"It was a great team effort for a complete 60 minutes today," said Canisius head coach Scott Teeter. "Our defense did a great job of limiting their high-percentage shots and Kayla Scully made some great saves to keep Marist from clawing back in the game. On the offensive end, we had one of our better shooting games in a while and were able to take advantage of some good looks. Playing in front of the home crowd was also a huge energy boost for us and we hope to have another good crowd on Sunday."
Junior Morgan Leonard led the Griffs with four goals in the victory, her highest total in Canisius blue and gold. Sophomore Maria Kotas matched her career high with four points, netting three goals to go along with an assist. Senior Megan Oosting also netted three goals in the winning effort, while freshmen Meghan Cuddy and Tori Quinn added two tallies.
Carly Quinn paced the Canisius attack with two assists on the night. The senior raised her season total to 70 points and now owns the program's single-season record. She surpassed the previous record of 69, set by Taylor Gray last season.
Freshman Kayla Scully anchored a strong Griff defense in the victory, stopping 9-of-14 shots on goal. Oosting led all players with four caused turnovers and added four draw controls, while Leonard posted a game-high five draw controls.
The teams twice traded a pair of goals to open the game but it was all Canisius during the final 45 minutes of action. With the score knotted at two, Leonard broke the deadlock with her first tally of the night with 14:06 remaining in the opening stanza. After another six minutes of scoreless action, Oosting, Tori Quinn and Kotas all tallied goals for a 6-2 advantage with 4:08 left in the first half. Marist pulled to within three but Kotas helped the Griffs reclaim their four-goal advantage heading into intermission with her second goal of the night for a 7-3 halftime lead.
The Griffs dominated the scoreboard in the second 30 minutes of action thanks to a patient offense and timely goaltending. Leonard netted a pair of goals in the first four minutes of action during the second half before the Red Foxes even touched the ball. Marist would not pull any closer than five goals the remainder of the game as Scully backstopped the Griffs to the win. The freshman netminder stopped 7-of-9 shots in the second stanza as Canisius advanced to the MAAC Championship game for the second-straight season with the 14-5 victory.
Canisius finished the contest with a 26-19 advantage in shots in the winning effort and held a 13-8 edge in draw controls.
Jamie Ramano netted a team-best two goals for the Red Foxes, who finished their season with a 4-13 mark. Ashley Casiano recorded five saves in net.
Canisius and Fairfield are now set to meet in the championship game for the second-straight season. The Stags earned a 12-11 overtime victory against the Griffs earlier in the regular season but Canisius is the defending MAAC Champions thanks to last season's 13-8 win in the title game. First draw on Sunday at the Demske Sports Complex is set for noon.
Game Notes: Canisius and Marist were meeting in the MAAC Semifinals for the fourth time in the last five seasons. The Red Foxes eliminated Canisius in three-straight seasons from 2008 to 2010 ... The five goals allowed are the fewest for Canisius in its postseason history, topping the previous mark of eight against Marist in 2010 ... It also marked the largest margin of victory for the Griffs in a postseason game, topping the five-goal win against Fairfield last season ... Quinn also moved to within five points of the program's all-time points record, while Oosting is just one shy of the single-season goals record ... Canisius won the draw-control battle for the first time in its last eight games ... The Griffs advanced to their third title game. Canisius also lost to Le Moyne in the 2006 championship game.