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Top-seeded Trinity stops women's lax in NESCAC quarterfinal

HARTFORD, Conn. -- No. 3 nationally ranked and top-seeded Trinity College outscored the eighth-seeded Bates women's lacrosse team 6-0 over the final 11:01 of the first half to pull away for a 9-2 halftime lead and an eventual 15-4 win in the quarterfinals of the 2012 NESCAC Women's Lacrosse Championship on Saturday.

Bates senior Joan O'Neill (Westwood, Mass.) scored the game's first goal, 1:37 into the first half. Trinity tied the game with 25:55 left on a Shea Kusiak goal to start a 3-0 Bantam run, which O'Neill ended with a second unassisted tally with 16:42 left, closing the gap to 3-2. Neither team scored again until a free-position shot by Megan Leonhard started Trinity on its period-ending blitz.

The Bantams extended the run to seven in a row with another Leonhard goal 2:12 into the second half before Bates senior Jenna Dannis (Milford, N.H.) converted a free-position shot with 23:26 left in the game, cutting Trinity's lead to a still-commanding 10-3. Trinity held Bates scoreless for the next 21 minutes, however, meanwhile increasing its lead to 15-3 before Bates sophomore Bridget Meedzan (Ipswich, Mass.) netted the Bobcats' fourth goal with 2:26 to go.

Unless Bates (7-8) can score an at-large berth in the NCAA Division III Championship field, O'Neill finishes her career with 147 goals and a team-record 68 assists for a team-record 215 points, 32 points and 18 assists more than any other player in team history. Her goal total is only three shy of the team record of 150 held by Stephanie Smith '87. With 52 goals and 18 assists for 70 points, O'Neill ties her own team record for points in a season, and she is just two shy of Smith's 1987 team record for goals in a season.

Liz Bruno scored three goals and added two assists for Trinity, while Leonhard tallied four goals. Caite Irvine and Hadley Duncan added two goals apiece.

Junior Eloise O'Connor (Loudonville, N.Y.) started in goal for Bates and made seven saves against 14 goals allowed in 51:27. Senior Leah Elsmore (Broadview Heights, Ohio) played the final 6:07 between the pipes. Junior Linnea Fulton (Bristol, R.I.) had a game-high four ground balls and caused two turnovers, as did senior Maggie Reilly (Wellesley, Mass.).

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