Hartford, Conn. –Junior attacker Shea Kusiak (Longmeadow, Mass.) opened the game with two goals in the first 3:35 to set the tone for the Trinity College Bantams, who earned a 13-7 victory over the visiting Hamilton College Continentals in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women's Lacrosse Championship Semifinal this afternoon on Robin Sheppard Field. Reigning NCAA Division III Champion Trinity, ranked No. 1 in the nation, stays perfect through its last 24 games and improves to 16-0. The no. 6-seed Continentals, who upset the no.3-seed Bowdoin College Polar Bears, 10-9, in the Quarterfinals, end their year with a 9-8 record.
The quick strikes by Kusiak gave the Bantams an early edge, but Hamilton junior Kathryn Maiorano (Chatham, N.J.) and senior Rachel Friedman (Fairfield, Conn.) scored back-to-back goals to knot the game at 2-2. A goal by sophomore Caroline Hayes (Greenland, N.H.) midway through the first half sparked a 7-0 Trinity run, before Hamilton scored at the end of the period, as the teams took a break with the score at 9-3.
Trinity senior tri-captain Megan Leonhard (Summit, N.J.) opened the second half with her third goal of the game, before the teams traded scores in the second half. Each team netted four goals in the second frame, but the early cushion built by the Bantams put Hamilton in a hole too big to recover.
Kusiak and Leonard netted a hat trick apiece, while Hayes and first-year Martha Griffin (Exeter, N.H.) scored two goals apiece, and sophomore Molly Cox (Norwell, Mass.) added a goal and two assists for the Bantams. First-year Caroline McCarthy (Belmont, Mass.) and junior Katie D'Antonio (Garden City, N.J.) scored two goals apiece for Hamilton.
Junior Sarah Caswell (Pennington, N.J.) made seven saves in net for Hamilton and senior tri-captain Olivia Whitney (Danvers, Mass.) made two stops in net for the Bantams. Senior Hillary McNamara (Milton, Mass.) forced five turnovers in the game for Trinity, while Leonard added three for the Bantams.
Trinity will compete for the NESCAC crown in the Championship game tomorrow at noon on Robin Sheppard Field. The Bantams, who won the last two NESCAC Championships, will face off against No.2 seed Middlebury, who topped Colby, 11-10, in the other game this afternoon. The NESCAC Champions earns an automatic bid to the NCA National Championship Tournament. Tomorrow's game will be webcast live at www.trincoll.edu/livevideo.