OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. (May 4, 2017) – Powered by a game-high three goals from senior Tori DiFusco (Mahopac, N.Y./SUNY Cortland), the No. 3 seed Mercy College women's lacrosse team earned a 9-7 win over No. 2 seed NYIT on Thursday afternoon in an East Coast Conference (ECC) Championship Semifinal matchup.
The Mavericks (16-2) have won three games in a row and earn their first win over a ranked opponent this season. The win is also the program's first-ever in the ECC Championship and Mercy will play for the championship at No. 1 seed LIU Post on Saturday, May 6th at 12 p.m. The Mavericks also improve to 10-0 in road games this season. The Bears (15-3) have dropped two straight and will wait to see if they will make the NCAA Tournament.
DiFusco also added two ground balls and two caused turnovers, while junior Grace Davidson (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip) contributed two goals and two assists. Sophomore Hunter Isnardi (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) added two goals and six draw controls and freshman Katherine Sanchez (Freeport, N.Y./Freeport) netted a goal and an assist. Freshman Brittani Sergio (Lake Grove, N.Y./Sachem North) also scored and junior Emily Jehle (Wading River, N.Y./Riverhead) and graduate student Alexa Haines (Lindenhurst, N.Y./Lindenhurst) chipped in assists. Senior Jillian Rocco (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East) played the first half in goal before giving way to junior Shianne Judson (Bayshore, N.Y./Bayshore) who played the second half and earned the victory.
NYIT received a team-high three points from Katie Meinecke on two goals and an assist. Lauren Young made six saves to take the loss.
Mercy looked to continue its historic season, but the Bears began the scoring off of the opening draw control to take a 1-0 lead just 15 seconds in. DiFusco helped the Mavericks regroup with her first of the day at the 28:55 mark to tie the game up at 1-1.
Isnardi gave Mercy their first lead of the game just under two minutes later off an assist from Davidson to make it 2-1. NYIT responded with two straight goals to take a 3-2 lead at the 23:14 mark of the first half. The Mavericks continued to battle and Davidson and Sergio found the back of the net to put Mercy back on top, 4-3, with 17:38 left in the opening half.
The Bears went on to close the half with three of the next four goals to take a 6-5 lead into halftime. Isnardi recorded the lone Mavericks goal during the stretch after a NYIT yellow card.
Mercy came out ready for the second half and DiFusco tied the game up at 6-6 less than a minute in, off an assist from Jehle. NYIT regained the lead at the 17:04 mark, taking a 7-6 lead, but the Mavericks would close the game out and continue their season with three straight goals to end the game. DiFusco and Davidson made it 8-7 in favor of Mercy before Sanchez tacked on an insurance goal with 1:05 remaining that sealed the historic win.
Mercy held an 18-16 edge in shots and a 14-5 advantage in draw controls, while NYIT held a 16-6 edge in ground balls.
Head Coach Dawn Anselmin and the Mavericks will play at No. 1 seed LIU Post in the ECC Championship Game on Saturday, May 6th at 12 p.m.