Women’s Lax earns NEAC regular-season title

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

Keuka College Senior Taylor Smith of Webster scored a career-high seven goals and classmate Maggie Bonafede of Churchville added seven points on one goal with six assists as the Keuka College women’s lacrosse team wrapped up the North Eastern Athletic Conference’s (NEAC) regular-season title with a 20-3 win over SUNYIT Sunday in Marcy.

Senior Caroline Arancio of Clinton scored four goals, junior Kaycee Maguire of Potsdamhad three goals and junior Jennifer Burt of Penn Yan and sophomore Samantha Staino of Brockport each added two goals in the win.

The Storm (13-2, 9-0 NEAC) earned the number one seed and will host the NEAC tournament, which kicks off Tuesday with a quarterfinal contest between No. 4 Cazenovia College (8-7, 6-3) and No. 5 SUNYIT (6-6, 5-4).

Keuka College will then play the Cazenovia/SUNYIT in one semifinal Saturday, with No. 2 Morrisville State (11-6, 8-1) meeting No. 3 Medaille College (8-6, 5-2) in the other semifinal.

The NEAC championship will occur at 1 p.m. Sunday, with the winner earning the NEAC’s automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III tournament.

In 2013, the Storm won NEAC’s and earned the program’s first-ever NCAA appearance.

Taking on SUNYIT Sunday, freshman Sydney Forshay of Clifton Springs added a goal with an assist, Smith won 14 draw controls and added three groundballs with an assist and Burt won four draw controls for the Green and Gold.

Maguire had four groundballs and caused three turnovers, and classmate Olivia Hudson of Adams caused two turnovers and had two groundballs as Keuka College picked up its 20th straight win against NEAC opponents.

Senior Korie Fitzgerald of Vestal earned the win after a scoreless first half, while freshman Samantha Peacock of Phelps made one save and allowed three goals in the second half.

Smith scored three first-half goals and Arancio, Burt, Maguire and Staino each had two goals in the opening half as the Storm built a 12-0 lead. Bonafede assisted on four first-half tallies, while Keuka College held SUNYIT scoreless over the first 41 minutes and 58 seconds of action.

When Jenna Lashua scored an unassisted goal for SUNYIT with 18:02 remaining in the second half, it snapped a scoreless streak of 213 minutes and 24 seconds for the Storm’s opponents. Keuka College held Penn State-Abington without a goal for the final 51:26 of a 20-2 win April 19, and blanked Wells College during a 19-0 win April 22. The Storm also blanked Medaille College 19-0 (April 26) before holding IT scoreless for the majority of Sunday’s game.