Cretella helps Westfield State lacrosse capture MASCAC title; NCAAs up next

Emma Cretella helped the Westfield State women’s lacrosse team win the MASCAC tourney title at home on Saturday afternoon. The former St. Paul standout had four goals and two assists. (Sports on CT-69, file)

Emma Cretella and the Westfield State University women’s lacrosse team won the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season title and earned the top seed in the postseason tournament.

On Saturday afternoon, the Owls finished off the tournament championship with a 21-15 home win over No. 3 Framingham State at Alumni Field. The tournament title gives Westfield the MASCAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament. 

Cretella, the former St. Paul standout and Westfield senior, tallied four goals and two assists in the victory. She was the leading scorer and point getter for the Owls during the regular season.

Framingham rallied from an early two-goal deficit to claim a 3-2 lead with 8:12 left in the first quarter. Cretella’s first point of the day came when she assisted on Natalie DeMaio’s game-tying goal (3-3) at the 7:26 mark of the first quarter. DeMaio also scored the next two goals for a 5-3 lead, then Cretella added her first of the day to up the advantage to 6-3. Westfield led, 7-5, after the opening quarter.

When Cretella assisted on another DeMaio goal early in the second quarter, the Owls held a 9-5 lead. Cretella fired home her second goal of the day at the nine-minute mark for a 12-7 advantage. Just two more goals were scored in the quarter and Westfield went into halftime ahead by a 13-8 margin.

Cretella’s third quarter goal reestablished the largest lead of the game for the Owls at five, 14-9, at the 13:03 mark. Westfield ended the third quarter with an 18-12 lead.

Cretella’s fourth and final goal, an unassisted tally, came at the 14:09 mark of the fourth quarter and put the Owls up, 19-12. Westfield wound up leading by nine goals before Framingham tallied the last three of the game.

Cretella wound up with nine shots, including seven on goal, and recorded five draw controls.

Westfield (14-5) finds out its NCAA tournament seeding Monday morning during an livestream that begins at 10:30. The MASCAC tournament title is the fifth in program history, and the second one that Cretella has been a part of. Westfield also won in 2021, when the Cheshire native was a sophomore.