RICHMOND, Va. - Sam McGee scored four goals to lead third-seeded Saint Joseph’s to a 14-9 win over sixth-seeded George Mason in the Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals at Robins Stadium. With their seventh straight win, which marks the new program record for single-season winning streak, the Hawks (12-6) advance to the A-10 Semifinals against second-seeded Richmond on Friday at 4 p.m. SJU's 12th win of the season sets the new program record for single-season victories.
It also marks the second consecutive year that SJU will be taking on Richmond in the semifinals.
The Hawks staked a 4-0 opening lead on goals by Kelly (27:48), Cerciello (24:56), McGee (20:41) and Sabol (18:26) before George Mason got on the board at 12:58 with a goal by Cachi Kelehan.
Sabol’s second of the game and 25th of the year at 9:46 upped the Hawks’ lead to 6-1, before the Patriots scored two in a row, cutting the deficit to 6-3 on Kelehan’s second goal with 23 seconds left in the half. Cerciello tallied an unassisted goal at :05 to provide SJU with a 7-3 halftime lead.
The Hawks’ Donato opened the scoring in the second half with a fastbreak goal, her 35th of the season, at 26:57.
Mason countered with two consecutive free-position goals, as one by Lindsay Tangeman at 23:00 pulled them within 8-5. But Julia Pash found Donato at 20:14 as the Hawks broke Mason’s streak, and McGee added another to push SJU’s lead to 10-5.
The Patriots came within 10-7 at after a pair of goals by Erin Donahue, but McGee had the answer, taking a pass from Kelly to notch her third of the game at 11:45. The freshman then fed leading scorer Rebecca Lane a minute later for her first of the contest at 10:42 as the Hawks built the lead back up to 12-7.
George Mason countered with two goals in a minute span as Donahue and Haley Johnson cut the SJU lead to 12-9 at 5:27.
The teams traded possessions and went scoreless until McGee sealed the win at :43 with her fourth of the game, and then assisted on the final goal by Kelly with nine seconds remaining to advance the Hawks into the semifinals.
“We definitely came out strong. George Mason is a great team and it was a battle, but we were able to stay strong and play St. Joe’s lacrosse and come out with this great A-10 win,” said head coach Alex Kahoe.