Philadelphia Force, Boston Storm Advance to UWLX Season Three Championship with Semifinal Wins in Lake Placid
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — The Philadelphia Force used a second-half offensive outburst to upend the Long Island Sound 15-10 and the Boston Storm edged the Baltimore Ride 8-7 in the UWLX semifinals held Monday evening in the Adirondack Mountains’ historic Olympic Region.
Held at the Lake Placid Summit Classic, the location of last year’s UWLX finale, the semifinal victories send the Force and the Storm to the Season Three championship game, which will be held Aug. 4 at Harvard Stadium following the Major League Lacrosse matchup between the Boston Cannons and the Ohio Machine.
After trading goals with Long Island to start the game, the Force broke a 3-3 tie and built up a 7-4 halftime lead before cruising in the second half with balanced offense and defense. The win put the Force at 5-0 as the team continued its undefeated run this season.
Leading the way for Philadelphia, Alyssa Murray notched two goals and dished out two assists in the victory. Molly Hendrick registered two goals and an assist, while Carly O’Connell scored once and added two assists and Michelle Tumolo added a goal and an assist.
Molly Hendrick, Sammy Cermack, Emily Garrity-Parros and Erica Perrotta each scored two goals to helped the Force keep momentum throughout the game. Tee Ladouceur and Carolyn Carrera each scored once in the win.
Force defender April Iannetta made important contributions in between the 30s in the win, collecting five ground balls, five draw controls and an assist. Alongside Iannetta, Kelsey McGovern added three caused turnovers and a pair of ground balls on the night.
Goalkeeper Brittany Read also played a tight game in between the pipes, adding 15 saves to help the Force to advance to the championship contest.
After the win, Force head coach Mike Bedford credited his team with putting in a lot of time behind the scenes to get to where it is.
“We're pretty excited,” said Bedford, recently named an assistant coach at Rutgers University.
“The chemistry has been there. We talked about it before the game — Philly has never made it past this game in the history of this league, so that was our goal when we started up. We put ourselves in a position to achieve it and they executed."
Perrotta, who starred at High Point University, agreed with Bedford and said that the team bonded in their mission to reach the title game.
"We worked really hard the past five games to get where we've been,” she said. “I think we have really good team chemistry and I think that helps a lot with the way we play and the way we finish.”
In the loss Long Island was led by Halle Majorana, who scored four goals on the night. Majorana added goals to bring the Sound within three on two occasions and also opened up the scoring for Long Island.
Shelby Fredericks and Christina Esposito, both former Northwestern University standouts, contributed two goals each. Esposito also registered two second-half assists on the night.
Long Island, finishing the year at 0-5, received additional goals from Dorrien Van Dyke and Kristin Yevoli, and Jill Zubillaga recorded two assists.
After the game, Sound players said they were happy to play the semifinals at the Summit Classic, where the sidelines were packed for both games at the North Elba Athletic Fields.
"I've played once with Haudenosaunee and I've played once with Syracuse at Lake Placid,” said goalkeeper Amber Hill, a Syracuse University graduate who started in cage for Long Island for the first time this season. Hill was reliable for the Sound all night, making 18 saves in the loss.
“I love it. It's beautiful here. It can't get any better than this. I feel great. I've never stopped playing — even though Regy (Thorpe) said I was coming out of retirement for this. I like the pace (of the UWLX). It's a little faster than the World Cup, which is great. I love it."
In the second game of the night, Boston went toe-to-toe with Baltimore Ride in a thriller that saw the Storm secure an 8-7 win with a goal scored by Holly Turner just before the end of regulation.
The win gave the Storm a 4-1 record and the chance to fight for the UWLX championship against the Philadelphia Force on Aug. 4 in at Harvard Stadium.
Leading the way for the Storm, Turner, Kayla Treanor and Emma Powlin each scored two goals in the victory. Both of Turner’s came in the second half. Treanor scored both of her goals in the final minutes of the first half, helping the Storm to a 5-4 halftime lead.
Powlin scored both of her goals in the second half, including a game-tying goal late in the game as the teams went back and forth down the stretch.
The Storm’s Riley Donahue registered three assists in the win and Emily Boissonneault added a goal.
Goalkeeper Liz Hogan was also a tough to beat in the cage, making 14 saves against the Ride.
"It feels great,” said Turner, who played at UMass and graduated last spring.
“It was a really big team effort today and I'm just glad we came out with the win. I can't believe we get the opportunity to keep playing lacrosse. It stinks that we only get one more game, but I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a good one."
Baltimore defender Brittany Poist led the Ride with a pair of goals in the second half, including a goal that tied the game with less than a minute to play.
Haley O’Hanlon, Nikki Boltja, Awehiyo Thomas, Meg Bartley and Molly Hulseman each contributed a goal on the contest. Boltja also contributed a first half assist.
Meghan Macera was a key factor in the middle of the field for Baltimore as she tallied two caused turnovers, two draw controls and a ground ball.
Ride goalkeeper Kerry Stoothoff had a standout night, recording 17 saves and keeping the score close throughout the game.
"Each one of these players, athletes really competed hard and I couldn't be more proud of our team,” said the Ride’s Molly Hulseman following the loss.
“Our coaching staff gave it their absolute all and that's really all we can ask for at the end of the season."
A Loyola University graduate and an assistant coach at Yale University, Hulseman credited the Storm for executing when it mattered most.
"Boston fought the entire way and they capitalized when it really counted. Bravo to them, bravo to their coaching staff in terms of making the right calls. At the end of the day, they capitalized on more plays than we did."
The UWLX championship is set for Aug. 4 at Harvard Stadium. The Philadelphia Force will face the Boston Storm, with opening face-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET following the Major League Lacrosse game featuring the Boston Cannons hosting the Ohio Machine.
Tickets can be purchased online via unitedwlax.com and will be sold at a discounted rate until Aug. 2.
Philadelphia Force 15, Long Island Sound 10
Philadelphia Force: Murray (2 goals, 2 assists), Hendrick (2 goals, 1 assist), O'Connell (1 goal, 2 assists), Tumolo (1 goal, 1 assist), Cermack, Garrity-Parros, Perrotta (2 goals), Boucher, Carerra, Ladouceur (1 goal), McGovern, Glatthorn (1 assist), Read (16 saves)
Long Island Sound: Majorana (4 goals), Esposito (2 goals, 2 assists), Fredericks (2 goals), Van Dyke (1 goal, 1 assist), Yevoli (1 goal), Zubillaga (2 assists), Hill (18 saves)
Boston Storm 8, Baltimore Ride 7
Boston Storm: Powlin (2 goals, 1 assist), Turner, Treanor (2 goals), Donahue (1 goal, 3 assists), Boissonneault (1 goal), Thomas (1 assist), Hogan (16 saves)
Baltimore Ride: Poist (2 goals), Boltja (1 goal, 1 assist), Thomas, Hulseman, Bartley, O'Hanlon (1 goal), LaBeau (1 assist), Stoothoff (17 saves)