Courtesy of Catholic Athletic Communications
SALISBURY, Md. - Catholic University women's lacrosse junior Nanci Hernandez made a career-high 15 saves, but No. 12 Amherst held the 10th-ranked Cardinals to just six goals en route to a 9-6 in the regional semifinals of the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship at Salisbury's Sea Gull Stadium.
Catholic (17-4) finishes the season with a fifth-straight regional semifinal appearance and a school record 17 wins, tying the marks set in 2008 and 2009. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Cardinals, their longest since they also won seven in-a-row to advance to the regional semifinals in 2017.
With 15 saves, Hernandez tied her career high set a year ago against York (PA) in the regional semifinals on May 19, 2018.
The Cards were outshot 32-17 and had 25 turnovers while being held to their lowest goal total since a 12-4 loss at No. 15 Mary Washington on April 9, 2017.
Amherst (14-5), who finished fourth in the NESCAC as one of six team's from the conference to earn a bid into the NCAA tournament, scored the game's first two goals and never trailed. Sophomore Anna Maupin got Catholic on the board on a free position shot with 21:19 remaining in the first half, her 40th goal of the season.
The Cardinals have had four players score at least 40 goals in each of the last two seasons.
Just 20 seconds after the Mammoths netted their third goal of the game, senior Megan Ellis scored to pull Catholic back within one with 12:15 left in the opening half.
However, Amherst scored five of the next six goals to take their largest lead of the game, 8-3, with 20:43 to play in the second half. The Cards' lone goal came on Ellis' second of the game before Maupin scored her second to cut the Mammoth lead in half, 8-4.
After Leah Reitterband scored her second goal for Amherst, Ellis picked up her third point of the game when she connected with fellow senior Katie Sherry who netted her 15th goal of the season with 1:52 remaining. Just 19 seconds later, freshman Molly Monaghan scored for the third-straight game and 17th time this season to cap the scoring.
The Cardinals trailed 5-2 at the half, their lowest goal total in a half since they were also held to two in last year's NCAA regional semifinal versus York (PA) on May 19, 2018.
Today marked the final game in the careers of Catholic's six seniors: Ellis, Sherry, Erin Dugan, Molly Kelly, Jess Lyons and Kayla Purdy. These six players won over 70 percent of their games over four years, posting a 59-25 record, including a mark of 26-0 in the Landmark Conference. The group won four conference titles and played in four NCAA tournaments with three regional semifinal appearances and one in the national quarterfinals.