The Canisius College women’s lacrosse team topped Fairfield 12-10 in the MAAC Semifinal on Friday night behind senior midfielder Maria Kotas’ seven points.
The Griffs (11-6) will now play Marist (14-3) with a shot at the Griffs’ fourth-straight MAAC Championship and subsequent NCAA Tournament berth on the line on Sunday.
Kotas netted six goals and one helper, while also winning a team-high four draw controls, picking up a game-high seven draw controls and causing a pair of turnovers.
“I thought this was a great team win start to finish,” said head coach Scott Teeter. “We played well in all areas and Maria Kotas played outstanding. She proved once again why she’s the best player in the league.”
The Griffs got off to a fast start, taking a three goal lead into the half behind three Kotas goals and tallies by sophomore attacker Taylor Giglio and junior attackers Tori Quinn and Meghan Cuddy.
Canisius’ 6-3 halftime lead was quickly cut to one at the beginning of the second half, when the Stags’ Riley Hellstein and Alex Fehmel each found the back of the net within the first four minutes out of the locker room.
The Blue and Gold would rally with two goals by Giglio and another Kotas goal to give Canisius its largest lead of the night at 9-5.
The teams would trade goals, with sophomore midfielder Ashley Bull getting a goal before a 3-0 Stags run pulled them within one again.
“I thought we responded really well when Fairfield made their push,” Teeter said. “We didn’t get rattled ant executed well.”
Kotas would open Canisius’ lead back to three with a pair of late goals before Hellstein scored with five seconds left to give the final result of 12-10.
Junior goalkeeper Kayla Scully made six saves in the game.
Canisius will now host a rematch of the 2013 MAAC title game on Sunday. The Griffs took that contest 10-9, while Marist took the teams regular season meeting by the same score. First draw is scheduled at 1 p.m. at the Demske Sports Complex.
GAME NOTES: Kotas’ seven points ties the Canisius single-game postseason record (Morgan Leonard vs. Siena in 2013) and her six goals are the most in a Canisius postseason game ever… All-18 of Canisius’ shots were on net… A season-low one goal came via the free position on Friday. The Griffs were 1-for-2 on free position opportunities.