Women’s lacrosse advances to postseason

Midfielder Keagan Pontious scans the field to make her next play as her opponent attempts to steal the ball. Pontious finished second in goal scoring with 38, and she also had six assists. Photo by D.Clark/Setonian.

The Seton Hill women’s lacrosse team finished their season with some important PSAC wins under their belt, along with a few losses that impacted their playoff run. However, their “middle-of-the-pack” performance set them up nicely to make a run in the tournament. The Griffins played in the first round of the PSAC Tournament against Mercyhurst University on Tuesday, falling by a score of 11-8.

The ladies finished their season with a 10-8 overall record with some great wins over nationally ranked teams over the course of the season including Mercyhurst and Lock Haven. The Griffins moved into the top 20 nationally near the end of the season. Courtney Grove is rounding up her eighth season as the women’s lacrosse coach at Seton Hill and her experience provided the team with a great mentality going into the end of the season.

Before the postseason, Grove said, “Plans for the team heading into the PSAC Conference tournament is to start off with a record of 0-0.”

“We may run into an opponent that we played this year and beat or lost to, but during this time we are all back to even,” she added. “We need to focus on one game at a time and play our best we can each game.”

The team morale is very high from these thoughts from their coach and ultimately their goal was to win a PSAC title. Some of the upperclassmen and leaders on the team include, but are not limited to, Keagan Pontious and Nicole Nath.

Pontious returned this season after sitting out the majority of last season with a foot injury. She returned with big numbers by scoring 38 goals, coming close to Christine Palmeri’s 39 goals. Although Pontious was a leader in goals, she had a very unselfish attitude looking at the postseason.

Senior goalkeeper Meghan Hollar holds up her stick to make a save. Hollar appeared in every game during the 2016 season. Photo by D.Clark/Setonian.

“I think going into the PSAC tournament, it is not going to be one person’s performance that will make the difference,” she said. “It will be each person on and off the field stepping up to perform at their highest potential.”

Pontious was overjoyed to get back on the field this season as she was able to “connect with her teammates on the field” instead of off the field. She could also develop bonds with her team, as she most closely relates their relationship to a “sisterhood.”

Katelyn Cressman and Tristen Hanke were also leaders in points on the team, as Cressman was the third leading scorer with 31 goals and Hanke had the second most assists with nine. The leading assister on the team was senior Charlotte Cunningham with an impressive 51. Meg Hollar played the majority of all games in cage for the Griffins, grabbing 135 saves.

Nath is wrapping up her fifth year at Seton Hill while just recently completing her MBA. As the upmost leader of the team, Nath said that her “fifth year has definitely been the most competitive to years in the past.”

Almost all of the games this year have been decided by one or two goals, and Nath knows that they “can play with any team.” The ladies have an unlimited potential in this late year and the university is behind them in their postseason endeavors.

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