May 11, 2012

WD3 Notebook: Montclair State Remembers Former Star in First Round Win

by Mark Macyk | LaxMagazine.com

Cora Delfini (above) scored the winning goal for Montclair State against York in an inspired first-round NCAA tournament effort. During a timeout just before the goal, coach Nicol Parcelluzzi used a phrase coined by former Red Hawks star Shauna Brocklebank, who was killed during military training exercises in March in South Korea.
© Montclair State

Flags across New Jersey flew at half-staff on Thursday, in honor of Army Sgt. Shauna Brocklebank Adams. Montclair State's women's lacrosse team honored her memory a day earlier, rallying to defeat York, 14-13, and continue a season the Red Hawks have dedicated to their former star.

Adams, 27, was killed during military training exercises on March 28, while serving in South Korea.

Adams played from 2004-07 at Montclair State and was an integral part in turning the Red Hawks into a perennial NCAA tournament team. One of five players in program history to score over 200 points, Adams finished her career, which included three trips to the NCAAs, with 117 ground balls, 109 draw controls, 43 caused turnovers, 163 goals and 50 assists.

On Wednesday she provided the Red Hawks with another assist. With the score tied and less than a minute remaining Montclair turned the ball over and York called a timeout. Montclair State coach Nicol Parcelluzzi addressed her team.

"I told the girls, 'Just believe,' which was the saying that Shauna Brocklebank was known for," Parcelluzzi said. "We have been playing this season for her."

That was evident when the Red Hawks, with their wrists inscribed with Adams' name, took the field. A few moments later Cora Delfini intercepted York's clear attempt and went downfield to score the game-winning goal. York won the ensuing draw, but MSU's defense held strong.

"The clock seemed to stand still for the last 39 seconds," Parcelluzzi said.

Delfini, a senior, finished with five goals and two assists. Though Montclair State's season now shifts to Gettysburg, Pa., where it will take on Middlebury, Delfini's heroics left a shred of hope that she'll get another home game. MSU's Sprague Field will host the Final Four, May 19-20.

"Cora is one of the best players to ever wear a Montclair State uniform," Parcelluzzi said. "She has started every game during her four-year career at MSU and definitely did not want the season to end last night. She continues to amaze me and this game was no exception. She played incredible."

York (14-5) entered the game ranked No. 9 in the country.

The Red Hawks led 10-4 in the first half, but York scored seven straight to take an 11-10 lead with 19 minutes remaining. Delfini then scored twice to put Montclair back on top before York's Leah Schultz tied it with 14 minutes remaining. Erica Mulford gave York its final lead with 5:49 remaining and Montclair junior Kailee Beal tied it up with 3:26 remaining.

Beal had four goals and freshman Tierney Conlon had two goals and three assists. Mulford had six goals and two assists to lead York.

On Thursday, the Red Hawks found themselves in the tough position that many first round victors are in. Balancing the celebration of beating a Top 10 team with the fact that a huge game looms against No. 6 Middlebury (13-4) on Saturday.

Practice on Thursday was light but focused. This situation is nothing new to the Red Hawks. They've been in must-win mode for a couple of weeks, since entering the Skyline tournament as the No. 2 seed and avenging an earlier loss against Farmingdale State in the finals.

"We put in the hard work and extra effort all season and it seems to be paying off during this stretch," Parcelluzzi said. "We like being the underdog."

So don't count Montclair State out this weekend. They are headed to Gettysburg after all. Where better for a team to continue honoring a fallen American hero?

Denison Says 'No Adrian'

Denison had won an NCAA tournament game once before. It came in 1992, via forfeit. Wednesday's 11-10, overtime victory over host Adrian was a little more satisfying.

Adrian (16-3) had handed Denison (15-4) its first loss of the season back on March 9. That was the first of three losses in four games for the Big Red (15-4). Denison has turned its season around since then, winning 11 of its past 12 games and is now headed for a second round NCAA tournament matchup at Gettysburg (18-1).

On Wednesday, Adrian led 10-8 with less than four minutes remaining but Carly Tschantz scored on a free position to put the Big Red within one and Molly Chapman forced overtime off an assist from Lauren Adams with two seconds remaining. Molly Sbrega scored the lone goal of overtime to win it for Denison.

Sbrega led the Big Red with four goals, Chapman had three goals and one assist and Lauren Adams had two goals and three assists. Grace Bodenmann made 10 saves.

Amanda Lambert led Adrian with three goals and two assists and Laura Finfrock made 11 saves.

Gettysburg, which defeated Cabrini 22-7, will be the first ranked opponent this season for Denison.

St. John Fisher Heading to Salisbury

St. John Fisher also advanced on the road in overtime Wednesday, taking down Fredonia, 9-8. Emily Bryerton scored to give the Cardinals their only lead of the game, with 1:57 remaining in the first overtime. Caroline Trpcevski stopped a shot from point blank range in the closing seconds to seal the victory for St. John Fisher (15-4).

The Cardinals advance to play at top-seeded Salisbury (19-0).

Fredonia took an early 4-1 lead, after which no team led by more than two goals. St. John Fisher's Taylor Hughes tied it for the final time with 2:46 remaining in regulation. Hughes led all players with four goals and three assists. Amy Simon led Fredonia (14-5) with four goals.

Mark Macyk has covered Division II and III women’s lacrosse for Lacrosse Magazine since 2011. He can be contacted at markmacyk@gmail.com.


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