It just wouldn’t be a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference women’s lacrosse championship game, it seems, without Maria Kotas and Canisius.
Kotas, a senior from Lancaster and MAAC Midfielder of the Year, and the Golden Griffins will seek their fourth straight conference title in the championship game against Marist at 1 p.m. today at the Demske Sports Complex.
Led by a seven-point game by Kotas, Canisius gained its place in the final with a 12-10 victory over Fairfield on Friday night. The Griffs never trailed against a team it had lost to on the road only six days before.
Kotas netted six goals – a Canisius postseason record – and one assist in leading the victory in her 76th game as a Griff, including the last 61 in a row. Her twin sister, Gabby, started her 31st game in a row.
A berth in the NCAA tournament will be on the line against Marist (14-3). It will be a rematch of the 2013 championship won by the Griffs, 10-9. However, Marist defeated Canisius, 10-9, here in the regular-season meeting.
Kotas scored two in a row in the first half to break a 1-1 tie and Fairfield never caught up. The Stags, however, twice closed to within a goal at 6-5 and 10-9, but Canisius did not buckle. After Fairfield closed to within one with 7:14 left in the game, Maria Kotas came through with two unassisted goals, her 52nd and 53rd of the season, to make it 12-9 with 45 seconds to play.
“We played well in all areas, and Maria Kotas played outstanding. She proved once again why she’s the best player in the league,” Canisius coach Scott Teeter said. “I thought we responded really well when Fairfield made their push. We didn’t get rattled and executed well.”
Giglio had three goals in the victory and Tori Quinn, Meghan Cuddy and Ashley Bull had single tallies. Junior goalkeeper Kayla Scully made six saves.
Canisius has won all four games against Fairfield in MAAC championship play and is 2-1 against Marist.
SOFTBALL: Senior Tori Speckman of the University at Buffalo pitched her second no-hitter of the season in a 9-0 victory at Kent State on Saturday as the Bulls clinched at least a tie for the Mid-American Conference East Division title. It was the fifth straight conference road win for UB (26-20, 10-5 MAC).
It’s the most wins in UB softball history.
Sammi Gallardo’s two-run single put UB in front in the second inning, and Speckman (18-11) took care of the rest, striking out four and walking none. Sophomore Ryleigh Fitzgerald drove in four runs for UB.
TRACK AND FIELD: Rich Pete of Buffalo State won the long jump at 23-1ß, Austin Becker claimed the title in the 800 meter run (1:55.07) for the Buffalo State men, while Sasa Vann (400 meters, 57.66), Nia Holmes (400 hurdles, 1:03.49) and the 4x400 relay won in 3:55.17 for the Bengals women in the State University Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) meet at Geneseo.
The men finished fourth while the women rallied to finish second behind Cortland. Vann, Holmes, Tara Murphy and Jazlyn Porter (Niagara Falls) comprised the winning 4x400 relay.