PAXTON, Mass. – Elms College freshman Kristina Kopyscinski (Agawam, Mass.) scored two goals, but top-seeded Anna Maria College used a pair of goals from Marybeth McClune (Worcester, Mass.) to highlight a string of four straight scores by the AMCATS as Anna Maria posted a 4-2 win over the second-seeded Blazers in Saturday afternoon's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship tournament title game in Paxton, Mass.
With the loss, Elms concludes its most productive season since 1994 with an overall record of 8-12, while Anna Maria claims its first NECC championship with an overall mark of 14-7.
Elms came out firing in the opening minutes of action as Kopyscinski netted the first of her two scores with an assist from sophomore forward Jaclyn Soderquist (Enfield, Conn.) just 2:18 into the contest to give the Blazers a 1-0 advantage.
Anna Maria's Nichole Lowe (Saugus, Mass.) found the back of the cage in the 17th minute of action to even the game at 1-1, before McClune delivered her first marker four minutes later to give the AMCATS a 2-1 edge that they would not relinquish.
Ahead, 2-1 following intermission, Kylie Dalbec (Portland, Maine) scored on a feed from Brooke Denver (New Britain, Conn.) in the 42nd minute, followed by McClune's second tally in the 48th minute. Kayla Lapierre (Worcester, Mass.) assisted on both of McClune's scoring plays to help give Anna Maria a 4-1 advantage.
Kopyscinski came through with the Blazers' second goal of the contest in the 69th minute on a pass from freshman midfielder Abby McNulty (Bedford, Mass.) to set the final score at 4-2.
Elms' senior goalkeeper Alexandra Bonavita (Agawam, Mass.) made eight saves in the losing effort and sophomore defender Allie LaMonica (Salem, Mass.) added a terrific defensive save, while AMCATS' net-minder Mary Kate Breen (Londerry, N.H.) turned away two of the Blazers' four shots on goal.
McClune was named as the NECC tournament MVP while teammates Denver, Dalbec, and Shannon Looney (Leicester, Mass.) were named to the NECC Championship All-Tournament Team for Anna Maria.
Garnering post-tournament accolades from the Blazers were LaMonica, Kopyscinski, Bonavita and sophomore defender Ashley Reid (Enfield, Conn.).