PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Junior midfielder Greer Gilbert (Falmouth, Mass.) netted five goals to lead the sixth-seeded Simmons College women's lacrosse team in a 15-9 loss to host and number three seed Johnson & Wales University this evening in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament Quarterfinals at the Scotts Athletics Complex in Providence, R.I. The Sharks finish their regular season with a 6-9 record, while the Wildcats improve to 11-2 and will face second-seeded Lasell College, 18-6 winners over seventh-seeded Norwich University, on April 24 at 3:30 p.m. in Newton, Mass.
Johnson & Wales owned a commanding 38-19 shot advantage for the match and held the visitors to just two goals in the second half.
The Wildcats trailed for all but four minutes of the second half and took their first lead of the night when junior attacker Marissa Hart (Cohoes, N.Y.) scored with a player advantage with 1:58 left in the first half to give the home team an 8-7 edge. Johnson & Wales took advantage of another Simmons yellow card and increased its lead with another player advantage marker coming with just 46 seconds left when first year attacker Raquel Pederzani (Coventry, R.I.) found the back of the net to give the Wildcats a 9-7 lead heading into the break. The second card was also the second for the Sharks' midfielder on the draw to keep her out of the remainder of the match.
Johnson & Wales took advantage, winning eight of the final 10 draws of the match, while outscoring Simmons, 6-2 in the second stanza.
Sophomore midfielder Lydia Knapp (Glens Falls, N.Y.) netted the first two goals within the opening seven-plus minutes of the second half to give the Wildcats an 11-7 margin. Gilbert scored the Sharks first tally of the second stanza at the 21:02 mark to cut the deficit to 11-8.
The Johnson & Wales defense held Simmons scoreless over the next 12 and a half minutes, while scoring three unanswered goals from sophomore attacker Kayla Smith (Eastham, Mass.), Pederzani and first year attacker Gabrielle Vasile (Milford, Mass.) to extend the Wildcats' advantage to 14-8 with 9:04 remaining in the contest.
Gilbert netted the last goal of the Sharks' season and her team-high 56th with 8:26 showing on the second half clock, before junior middie Jessica Schmell (Coopersburg, Pa.) tallied the final marker of the match for Johnson & Wales at the 4:16 mark.
Simmons opened the match by scoring five of the first seven goals, including five of six following the first marker of the game by the Wildcats' Hart. Gilbert scored back-to-back goals, followed by a score from senior attacker Stephanie Oliveri (Waltham, Mass.) with 26:21 to play in the half. Pederzani broke up the string for Johnson & Wales with a goal, before Oliveri scored a pair of markers to give her 34 for the season and the Sharks a 5-2 lead with 19:11 left in the period. The Wildcats pulled to within a goal on scores from Smith and Vasile, before Gilbert found the back of the net to give Simmons a 6-4 lead at the 15:14 mark.
Sophomore defender Megan Brown (Great Mills, Md.) and Knapp scored consecutive goals to knot the match at 6-6 for Johnson & Wales with 9:50 to go in the opening half, but first year midfielder Kasey Fries (Bridgewater, Mass.) reclaimed the lead for the Sharks with her only goal of the night coming at 6:25 of the first period. Schmell answered to spark a string of three straight goals to close out the half for the home team.
Gilbert added four ground balls, two draw controls and a pair of caused turnovers to her goal total for Simmons, while Oliveri had two ground balls and caused two turnovers, while finishing the season with 51 points. She also ended her career with 204 points. Junior midfielder Alexia Malone Oliver (Bristol, R.I.) came up with four ground balls and caused a pair of turnovers, while senior defender Symonne Fontenot (Portsmouth, N.H.) closed out her career with two ground balls, three draw controls and a caused turnover in her 60th career game and start. The match was also the final appearance for senior midfielder Ali Stonehouse (Dublin, N.H.), who picked up two ground balls and caused a turnover in her 43rd career match.
Knapp (3-1-4), Pederzani (3-1-4) and Smith (2-2-4) all finished with four points for the Wildcats, while Knapp added nine draw controls, three ground balls and two caused turnovers. Schmell came up with four ground balls, caused a turnover and won a draw as well.
Senior goalie Crystal Derosier (Kingston, Mass.) stopped 15 shots for the Sharks to finish her tenure with 422 saves and a 52.5% save percentage, while senior counterpart Genevieve Giampietro (Meriden, Conn.) made seven saves for Johnson & Wales.