"Our team played their hearts out today," said Canisius head coach Scott Teeter. "It came down to one final shot and unfortunately, we were on the wrong end today. We showed great heart and resiliency to battle back in a tough game. Our seniors elevated this program to a new level during their four years and are leaving the team in a much better place. They have taught the underclassmen everything they know and what it takes to win a championship, building a strong foundation for future success."
Senior Megan Oosting led the Griffs with five points in her final collegiate game, netting three goals to go along with two assists. Junior Morgan Leonard recorded four points and three goals, while sophomore Maria Kotas added two tallies.
Senior Carly Quinn, juniors Meghan McGunigle and Lindsey Morgan and freshman Tori Quinn rounded out the scoring for Canisius with a goal each. Carly Quinn also registered two assists on the afternoon and moved into sole possession for first in the program's history in career points. The senior finishes her career with 203 career points, three more than the previous standard of 200, held by Lauren Walsh.
Freshman Kayla Scully played strong in net for the Griffs, recording 10 saves. Kotas also led the Griffs with four caused turnovers and three draw controls on the afternoon.
The teams played a tight first half with each school throwing in a 3-0 run. After Morgan Leonard knotted the contest at three with 13:06 remaining, the Minutewomen controlled the next three minutes of the game to grab a 6-3 advantage. Massachusetts won each of the next three draw controls and finished its chances for the largest lead for either team in the game.
Canisius answered back and quickly tied the game at six. Tori Quinn, McGunigle and Morgan all scored in a 2:23 span to knot the contest. Each team added one final goal before the break as the schools headed into halftime tied at seven.
The teams continued their back-and-forth action in the second stanza. After trading a pair of goals to start the half, Massachusetts netted two goals to grab a 10-8 advantage with 24:40 remaining in the contest. Oosting and Carly Quinn both posted scores to tie the game only to see the Minutwomen tally goals 22 seconds apart for a 12-10 lead with 15:54 remaining.
Canisius didn't give up and eventually tied the game back up. Oosting completed her hat trick with 12:54 remaining to pull the Griffs within one, 12-11. Neither team then scored during the next 12-plus minutes, setting up an exciting conclusion with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.
Massachusetts held the ball with just over a minute remaining and a goal lead, resulting with Canisius pulling its goaltender in favor of an extra defender. A UMass player fired a shot toward goal that rang off the post and Canisius collecting the loose ball. The Griffs completed a successful clear and with just under 30 seconds remaining, drew a free-position chance. Kotas buried her shot for her second goal of the day, knotting the game at 12 with just 25 ticks remaining.
The Minutewomen won the ensuing draw control and O'Donnell drew a blocking foul with seven seconds left. The senior successfully converted her free-position attempt with four ticks remaining to earn the 13-12 win.
Massachusetts held a 28-20 advantage in shots in the winning effort and a 19-8 edge in draw controls. O'Donnell led the Minutewomen with five points and four goals, while Katie Florence recorded seven saves in net.
Canisius finished its campaign with a 10-9 record, highlighted by winning the program's second-straight MAAC Championship and the third-straight double-digit win campaign. The seven-member senior class finished their careers with 42 victories in their four seasons, the most of any senior class in the program's history.
Game Notes: Canisius drops to 0-14 all-time against ranked opponents ... The Griffs were 0-3 this year against nationally-ranked foes, losing by a total of six goals ... Canisius fell to Massachusetts in a 2011 NCAA Tournament Play-In Game, 16-8 ... Quinn raised her school-record single-season total to 78 points ... Oosting finished her career with a career-record 154 goals and a single-season record 58 tallies ... The Griffs finished the 2012 campaign with a 1-7 record in games decided by three or fewer goals.