PHILADELPHIA – The third-seeded Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse squad (11-6, 7-2 A-10) will face sixth-seeded George Mason (11-6, 5-4 A-10) in the 2018 Atlantic 10 Championship quarterfinals this Thursday, May 3. Opening draw control is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at the University of Richmond's Robins Stadium in Richmond, Va. The Hawks are in the midst of a six-game winning streak, which matches the single-season, program record for consecutive wins, while the Patriots have dropped three of their last five, including a 16-9 loss against the Hawks on April 22. Both teams are coming off of 20+ goal performances this past Saturday.
The Hawks are making their third consecutive A-10 postseason appearance in four years under the direction of fourth-year head coach Alex Kahoe. SJU reached the A-10 semifinal round in both 2016 and 2017.
Live streaming of Thursday's game will be provided free of charge through the A-10 Network, which can be accessed from Atlantic10.com.
Last time out against George Mason in SJU's regular-season home finale, Saint Joseph's ran away with five of the final six goals of the game to take home the 16-9 win on Sweeney Field. Junior attacker Rebecca Lane and freshman attacker Sam McGee powered SJU's offense with hat tricks, freshman attacker Stephanie Kelly (2g, 2a), sophomore midfielder Bridget Cerciello (2g, 2a), and junior attacker Francesca Donato (2g, 2a) contributed four points apiece, and graduate student goalkeeper Liz O'Sullivan made nine saves, including six in the first half, vs. nine goals allowed in the first 56:38.
Sant Joseph's defensive unit continues to disrupt opposing offenses as the Hawks lead the Atlantic 10 in caused turnovers per game, with 11.94; senior defender Juliana Strazulo sits fifth in the A-10 with 1.75 forced turnovers per contest.
On the offensive end, the Hawks rank second in the league in points per game at a clip of 20.76 (13.88 goals/game and 6.88 assists/game), led by their trio of 45+ point scorers in Lane (33g, team-high 25a), Donato (team-high 34g, 16a) and Kelly (28g, 17a).
Saint Joseph's will go up against a George Mason team that averages the exact same goal scoring average as Saint Joseph's, at just under 14 scores per contest; the Patriots lead the league in shot percentage, scoring on 46.5 percent of their attempts.
Through 17 games of regular-season action, junior attackers Rebecca Lane (33g, team-high 25a) and Francesca Donato (team-high 34g, 16a) and freshman attacker Stephanie Kelly (28g, 17a) combined for 40% (95-of-236) of SJU's goals while juniors Sinead Brierley (22g, 9a) and Hayley Sabol (23g, 7a) rounded out SJU's top-five offensive factors. Sophomore midfielder Julia Pash was strong on both ends of the field with a team-high 55 draw controls alongside 25 ground balls and 23 caused turnovers to go with 13 points (9g, 4a).
Senior defender Juliana Strazulo was a dominating force on the back line with a team-high 38 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers; Strazulo, seniors Kristen Kelbon (35gb, 22ct) and Catie Vivian (23gb, 16ct), and junior Ally Beck (23gb, 23ct) anchored the back line while graduate student Liz O'Sullivan (11-6, 7-2 A-10), who earned a single-season, program-record 11 wins in net this season, sported a .474 save percentage and 11.97 goals against average with 157 saves vs. 174 goals allowed in 871:59.
100 FOR LANE
Junior attacker Rebecca Lane recorded a hat trick in SJU's 15-4 win over Duquesne, which included her 100th career goal on her second score of the game at the 11:31 mark of the first half. Lane became the eighth Hawk in program history to reach 100 career goals and is the fourth-fastest to do so, reaching the milestone in 46 career games. She also became just the third Hawk to score 100 career goals before the start of her senior season.
SCOUTING GEORGE MASON
George Mason went 6-2 in non-conference action with season-opening wins over Monmouth, 17-14, and Longwood, 21-6, a 9-8 overtime loss at Virginia Tech, back-to-back wins over Coastal Carolina, 10-9, and William and Mary, 13-5, a 14-11 road loss to Campbell, and back-to-back road wins over Stetson, 17-9, and Old Dominion, 16-5. The Patriots then extended their winning streak to four games with league-opening wins over George Washington, 25-11, and La Salle, 12-11, both on the road, before suffering a 10-6 home loss to Davidson. George Mason picked up a 14-6 win over Duquesne before three of its next four with back-to-back losses to UMass, 15-8, and Richmond, 18-11, a 15-8 win over St. Bonaventure, and a 16-9 loss on Hawk Hill. The Patriots are coming in off of a 23-8 win over VCU on April 28.
Chachi Kelehan (49g, 24a) and Corinne Wessels (38g, 32a) and are the clear 1-2 punch for the Patriots as the duo has combined for 143 of George Mason's 348 points on the spring. Hannah Warpinski (82dc) and Erin Donoghue (80dc) dominate at the circle while Warpinski also leads the squad in ground balls (44) and caused turnovers (23). Melissa Semkiw (10-6) sports a .505 save percentage and 9.79 goals against average with 148 saves vs. 145 goals allowed in 888:34; Semkiw played 15:31 against the Hawks and went for four goals allowed vs. zero saves before Elizabeth Benedetto came in for the final 44:29.
Thursday's game will mark the 14th all-time meeting between Saint Joseph’s and George Mason and second in an 11-day span; the Hawks downed the Patriots, 16-9, last Sunday, April 22 in the regular-season home finale as junior attacker Rebecca Lane and freshman attacker Sam McGee tallied hat tricks and graduate student goalkeeper Liz O'Sullivan held George Mason's offense to nine goals in just over 56 minutes of action.
The Patriots own a 9-4 all-time series advantage, but the Hawks have won the last two meetings to even out at 2-2 under the direction of fourth-year head coach Alex Kahoe.
All-time series results:
2018 - W - 16-9 - Home
2017 – W – 20-10 - Away
2016 - L - 16-7 - Home
2015 - L - 14-12 - Home
2014 - W - 12-7 - Away
2009 - L - 17-11 - Home
2008 - L - 14-6 - Away
2007 - L - 15-7 - Home
2006 - L - 18-8 - Away
1997 - L - 13-8 - Home
1996 - L - 9-4 - Away
1995 - L - 18-10 - Home
1994 - W - 15-8 - Away
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Also be sure to check out Sideline Photos, LLC's shots from games vs. CCSU, Navy, Villanova, and George Mason (plus Senior Day) at PhotoShelter.com.