Lacrosse Teams Capture ECAC Championship Titles
Galloway, N.J. – Stockton University women’s lacrosse team (11-7) captured its first postseason championship with an 11-7 victory over Marywood University (13-8) May 13. The Ospreys won the 2018 Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Championship for the first time in the five-year history of the program. Tamara Torales (Basking Ridge/Ridge) led the team with three goals on the day and was selected MVP of the ECAC Tournament.
In Allentown, Pennsylvania, Stockton University men’s lacrosse team (12-4) edged host Muhlenberg College (11-7) 14-12 to win the ECAC championship for the first time since 2002 and second in school history. Tommy Gallo (Clinton/North Hunterdon) paced the Ospreys with three goals and four assists for a game-high seven points.
The women’s teams fought a defensive battle early in the first half. Stockton took the lead for good when freshman Nicole Jandras (Egg Harbor Township/EHT) and Abbey Yannacone (Manahawkin/Southern Regional) scored to give the Ospreys a 4-2 margin with 15:43 remaining in the half.
The Pacers sliced the lead to 4-3 before Stockton ripped off three consecutive tallies to forge a 7-3 advantage. Gaby Ojeda (Galloway/Absegami), Michaella Butrico (South Plainfield/South Plainfield) and Danielle Graham (Cherry Hill/CH West) hit the net with 2:29 left until the break. The visitors added one more marker to set the halftime score at 7-4.
The Osprey defense clamped down in the second half, holding the Pacers to three scores in the period. Marywood tallied the first goal of the frame and then Torales potted two goals, including a highlight-reel backhand tally, along with a Kristen Russo (Wayne/Wayne Hills) score for a commanding 10-5 lead. Marywood outscored Stockton 2-1 over the final 16:16, but time ran out and the game ended in favor of Stockton 11-7.
Butrico added two goals and two assists on the day, with Russo scoring twice. Ojeda tied Butrico with two helpers. Amanda Scarpa (Manalapan/Freehold Twp.) led all players with six ground balls and was solid on defense. Melanie Iatarola (Sewell/Washington twp.) scooped four ground balls and caused two turnovers. Freshman goalkeeper Stevie Ader (Califon/Voorhees) made nine saves in net for the Ospreys.
All-Tournament Team selections included Butrico, Scarpa, Ader, Jandras and Russo from Stockton, with Torales being named Most Valuable Player.
In the men’s tournament, Luc Swedlund (Randolph/Randolph) netted a game-high five goals while Mike Caposella (Wayne/DePaul Catholic) contributed a goal and four assists. Caposella was chosen MVP of the ECAC Tournament while Gallo, Swedlund, Eric Ellis (Voorhees/Eastern), Colin Wharton (Cinnaminson/Camden Catholic) and Max Pukenas (Medford/Shawnee) were selected to the All-Tournament Team.
The squads alternated the first six goals of the game for a 3-3 tie midway through the second quarter. Colin Shea (Rumson/Rumson-Fair Haven), Gallo and Ellis were the scorers for Stockton. The Ospreys then took the lead with three straight markers in a span of 2:01. Swedlund potted the first two and Joey Tiernan (Voorhees/Eastern) added the third to make it 6-3, with Caposella assisting on all three goals.
Muhlenberg got one back before halftime and pulled within 6-5 a minute into the third quarter. Stockton answered with tallies by Gallo and Zack Aho (Shamong/Seneca) to extend to 8-5. The Mules again got within one at 8-7 before the Ospreys created some distance with a four-goal run. Swedlund and Caposella scored just 15 seconds apart, both assisted by Gallo.
Tallies by Swedlund and Ellis upped the lead to 12-7 with 11:32 remaining in the game. Muhlenberg made one last charge, scoring three in a row to cut the gap to 12-10 with 5:31 on the clock. Just 20 seconds later, Swedlund ended the rally attempt with his fifth goal of the game. Gallo scored the final Stockton counter with 1:25 to go and Stockton captured the ECAC title with the 14-12 triumph.
Stockton goalkeeper Justin Ruiz (Holmdel/Holmdel) earned the win with nine saves. Pukenas led all players with three caused turnovers while Swedlund and Wharton snagged seven and five ground balls respectively.
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