MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's lacrosse team led No. 14-ranked Pace University, 9-6, early in the second half, but the Setters scored the game's final nine goals down the stretch to run away with a 15-9 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Grappone Stadium.
Despite the loss to nationally-ranked Pace (12-4, 9-3 NE10), Saint Anselm (8-8, 6-6 NE10) clinched its first NE10 Championship berth since 2015 after Stonehill's loss to Saint Michael's earlier this afternoon. Depending on results tonight and the rest of this week, the Hawks could be as high as the No. 6 seed in the postseason tournament.
The Hawks opened the second half with three-straight goals over the first 8:03 to take the 9-6 lead, but Pace held the Hawks scoreless for the final 21:57 of the game. Meanwhile, the Setters' offense tallied nine goals over the final 18:45 of the game as the visitors snatched the come-from-behind victory.
With a goal and four assists in the loss, senior Meaghan Sheehy brought her season point total to 91, tying the single-season point record held by Michaela Rocha from her senior season of 2009. Sheehy's goal was the 99th of her career, leaving her one shy of becoming the 10th 100-goal scorer in program history.
Senior Emma Palumbo scored a team-high four goals for Saint Anselm, while classmate Erica Mattila chipped in with three of her own. Junior Molly Beck scored a goal, tied Mattila for the team lead with four draw controls, grabbed three ground balls and caused three Pace turnovers. Senior Jamie Traverse scooped up a career-high four ground balls to lead the Hawks.
A Mattila free position shot opened the scoring 2:46 in before the Setters held the Hawks scoreless for 12:14 on their way to a 3-1 lead. Trailing 5-3 with 12:33 left in the opening half, Saint Anselm scored three-straight goals, two by Palumbo, to take a 6-5 lead but the teams went to the break tied at 6-6 on a late goal by Courtney Pabst.
A goal from Palumbo and man-up goals from Beck and Sheehy gave the Hawks a 9-6 lead 8:03 into the second half. Pabst scored back-to-back goals for Pace less than a minute apart to cut the visitors' deficit to one and kick-start the 9-0 close to the game. Carlyn Mucci's unassisted man-up goal with 9:11 to go gave Pace the lead for good as the Setters ran away with the win late on.
Pabst scored three goals in each half and added an assist to lead Pace with seven points. Casey Gelderman scored on three of her 10 shots and Angela Kelly added two goals in the final 11:06. Pabst also grabbed eight of Pace's 12 draw controls in the game.
The Setters outshot the Hawks by a 35-28 margin and got 15 saves from Jillian Oross in the win. Senior Zoie Cavotta posted her eighth double-digit save performance of the season with 10 for Saint Anselm.
The Hawks close out the regular season at No. 20 New Haven on Saturday, Apr. 28 at 1 p.m.