Saturday's Landmark Conference women's lacrosse championship game will have a familiar look to it as The University of Scranton travels to Catholic for the third season in a row to determine the conference title. The Royals are seeking for a different outcome when the teams take the field at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday in Washington, D.C. as the top-seeded and 15th ranked Cardinals have defeated Scranton in the last two championship games.
Scranton (12-6) advanced to its third straight Landmark Conference championship game by defeating third-seeded Moravian on Wednesday in a semifinal contest at Fitzpatrick Field. The second-seeded Royals, who enter Saturday's title game on a six-game win streak, overcame an early 4-1 deficit by outscoring the Greyhounds 16-2 over a 38:51 span of the game that included the final 21:44 of the first half and the first 16-plus minutes of the second half.
Sophomore Kate Calabro (Seaford, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) led all players with seven points on three goals and four assists while junior Elena Gallo (East Meadow, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) added six goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Erin Putnam (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks South) made 15 saves in the victory.
The Royals, who are seeking the first Landmark Conference championship in program history, are led by six players who earned All-Conference honors. Calabro was named the Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year and was a First Team selection, as were Gallo, junior Christine Olert (Katonah, N.Y./Somers), and sophomore Becca Russo (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor). Freshman Jill Henson (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy) and senior Kailyn Angelo (West Chester, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) were both Second Team All-Landmark selections for the Royals.
Gallo paces Scranton's attack with 68 points on 60 goals and eight assists, Calabro has 56 points on 25 goals and 31 helpers, while Henson has totaled 52 points on 36 goals and 16 assists.
Calabro leads the Royals with 105 draw controls and 32 caused turnovers while Russo has picked up a team-high 49 ground balls.
Putnam has made 124 saves this spring to hold a 10.83 goals against average and a .468 save percentage while picking up 10 wins in goal.
Catholic (12-6) secured its 11th straight trip to the Landmark Conference championship game with a 20-6 rout over fourth-seeded Drew in a semifinal game on Wednesday. Sophomore Holly Regan paced Catholic with nine points while senior Nicolette Crisalli added six goals for the Cardinals, who received points from 11 different players against the Rangers.
The Cardinals, who have won nine of the last 10 Landmark Conference championships including titles in each of the past four seasons, are paced offensively by Regan, who has 74 points on 34 goals and 40 assists and Crisalli, who has netted 66 goals and dished out seven helpers for 73 points. Crisalli was recently named First Team All-Conference while Regan garnered Second Team honors.
Junior Erin Dugan, a First Team All-Conference defender, leads Catholic with 71 draw controls, 39 ground balls, and 35 caused turnovers while fellow defenders Kayla Purdy, a junior, and Alyssa Bishop, a sophomore, were also First Team All-Conference selections.
Sophomore goalkeeper Nanci Hernandez, a Second Team All-Conference honoree, sports and 11-6 record with a 10.51 goals against average and a .491 save percentage with 144 saves on the season.
In the regular season meeting between the two teams, Catholic held off Scranton for an 18-15 victory in Washington, D.C. A late first half goal gave the Cardinals a 10-9 edge at halftime that the hosts would not relinquish in the final 30 minute of play.
Junior Jessica Lyons, a First Team All-Conference midfielder, scored five goals while Ally Criscuolo added four tallies for Catholic. Hernandez made 12 saves in goal to pick up the win.
Gallo scored a team-leading four goals for Scranton while Henson and sophomore Shannon Warburton (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh) potted three goals apiece. Putnam made eight saves for the Royals in the loss.
The winner of Saturday's Landmark Conference championship game will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with the national championship tournament field to be announced via an NCAA.com selection show at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday night.