FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
'Phins Erase Early Deficit to Claim First-Ever National Title
TAMPA, Fla. – Junior attacker Bryanna Fazio, the Championship Most Outstanding Player, recorded seven points to lead second-ranked Le Moyne to the program's first national championship with a 16-11 victory over third-ranked Florida Southern on Sunday afternoon at the Naimoli Family Athletic and Intramural Complex on the campus of the University of Tampa.
Le Moyne's 22 victories ties the NCAA Division II record for wins in a season. Adelphi set the mark by going 22-0 in 2014.
Fazio started the scoring 100 seconds into the game by converting a free-position shot for her 73rd goal of the season. Florida Southern, which won the national championship in 2016 over Adelphi and lost to the Panthers in the title game last year, answered with four consecutive goals. Shannon Gilfedder tied the score at one with 27:29 left off a pass from Casey O'Brien. Meghan O'Brien put the Mocs in front with a free-position goal with 25:37 remaining. Dani Bursinger then netted her 33rd goal of the campaign with 22:25 to make it 3-1. O'Brien followed with her 47th goal for a 4-1 lead with 20:13 to go.
The Dolphins snapped the run with 18:35 left as sophomore midfielder Nicole Delany scored her 77th goal of the season off a feed from freshman attacker Erin McMullen, who caught the ball off a saved shot. Emily Santoli, the midfielder of the year the last two seasons, gave Florida Southern its last three-goal lead with an unassisted tally with 17:20 to play.
The Dolphins responded with eight goals over a span of 11:14 to take control of the game. Sophomore attacker Sidney Hall started the streak with 15:54 left with her 50th goal of the year. Just 30 seconds later, Fazio then finished off a transition pass on the left crease from Hall to get the Dolphins within one. The goal gave Fazio 100 points on the season, which makes her the third player in the program's history to record 100 points in a year. McMullen evened the score at five apiece with 11:25 remaining by converting a free-position shot in a player-down situation. She then fed Fazio for her 75th goal of the year with 10:39 to go for the lead.
Fazio scored again 63 seconds later to make it 7-5. McMullen netted her 50th tally of the season with 7:34 remaining after collecting a pass from Fazio, which forced a Florida Southern timeout. Just 12 seconds later, freshman attacker Emily Altland picked up her 18th goal of the year after taking a feed from Hall, who then capped the streak with her 51st goal with 4:40 before halftime.
O'Brien got the Mocs within 10-6 at halftime with her 48th goal with 34 seconds left. After 11:10 of scoreless play to start the second half, during which time Le Moyne had three shots saved and Florida Southern committed three turnovers, the Dolphins took an 11-6 lead as junior midfielder Monica Sanna scored her 32nd goal of the season. O'Brien got the Mocs back within 11-7 with her 13th goal with 16:46 to play.
The Dolphins answered with back-to-back goals to take their second six-goal lead of the game. Fazio tallied her 77th goal with 15:51 remaining and Hall followed 47 seconds later with her 52nd tally. Florida Southern countered with two goals in 11 seconds to get back within four. Aubriana Benedetto registered a free-position goal with 14:02 left and Santoli won the ensuing draw and raced up field to score her 72nd goal of the season.
The two-goal runs continued as Le Moyne pushed its lead to 15-9. Hall made it 14-9 with 12:34 left with her 53rd goal of the season, which gave her 89 points on the year, which is tied for the sixth-most in a season in the program's history. After sophomore goalkeeper Hannah George made a save, freshman attacker Brittney Pollack finished off a pass from classmate Altland for her 11th goal of the year with 11:28 to go.
Once again, the Mocs scored back-to-back goals, albeit three and one-half minutes apart. After Brittany Iamele made a save on a Le Moyne shot in transition, Bursinger netted her 34th goal with 9:12 left after taking a feed from O'Brien, who then capped her team's scoring with her 49th goal with 5:45 remaining.
Fazio completed the game's scoring with her team-best 78th goal of the season with 2:05 remaining after receiving a pass from McMullen on the right side of the crease. With the goal, Fazio finishes the season with 105 points, the second-most in the Northeast-10 Conference this season. With the assist, McMullen ties Fazio's program record for most points by a freshman with 82. George prevented any further Florida Southern scoring by saving a free-position shot with 32 seconds left.
George finished the game with 12 saves, including seven in the first half, to earn her NCAA Division II-record 22nd victory of the season. Alanna Zambetti suffered the loss after allowing 10 goals over 25:20, while making just five saves.
- Information for this release provided by the athletic communications staff at Le Moyne
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