Women's lacrosse cruises past Penmen for sixth-straight victory

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's lacrosse team surged out to a 14-2 halftime lead on its way to a 19-7 victory over crosstown-rival Southern New Hampshire University in a Queen City Cup clash on Wednesday evening at Penmen Field.

Box Score

Saint Anselm (6-2, 4-0 NE10) scored five times during the opening 7:22 of the game en route to the 12-goal halftime lead and cruised to its sixth-straight victory in the second half. The 12-goal margin of victory was the largest in the all-time series between the Hawks and Southern New Hampshire (2-7, 1-4 NE10).

The victory extended Saint Anselm's lead in the Queen City Cup to four, 17-13, backing up the men's lacrosse team's win over the Penmen the night before. The 4-0 start in the NE10 is the best conference start for Saint Anselm since 2014, when the Hawks won their first five NE10 games. The Hawks' six-straight victories mark the team's longest winning streak since that same season, when Saint Anselm started 8-0.

Senior Meaghan Sheehy paced the Hawks with nine points on five goals and four assists, while classmate Erica Mattila added four goals, three assists and a game-high six draw controls. Emma Palumbo netted four goals, Molly Beck had three and Breda Holland contributed two.

After a scoreless opening four minutes, the Hawks scored five goals in the span of 3:18 to take command early on. Mattila and Sheehy combined for Saint Anselm's first six goals, with Kristin Wilder's goal at 21:42 being the lone goal for the Penmen in the opening 20 minutes.

Following Wilder's first of two first-half goals, Palumbo scored three times in a stretch of six-straight goals for the visitors that extended the Hawks' lead to 11-1 with 11:41 remaining in the first half. Sheehy had four goals and three assists in the first half alone, with all three assists leading to goals for Palumbo.

Saint Anselm led by as many as 18-2 in the second half after scoring the first four goals after the break, before the Penmen came up with the next four and five of the game's final six goals. After committing 10 turnovers in the first half, Southern New Hampshire committed just four in the second 30 minutes.

The Hawks enjoyed a 17-11 advantage in draw controls, as Palumbo and Marta Versprille each had four in addition to Mattila's six. Palumbo and Jamie Traverse each forced a pair of turnovers, with Palumbo and Mattila tying for a game-high honors with three ground balls apiece.

Saint Anselm outshot Southern New Hampshire by a 38-18 margin in the game, including a 26-11 discrepancy in the first half. Senior Zoie Cavotta stopped six shots to run her record to 6-2 this season.

Wilder led Southern New Hampshire with three goals and one assist, with Alexis Felt scoring twice for the hosts. Leah Olansky suffered the setback with eight saves in 37:53 in net for the Penmen.

Seven of Saint Anselm's final nine regular-season games are against teams currently ranked in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) rankings, beginning with a matchup against No. 24 Bentley at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 31 at Grappone Stadium.