By Matt Noonan
The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women’s lacrosse tournament begins this afternoon with three local squads competing for a championship.
One of the teams – Emmanuel College – enters the tournament as the top seed after concluding its conference slate 10-0. Kristen Tuleja leads the Saints in points (72) and goals (48). She recorded eight points in two games this season and matched Sarah Wooten with 24 helpers. Lauren White, the team’s goaltender, saved 102 shots this season and yielded 113 goals. White also won 12 games this season, too.
The Saints will begin tournament play against University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) at 7 p.m. in Boston. Emmanuel defeated the Blue Jays earlier this season, 16-12. Emily Baker led the Blue and Gold with a hat trick, the first of her collegiate career, while White picked up her 10th career victory.
Lasell College will host Rivier University at 3:30 p.m. in Newton. The Lasers concluded its regular season slate 9-7 overall and 7-3 in conference play. Lasell defeated Rivier earlier this season, 18-9. Britney Wuorio led all players with 10 points on six goals and four assists, while Ashlee Pechulis netted five goals on five shots.
Wurio is fourth in the conference in goals (48), but the top point scorer with 96. She’s posted 11 points in two games this season, along with 10 points, which occurred against the Raiders. The Bolton, Mass. native has compiled 415 points over four seasons with the Lasers and will look to extend her team’s season with a win this afternoon.
Simmons College, which earned the sixth seed for the tournament, will travel to Norwich University for its first-round contest at 7 p.m. The Sharks won three of its final four contests, but fell to the Cadets earlier this month, 12-3. Norwich led Simmons at the break, 7-3, but pushed ahead for good by scoring five more goals in the second session.
Crystal Derosier, Simmons’ goaltender, is fourth in the conference in save percentage (46.6%). She posted one shutout earlier this season against Anna Maria and deflected a season-high 21 shots in a 15-11 win over Regis College.
The final GNAC contest pits St. Joseph’s (Maine) against Johnson & Wales (R.I.). That particular clash is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start.
GNAC Women’s Lax Tournament Schedule:
* Rivier @ Lasell, 3:30 p.m. (Tuesday, Apr. 22)
* St. Joe’s (Conn.) @ Emmanuel, 7 p.m. (Tuesday, Apr. 22)
* Simmons @ Norwich, 7 p.m. (Tuesday, Apr. 22)
* JWU @ St. Joe’s (Maine), 7:30 p.m. (Tuesday, Apr. 22)
* Emmanuel/St. Joe’s (Conn.) vs. Lasell/Rivier (Thursday, Apr. 24)
* Norwich/Simmons vs. JWU/St. Joe’s (Maine) (Thursday, Apr. 24)
* Winner of 1st Semifinal vs. Winner of 2nd Semifinals (Saturday, Apr. 26) at the highest seed