Monroe claims fifth straight national title

M won its fifth straight NJCAA title with a 12-3 win over Howard on Sunday. Photo provided by Daniel Kucin -
M won its fifth straight NJCAA title with a 12-3 win over Howard on Sunday. Photo provided by Daniel Kucin -

ARNOLD, Maryland - During the MCC women's lacrosse team's 82-game winning streak, much has been made of Monroe's potent attack and explosive offensive ability.

On Sunday, with a chance to extend the streak to 83 games and win the program's fifth consecutive national title, it was the Tribune defense that offered up the dominant performance.

Backed by defensive MVP Ashley Salvett and goalie Sarah Annable, the Monroe defense clamped down on Howard Community College as the Tribunes defeated the Dragons 12-3 in the NJCAA title game.

The win gave Monroe its seventh national championship overall.

Salvett forced four of Howard's 23 miscues and the MCC defense caused 18 turnovers in all. The Tribunes also had 22 clears in 23 opportunities, which allowed the Monroe attack to take root against a Dragon defense that faced non-stop pressure for 60 minutes.

Christie Hahn had three goals and two assists and Dana Isaacs also tallied a hat trick for MCC. Offensive MVP Taylor Excell added a score and grabbed four draws, giving her 14 draw controls on the tournament.

After Howard's Kelsey Scott scored cut the MCC lead to 6-3 with 21:43 remaining in the game, Monroe embarked on a 6-0 run that spanned the rest of the contest. Adriana Williams got the run started, taking a feed from Kendall Jones and scoring on a play in which the Howard goalie was caught chasing the ball out of the crease.

Isaacs then converted a free position opportunity exactly a minute later, and Hahn scored with 16:37 left to make it 9-3.

Jones scored her second of the game with 8:05 to go, and Isaacs and Excell also found the back of the cage in the final minutes.

Howard's scoring chances were few and far between for most of the second half.  Along with Salvett's exploits, Isaacs, Excell, Julia Ciavaglia, Morgan Hollenbeck, and Charity Warner all caused two Dragon turnovers apiece.

When Howard did break through, they were met by Annable. The freshman goalie made five saves on the day, including two on low free position shot attempts in the first half.

Monroe won 13 out of 17 draws on the day, with Isaacs (five) and Excell (four) leading the way. The opening draw of the contest was won by Excell, who got the ball into the Howard zone quickly where Monroe was able to draw a foul. Hollenbeck scored on the free position for a 1-0 lead 41 seconds into the game.

Isaacs followed with a scoop shot that got past Howard goalie Kendall Stull to make it 2-0. After the Dragons cut the lead in half on a goal by Olivia Canby, Hahn scored twice to make it 4-1.

Janee DeLuca and Jones scored in the final minutes, and MCC lead 6-2 at the intermission.

Jones finished with two goals and an assist and DeLuca and Hollenbeck added one goal and one assist each for Monroe.

Isaacs, Hahn, Annable, and Hollenbeck were named to the All-Tournament team for the Tribunes.