Warriors rally in second half but cannot catch Cardinals in 13-9 loss
MANSFIELD, Conn. - The Wesleyan University women's lacrosse team scored the last two goals of the first half and the first four of the second, then held off an Eastern Connecticut State University rally over the final 20 minutes to post a 13-9 non-conference victory Wednesday afternoon at the Mansfield Athletic Complex.
At left: Taylor Shannon battles Lydia Kring during this faceoff in Wednesday's loss to Wesleyan. Shannon won four of eight faceoffs in the match. (Photo by David Santerre).
The win is the 11th in the 11-game series for Wesleyan (1-2), whose ability to immediately answer Eastern's (1-2) scoring strikes on three separate occasions prevented the Warriors from gaining significant momentum.
Wesleyan opened up a six-goal lead four minutes into the second half by netting the final two goals of the first half, then scoring four times in the first four minutes of the second. Down 10-3, the Warriors never allowed the Cardinals to score as many as two consecutive goals the rest of the way, however, and a run of four straight markers - two by senior midfielder Daniela Marchitto (Orange) and two by junior attack Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) - cut the gap to 10-7 with just over nine minutes left.
The Warriors could not get closer than that three-goal margin the rest of the way, however.
At left: Seniors Christina Rully and Samantha Barone combined for six ground balls and caused three turnovers Wednesday against Wesleyan. (Photo by David Santerre).
Three times in the match, the Cardinals responded to an Eastern goal with one of their own by winning the ensuing faceoff: after Eastern tied the match, 1-1, ten minutes into action, senior attack Kaylin Berger gained the ensuing draw and sophomore attack Caitlin Daniels scored 11 second later; after the Warriors ended Wesleyan's six-goal sport with junior midfielder Ashley Wolk's (Barrington, RI) unassisted goal early in the second half, senior midfielder Lydia Kring won the subsequent draw, and fed freshman midfielder Martha Harding for her first collegiate goal 12 seconds later to make it 9-3; and after Conn converted a free-position shot with 9:29 left for the Warriors' fourth straight goal inside the final ten minutes, sophomore defender Daphne Kroessler scooped up the draw off Kring's faceoff, and Daniels fed Kring for another winner - her first goal of the match -- 35 seconds later to restore a four-goal, 11-7 lead.
Berger, Daniels and junior attack Maddy Coulter evenly divided nine of Wesleyan's goals, with Kring picking up two assists. Coulter and Daniels found the back of the net on all of their shots to support freshman goalie Nina Labovich, who made five stops to record her first career win in three decisions.
Marchitto led Eastern with three goals, Wolk and Conn chipping in two, with junior goalie Haley Heslin (Hartford) making three saves, just one in the second half.
Kring won 13 of 22 faceoffs. Junior defender Abby D'Angelo won four draws, Kring three. Senior defender Rachel Meotti (Glastonbury) won four of Eastern's draws and senior midfielder Christina Rully (Orange) topped the Warriors with four ground balls.
Eastern hosts Salve Regina University in a non-conference match Saturday at 1 p.m.