The Canisius College women’s lacrosse team won its fourth-straight MAAC Championship and subsequent NCAA Tournament berth with an 11-9 victory over Marist in the MAAC title game on Sunday.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the girls,” said head coach Scott Teeter. “I also am so happy for our seniors who will finish their careers with a perfect record in MAAC Championships play. They are the true definition of champions.”
“We now have an opportunity to reach our goal in front of us, which all season long has been to not only win the MAAC Championship, but to advance in the NCAA Tournament.”
Senior midfielder Maria Kotas earned tournament MVP honors for the second-straight season and marked the fourth time the Lancaster, N.Y. native was named to the All-Tournament Team. Kotas is the first player in league history to be named to the All-Tournament Team four times.
Joining Kotas on the All-Tournament Team were junior attackers Tori Quinn and Meghan Cuddy, sophomore attacker Taylor Giglio and freshman midfielder Ashley Heisler.
Quinn would score four times in the title game, with Giglio and Cuddy each picking up hat tricks for Canisius.
The Red Foxes jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first minute of the game, before Quinn netted back-to-back goals to bring Canisius even at 2-2.
Jamie Romano answered to put the Red Foxes up by one, but Canisius would get three-straight, with back-to-back goals by Giglio and a third by Cuddy midway through the first.
“I thought the way we came out of the locker room was outstanding and the difference in the game,” Teeter said. “We also did a phenomenal job of making adjustments today.”
Marist answered back with a pair of goals, tying the game at five before Canisius scored four-unanswered beginning by a Cuddy goal with nine seconds to go in the half and the first-three out of the locker room in the second.
The Red Foxes scored the next three to claw back within one, but Cuddy would once again come up big for the Griffs, scoring on a free-position opportunity with just under six minutes to play.
Giglio added another to give Canisius back its three-goal cushion with 5:14 to play.
The Red Foxes got one back on an Allison Gionta goal, but that’s all they’d get.
Junior goaltender Kayla Scully came up with seven saves in the afternoon.
Kotas was held to just two points in the game while drawing a face guard from the Marist defense, but the senior contributed a game-high six caused turnovers and eight draw controls for the Blue and Gold, both of which are MAAC Tournament records for the Griffs.
Canisius will now find out its next opponent on the NCAA Tournament Selection Show, which will air on NCAA.com at 9 p.m. on Sunday.
GAME NOTES: Canisius became the first school in MAAC women’s lacrosse history to win four-straight postseason championships… The Griffs are one of just three teams to win their last-four league titles, joining Maryland (ACC) and Massachusetts (Atlantic 10)… Kotas tied the single season points record (79) with her goal and assist in the game… Kotas also became just the third player in MAAC history to win multiple Tournament MVP honors… Canisius’ four titles ties Le Moyne with the most women’s lacrosse titles in league history. The Dolphins won in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007… Teeter is the first coach to win four MAAC women’s lacrosse titles…. Canisius and Marist have played in the postseason six of the last seven years, with the schools 3-3 over that span… The women’s lacrosse program joins softball as the only two programs in Canisius history to win four-straight MAAC titles.