WENHAM, Mass.— Gordon Women's Lacrosse used a career day from senior Jane Dietrich (West Hartford, Conn.) to get past sixth-seeded Curry College in the first round of the Commonwealth Coast Conference playoffs, 12-7. Dietrich netted her first hat-trick of the season and assisted another to boost the Fighting Scots to the conference semifinals on a cold and wet Saturday at the Brigham Athletic Complex.
Curry had played Gordon tight in the first meeting between the two teams almost a month ago, letting go of a halftime lead before eventually falling to the favored Scots 11-10. Like the first game, Curry came out of the chute with an aggressive approach on offense, led by senior Haley Carey (New Milford, Conn.).
Carey scored the first goal of the game in the fourth minute after a failed clear by the Scots. The talented attacker took the inbounds pass from a teammate around midfield and streaked down the field virtually untouched before bouncing a shot past Danielle Maguire (Braintree, Mass.).
Gordon answered almost immediately, winning the draw control and playing with a methodical offensive approach to find the best shot. After two shots went just wide, the Fighting Scots finally struck on a quick touch by senior Kelly Linehan (White Plains, N.Y.). Leading goal-scorer Anna Blomberg (Simsbury, Conn.) passed on a shot and found a wide-open Linehan, who finished with the quick answer.
Once again Curry took a one-goal advantage of a turnover by the Scots to answer on the other end. Mel Brickey (Chelmsford, Mass.) picked up a misplay by Linehan and dished it off to Carey for a scoring opportunity. Carey obliged with her second score of the game to take a 2-1 lead.
Four minutes passed before Gordon was able to find themselves with another prime opportunity. A foul gave All-CCC player Stephanie Fitzgerald (Groveland, Mass.) a free-position attempt at the top of the circle and she fired one home to even the score at two.
Gordon put the pressure on Curry once again by winning the next draw control with a nifty pickup by Lindsey Congdon (Exeter, N.H.). Curry keeper Christina Wallis (Peabody, Mass.) played a great game in net, but made a costly error after receiving a pass. The Colonels' net-minder sent a pass over the middle of the field that was intercepted by Linehan. Gordon's senior attacker quick scooped up the ball and found a wide-open Abby Illian (Hillsdale, N.J.) in front of the goal for the easy score.
Trailing for the first time, Curry received some help from Deanna Monfredo (West Islip, N.Y.) to tie the game at three. Maguire had made a beautiful save on a free-position shot by defending CCC Rookie of the Week Alli Schoff, but turned the ball over to give the Colonels another opportunity to score. Monfredo wrapped around the back of the net and fired a shot past Maguire for the equalizer.
However, Gordon went on a tear in a three-minute span to put some distance between the two squads. Dietrich scored her first of the day when she beat her mark from the left side. Only 45 seconds later, Fitzgerald scored another unassisted goal to open a two-goal lead. The Fighting Scots fended off a quick shot by the Colonels and Dietrich made them pay with another goal to give the Scots their largest lead of the first half, 6-3.
Brickey brought the Colonels within two goals on a helper from Alexis Cran (Branford, Conn.) just before the half.
The Scots raced out to a seven-goal lead in the second half, outscoring the Colonels 6-1 to start the period. Jessica Castelline (Concord, Mass.) scored all three of her goals on the day during the spurt, as well two goals from Bailey Grinnell (South Hamilton, Mass.) and Dietrich's completed hat-trick.
Bolton and Carey scored two goals in the final 10 minutes to make things a bit closer in the end, but Gordon played a possession game to run out the clock.
Curry finishes the season at 9-9, with Wallis falling to 6-7 as a starter in net. She made nine saves in the losing effort. Gordon moves on to Wednesday's semifinals at Endicott and improves to 12-4 on the year. Maguire held the Colonels' offense to only seven goals, while making 10 deflections between the pipes.
Second-seeded Endicott will host Gordon at 4:00 p.m. Both semifinal matches will be part of a women's/men's doubleheader. The Gulls defeated the Scots two weeks ago in Beverly, 10-4.
Tournament action culminates with the CCC championship game on Saturday, May 3 at 1:00 p.m. The CCC tournament champion will earn an automatic berth in the upcoming 2014 NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship. (Game Recap Courtesy of Gordon Sports Information)