:53 left.
The Hawks would have their chances down the stretch, but had one shot saved, another clang off the post and mixed in four turnovers. Pickett made good on a free-position chance just before time expired to close the gap to one, but had run out of time.
Sophomore goalkeeper Jane Bunn (St. John's, Fla.) made seven saves, while Marissa McDermott turned away five shots for the Chargers.
New Haven outshot Saint Anselm, 33-22, including 16-8 in the second half, and also held a 16-14 edge in draw controls, including 8-4 in the second frame. The Hawks were 2-for-3 on their free-position opportunities, while the Chargers were 4-for-7.
The Hawks will now wait and see if they have done enough to earn a bid into the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Division II Women's Lacrosse Selection Show will take place Sunday, May 4 at 8 p.m. and can be viewed by clicking HERE. Stay up-to-date with the latest news, including game previews and recaps, directly from the Saint Anselm College athletic department by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter @STAHawks.