Ashley Olen, Jackie Sileo and pickle juice spur LIU Post to perfect season and repeat Division II title
OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Forget the cereal boxes. Someone should get that pickle company on the phone about putting the LIU Post women's lacrosse team on some jars.
LIU Post won its second consecutive NCAA Division II women's lacrosse championship Sunday afternoon, beating Limestone, 10-7, at Stevenson University. Ashley Olen, named the tournament's most outstanding player, had three goals and five draw controls. Jackie Sileo had four goals and two assists and Katie Rotan added one goal and three assists for the Pioneers (22-0).
After the game, goalie Dominique Mosca revealed Post's secret pre-championship ritual.
"We all looked at each other and said, 'It's today,' " said Mosca, who made five saves and was named to the all-tournament team. "Then we all do a shot of pickle juice."
The Pioneers offered various reasons for the pickle juice's power, mostly related to the hydration help the salt provides.
"It's good for your muscles," Olen said.
That extra edge came in handy. Post found a second gear midway through the second half after Limestone (20-2) -- which previously had lost only once, by one goal -- took a 5-4 lead with 22:09 remaining. The Pioneers responded with six goals in six minutes.
Olen tied it off an assist from Sileo with 17:39 remaining. Jenna Pierro gave Post the lead for good 47 seconds later, assisted by Rotan. Sileo completed the run with 11:18 remaining and put the Pioneers ahead 10-5.
The big edge came on the draws. Post outdrew Limestone 15-4 and dominated possession in the second half.
The victory is the fifth straight for Long Island. Adelphi, which Post eliminated Saturday, won three straight D-II titles before Post's recent run. It also sends Post's seven seniors out as back-to-back champions.
"We woke up this morning and a lot of us agreed that this was our chance to make the perfect season," midfielder Brie-Claire Drost said. "As a senior, I don't think you could imagine ending your career on anything better than that."
Said Olen: "Our goal was to get another ring on our fingers. We all played with our hearts, and that's the biggest thing."