SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College women's lacrosse team opened its season with a 15-10 victory at American International College on Saturday in Northeast-10 Conference play at Abdow Field. The Purple Knights were also beginning their initial spring under head coach Brigid Brady, who earned the first win of her college coaching career. The Yellow Jackets slipped to 2-1 overall in their NE-10 opener.
Senior Shannon Murphy (Boxboro, Mass./Acton-Boxboro Regional/UMass) and junior Courtney Piper (Wolfeboro, N.H./Brewster Academy) each had four goals, with Murphy setting a career high and Piper matching hers. Senior Crystal King (South Burlington, Vt./South Burlington), junior Kate Boyer (Standish, Maine/Bonny Eagle) and sophomore Steph Bonewald (New London, N.H./Proctor Academy) each scored twice, with Bonewald adding three draw controls, Boyer causing two turnovers and King scooping three ground balls.
First-year Ali Gosselin (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) totaled a goal, an assist and three draw controls, while junior Melissa Jaskiewicz (Kensington, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) notched five draw controls and three ground balls. Sophomore Casey Curtin (Waltham, Mass./Ursuline Academy) had 11 saves and three ground balls. Brady became the initial first-year Saint Michael's women's lacrosse coach to win her debut since Larry Bayle in 1991, as the Purple Knights won at AIC for the first time since 2008.
Junior Whitney McKay (Painted Post, N.Y./West) led the Yellow Jackets with four goals, sophomore Stefanie Dufresne (Belchertown, Mass./Belchertown) had two goals and an assist, and senior Meg Solitario (West Springfield, Mass./West Springfield) scored twice. Sophomore Lissy Doherty (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) made 12 saves in 54:37.
Saint Michael's scored the first two goals, with King tallying on a free-position attempt at 26:08 of the first half before Boyer caused a turnover then made it 2-0 at 19:50. AIC did not attempt its first shot until 16:13 remained, with McKay scoring on that try to cut her team's deficit in half, and the teams later combined for three goals during a 1:46 span, with Murphy's free-position marker making it 4-2 in favor of the visitors. McKay countered with one of her own at 7:26, but Murphy and Piper both scored in the final 4:55 to spark a 4-0 run.
After leading 6-3 at the half, Saint Michael's received goals from Bonewald and Piper during the opening 1:35 of the second stanza to push its lead to five. The initial 5:14 of the period included six goals, with Piper finishing off the flurry by scoring on a free-position attempt to put the Purple Knights up 11-4 with 24:46 remaining. McKay scored back-to-back goals before AIC produced a 12-7 margin with 14:15 to go, but Piper responded 29 seconds later. The hosts came as close as five goals only once more, with 2:15 remaining.
The Purple Knights open their home slate next Saturday against Queens (N.Y.) College at 11 a.m.