Women's lacrosse forges past Southern Connecticut State, 15-13

Women's lacrosse forges past Southern Connecticut State, 15-13

COLCHESTER, Vt. - A 7-1 run in the middle of the game lifted the Saint Michael's College women's lacrosse team over Southern Connecticut State University, 15-13, on Saturday during Northeast-10 Conference play at Duffy Field. The Purple Knights are 2-6 overall and 1-6 in the league, while the Owls slipped to 3-7 and 1-5. Saint Michael's remained undefeated in 17 all-time meetings.

Senior Paige MacKinnon (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) and junior Kealy Moyna (Yonkers, N.Y./The Ursuline School) both netted four goals for the hosts, with MacKinnon adding four draw controls and two caused turnovers. Classmate Ashley Dineen (Somers, N.Y./Canterbury School) and sophomore Alex Vincent (Rush, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women) each registered hat tricks, classmate Ellie Clark (Smithsburg, Md./Mercersburg Academy) tallied once, and first-year Kaelyn Oliver (Canton, Conn./Canton) handed out two assists.

After missing the previous two contests, senior Grace Gunning (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) returned to make 10 saves while scooping seven ground balls. Sophomore Annie Martin (Mattapoisett, Mass./Bishop Stang) controlled four draws, while first-year defenders Lilly Hardy (Greenland, N.H./Portsmouth) and Katrina Pietz (Brentwood, N.H./Exeter) both recorded four ground balls, with Hardy causing three turnovers and Pietz two.

Gunning pushed her career save total to 381, passing Betsy Reilly '91 to take over fourth in program history. She also earned her 11th win, tying Casey Curtin '16 for seventh, and moved up to sixth with 128 ground balls, passing Noel Smith '06 (123), Megan Rule '07 (124), Nicole Buckley '14 (126) along the way.

Sophomore Samantha Cozzolino collected four goals and an assist for Southern Connecticut State, junior Hailey Prindle-Nelson added three goals, and classmate Nicole Healey had two goals, two assists and eight draw controls. Sophomore Alexandra Takacs made nine saves.

Vincent scored twice as Saint Michael's forged ahead 4-0 within the first 6:31 of the contest, but the Owls countered with six of the next seven goals to claim a 6-5 edge at 8:46 of the opening stanza on sophomore Emily Johnson's second marker. After a Purple Knight timeout, the hosts responded with seven of the next eight goals, including five before halftime. In a 7-7 game, Moyna scored twice in a 41-second span by the time 28 seconds remained, and MacKinnon controlled the ensuing draw before scoring on a free-position shot with three ticks to go.

MacKinnon and Vincent converted eight-meter chances during the opening 4:23 of the second half to put their team up 12-7, and each of the next three Southern Connecticut State markers were met by Purple Knight strikes. Moyna's free-position goal with 4:16 left made it 15-10 before the Owls strung together a late rally, as Cozzolino scored exactly one minute later before Prindle-Nelson tallied twice in a 16-second span by the time 21 seconds remained. However, MacKinnon won the next draw control, and the hosts ran out the clock.

Each of the Purple Knights' next two games are on the road at nationally-ranked foes, beginning with No. 3 Le Moyne College on Wednesday at 3 p.m.