UMBC rolls into NEC title game

Women get second shot at Monmouth for NCAAs

Dragoni sparks 16-4 win

April 27, 2002|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

The UMBC women's lacrosse team moved closer to its first NCAA tournament bid yesterday with a dominating 16-4 victory over Sacred Heart in a Northeast Conference tournament semifinal at UMBC Stadium.

Sophomore Jen Dragoni scored four first-half goals, and senior Jamie Gerhart added two goals and three assists to send the Retrievers (11-4) into the tournament title game for the fifth straight year.

They will play Monmouth, a 13-7 winner over Wagner in the other semifinal, at noon tomorrow. The winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

UMBC, the tournament's top seed, coasted through its regular-season NEC schedule with a 7-0 record, outscoring opponents 107-33.

It was much of the same yesterday as the Retrievers opened with goals by junior Lauren Traber, Dragoni and senior Loree Miller (three goals) to take a 3-0 lead over the fourth-seeded Pioneers (8-8).

After freshman JoAnn Montesarchio put Sacred Heart on the board, the Retrievers closed the half with six straight goals - three by Dragoni - to take a 9-1 lead into intermission.

"We told them we needed to be focused for the full 60 minutes, and this game we were," said UMBC coach Monica Yeakel.

The Retrievers will now get a chance to avenge last year's 14-9 loss to Monmouth in the NEC title game.

"We've waited the whole year for this," Dragoni said. "Every practice this year, every time during sprints, we've said, `Remember Monmouth.' We don't want to feel that way again."

Sacred Heart 1 3 - 4

UMBC 9 7 - 16

Goals: SH-Montesarchio 2, Bruckner, Smith; UMBC-Dragoni 4, Miller 3, Gerhart 2, Traber 2, Gallup, Milani, McClintic, Staines, Allen. Assists: SH-Smith; UMBC-Gerhart 3, Gallup 3, Traber. Saves: SH-Lavoie 11, Brauer 0; UMBC-Stringer 9.

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