By Matt Noonan
Saturday will be a jam-packed day of NCAA Division III lacrosse with some important conference tilts.
One game in particular to keep an eye on is Western New England visiting Endicott men’s lacrosse with face-off set for 3:00 p.m.
The Gulls enter this crucial Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) tilt on a two-game winning streak after defeating Gordon (19-5) and Curry (14-8). The Golden Bears have won seven of 10 contests this season, including a trio of conference games.
Last season, the Gulls defeated the Golden Bears in Springfield before edging them in the conference tournament championship, 13-12. Kyle Weber netted the Gulls’ final goal with 2:09 remaining to provide the hosts with a 13-9 advantage.
Western New England trimmed the deficit during the final minute, netting a trio of markers in 29 seconds, but Endicott halted the comeback with a face-off win by Tommy Hughes.
The win marked the Gulls’ first conference crown since the 2011 season.
A win for either team would most likely position them for the top spot in the CCC tournament. Yet, an addition team to keep an eye on down the stretch in the CCC is Roger Williams, which has won three of four league games. The Hawks lone conference setback occurred earlier this week when they fell to the Golden Bears, 11-7.
Roger Williams is also in action tomorrow, facing Trinity in a non-conference clash with face-off scheduled for 4:00 p.m.
Switching gears to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC), Emmanuel and Saint Joseph’s (Maine) remain the two women’s lacrosse teams without a single conference blemish. The Saints of Emmanuel have won four straight, including a trio of conference tilts.
In their most recent win against Lasell, Sarah Higgins registered eight points on seven goals and one helper. The senior midfielder from Groveland, Massachusetts has had an extremely impressive season, tallying eight points in a pair of games, along with a season-high nine points (four goals, five assists) in a 19-0 victory against University of Saint Joseph (Conn.).
Higgins currently leads the Blue and Gold in points (41), goals (26) and assists (15). In addition to her offensive output, she is also first on the team in draw controls (46), ground balls (35) and caused turnovers (51).
Saint Joseph’s Elyse Caiazzo leads the conference with 38 goals. She has helped the Monks capture back-to-back contests against Maine Maritime Academy and Albertus Magnus where she combined for eight goals one helper.
As a unit, the Monks rank first in the conference in goals (138) and goals per game (13.80). Johnson & Wales is second in goals (125) and goals per game (12.50), while Lasell is third with 117 goals and 11.70 goals per contest.
Emmanuel and Saint Joseph’s will meet in Maine on Tuesday, April 19 with opening draw set for 8:00 p.m. That contest could determine the regular season champion.