Defense shuts down Cardinals in second half of non-conference loss
At left: Erin Conn (Smith photo)
MANSFIELD, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University defense kept Wesleyan University off the board for 20 minutes that allowed it to stage a second-half comeback that fell just short in a 10-8 non-conference women's lacrosse match in the 2011 home-opener Saturday morning at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
Trailing 7-1 at halftime, Eastern (0-2) scored the first four goals of the second half to cut the gap to two and later pulled to within a goal on consecutive strikes by junior attack Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) with just over five minutes left. Wesleyan's Claire O'Brien and Prizio then exchanged goals in a span of 25 seconds inside the final minute before Wesleyan (1-0) sealed the victory on a goal from Jess Chukwu withi 47 seconds left.
The Eastern defense, led by close defenders Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY) Lauren St. Pierre (Southington) and Samantha Barone (Plainedge, NY) didn't allow a goal for 20 minutes and only one in a stretch of 37 minutes in surging back from a six-goal deficit after 21 minutes of play. Wesleyan's final goal total was its second-lowest against Eastern in this nine-game series.
Prizio led the Warriors with six goals - one shy of her career-high -- giving her five or more in 21 games at Eastern. Freshman high attacker Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) added one goal, giving her three in two collegiate games.
Barrett picked up six of Eastern's 24 ground balls and also caused three turnover, Prizio adding four ground balls. Conn won nine of 19 faceoffs.
Seven different players contributed to Wesleyan's scoring and 14 had at least one ground ball.
As a team, Eastern matched Wesleyan's shot total of 28 and forced four more turnovers.
Eastern sophomore Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) made ten saves while Wesleyan's Maggie Drowica was forced to come up with 16.
Eastern hosts Salve Regina University Tuesday at 4 p.m.