MANCHESTER, N.H. – Junior Marissa Daly (Marshfield, Mass.) notched four points as the Saint Anselm College women's lacrosse team defeated Bentley University, 12-9, Wednesday evening in its Northeast-10 opener at Grappone Stadium.
The Hawks vanquish the monkey on their back by beating Bentley for the first time in 17 tries dating back to the program's inception in 2000. They also extend the best start in program history to 4-0 and are now 1-0 in league play, while the Falcons play their first non-nationally-ranked opponent and drop to 0-4, 0-2 NE-10.
Daly tallied two goals and two assists, while sophomore Caitlin Villareal (Portsmouth, R.I.; three goals) and juniors Kaitlyn Stazinski (Pembroke, Mass.; two goals, one assist) and Kelly Pickett (Chelmsford, Mass.; one goal, two assists) each racked up three points.
Villareal kicked off the scoring 7:15 into the contest when she received a feed from Stazinski and beat Bentley goalkeeper Ally Dorman to make it 1-0. Pickett then doubled the lead at 15:21 before Bentley's Hannah Lindgren cut it in half 1:14 later.
The Hawks then put goals on the board from sophomore Erin Marshall (Woburn, Mass.), Daly and Villareal to open up a 5-1 lead with 4:07 to play in the first half. The Falcons snapped the run with a free-position goal from Carolyn Kynoch 1:02 later and then sliced it to 5-2 on Kelsey Howard's goal just four seconds before halftime.
Goals from Daly and Stazinski in the opening 4:06 of the second half stretched the Saint Anselm lead to 7-3. After a Jessica Ferrigno strike, tallies from sophomore Michelle Kudlate (Waltham, Mass.), Stazinski, Villareal and Marshall put the Hawks in the driver's seat at 11-4 with 19:44 remaining.
Bentley's Erin O'Connor would halt the stretch, but sophomore Lauren Perry (Merrimack, N.H.) found the back of the net to keep it a seven-goal game at 12-5 with 10:56 left. That would be the last time Saint Anselm found the scoreboard, however, as four straight Bentley goals, including tallies from Kynoch and Ferrigno, cut it to 12-9 with 4:52 on the clock.
Bentley had another late goal waved off and Saint Anselm would hold on for the victory.
Sophomore goalkeeper Jane Bunn (St. John's, Fla.) played all 60 minutes in the cage and made a season-high eight saves. Dorman stopped five of the 16 shots she faced in the first 47:50 of action, while Lauren Ochs turned away two of the three shots on net from the Hawks in the final 12:10.
Saint Anselm held a 25-24 edge in shots and a 12-11 advantage in draw controls. The Hawks were also a perfect 3-for-3 on their free-position chances, while Bentley was just 1-for-4.
The Hawks return to action Saturday, March 22 at 1 p.m. as they travel to take on American International College. The next home game for the Hawks is Tuesday, March 25 at 4 p.m. when they play host to Assumption College at Grappone. Stay up-to-date with the latest news, including game previews and recaps, directly from the Saint Anselm College athletic department by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter @STAHawks.