ARNOLD, MD – The third ranked Anne Arundel Community College women's lacrosse team is headed to the NJCAA Championship game for the first time since 2013 after an 18-10 victory over fifth-ranked Monroe Community College Saturday afternoon at Siegert Field.
Anne Arundel will face Harford Community College for the second time in just over a week with yet another championship on the line. On May 11, the Riverhawks dealt then-undefeated Harford a 19-18 overtime loss in the NJCAA Region XX Championship Game. Sunday's noon matchup will be the first between the region foes with the National Championship on the line.
The Riverhawks (11-3) scored five of the final six goals of the first half and continued on a 6-0 run to start the second stanza to seal up what had been a close game to that point.
Jessica Grusholt led AACC with five goals, while Jordan Snyder added four goals and an assist to extend her assist streak to nine games. Page Hamelryck added two goals and two assists, and Natalie Sonntag chipped in with two goals and an assist.
Natalie Storto scored five goals and had an assist to lead Monroe (7-6). Krysten Stone and Emily Smith each added a pair of goals.
Grusholt put AACC on the board less than two minutes into the game, but Monroe potted three unassisted goals in a 1:44 span to take a 3-1 lead.
Hamelryck answered back with her first of the day before the teams traded goals. Storto hit back-to-back strikes at the midpoint of the half to give the Tribunes back a three-goal lead at 6-3, but Hamelryck sparked the Riverhawks' offense, which rattled off five straight in a six minute span.
Snyder capped the first half scoring to give the Riverhawks an 8-7 lead headed into halftime, a lead they would not give up.
Grusholt got the second half going with a free-position goal less than a minute into the half. Lacey Hinkle followed with back-to-back unassisted tallies before Snyder potted a pair and Mariah Scott extended the lead to seven at 14-7 with 15:07 remaining.
Monroe got two back before goals from Snyder, Scott and a pair from Sonntag sealed the win.
Sonntag corralled eight of AACC's 11 draw controls to extend her nation-leading total to 139. Stone and Storto each had eight for the Tribunes.
On paper the game was practically even, as AACC outshot Monroe 35-34, and the two teams each had 21 groundballs and 17 turnovers. Monroe caused 10 turnovers, while AACC forced eight, led by three from Bridgette Tayman.
In net, Sarah Healy came up huge in the second half, making 10 saves for a total of 14. Monroe keeper Leah Di Domenico finished with 14 saves.