Balanced attack, defense lead women's lacrosse past AIC

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's lacrosse team topped American International College 10-7 in its home opener behind goals from seven different players in a Northeast-10 Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon at Grappone Stadium.

Box Score

Saint Anselm (3-3, 1-1 NE10) grabbed the lead with two goals in the final minute of the opening half and never trailed in the second to defeat American International (1-3, 0-2 NE10) for the 17th time in the last 18 meetings.

Breda Holland and Rachel Henderson each recorded two goals and one assist to lead the Hawks offensively, while Erica Mattila also scored twice. Emma Palumbo, Madison Shea, Marta Versprille and Meaghan Sheehy accounted for the other four goals for Saint Anselm.

Defensively, Liv Connly and Versprille each caused four turnovers on the afternoon. Mattila grabbed a game-high five draw controls and Lauren Lockard added four. Henderson led the Hawks with four ground balls. Zoie Cavotta evened her record at 3-3 with a six-save afternoon.

Riley Brennan netted a hat trick for American International and Stefanie Dufresne tallied two goals and one assist. Mikayla Demanche and Allison Roy grabbed three ground balls apiece for the Yellow Jackets, with Dufresne recording three draw controls. Alexis Torosian took the loss despite making 10 saves.

Holland scored the first goal of the game after 3:50 but the Yellow Jackets took a 2-1 lead on consecutive goals from Brennan and Mary Bates 2:39 apart in the early stages. After Holland's opening goal, American International held Saint Anselm scoreless until Sheehy and Mattila scored in the final 48 seconds of the opening half to give the Hawks a 3-2 halftime edge.

At the start of the second half, the Hawks stretched their lead to three, 5-2, after goals from Shea and Versprille. The Yellow Jackets replied with two-straight goals to cut the deficit back to one with 21:18 remaining. The two teams again traded pairs of goals, leaving Saint Anselm ahead 7-6 with 9:11 left. Goals from Palumbo and Henderson 35 seconds apart helped the Hawks go back ahead by three with 6:44 remaining and the hosts were able to work down the clock late to see out the win.

Saint Anselm used a 13-6 advantage in draw controls to outshoot American International 29-18 in the game. The Hawks also picked up 20 ground balls, compared to 17 for the Yellow Jackets, and were a perfect 16-for-16 on clears.

Saint Anselm is back in action at Grappone Stadium on Tuesday, March 21 when Southern New Hampshire University comes across town for a 7 p.m. start.

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