WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The Saint Anselm College women's lacrosse team dropped its regular-season finale, 20-16, to No. 20 New Haven despite six goals and one assist from senior Erica Mattila on Saturday afternoon at Kathy Zolad Stadium.
Mattila's six goals and seven points matched the senior's career highs in both categories for Saint Anselm (8-9, 6-7 NE10), which suffered its eighth loss to a nationally-ranked team this season. Mackenzie Reh scored seven goals for New Haven (12-6, 9-4 NE10), which also got four goals and four assists from Jessica Mazliah.
Despite the loss, Saint Anselm earned the No. 7 seed in the upcoming Northeast-10 Conference Championship. The Hawks will play in their first postseason game since 2015 when they travel to No. 2 seed Le Moyne on Wednesday for a 1 p.m. quarterfinal game. The Dolphins, ranked No. 3 in this week's Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll, defeated the Hawks, 16-8, back on Apr. 7 in Syracuse, N.Y.
Senior Meaghan Sheehy entered the game tied with Michaela Rocha '09 for the single-season points record at Saint Anselm and broke the tie by assisting on a goal by Mattila with 5:23 left in the first half. Mattila's seven-point performance moved her into the top 10 for points in a season as she sits ninth with 64. With three draw controls in the game, Mattila moved into second place in program history with 173 for her career.
Sophomore Breda Holland tied her career high with four goals in the game and also picked up five ground balls, while junior Molly Beck added three goals, 11 draw controls, three ground balls and one caused turnover. Senior Marta Versprille contributed one goal, three assists, a team-high six ground balls and a pair of draw controls.
After trailing 5-3 with 21:33 left in the opening half, Saint Anselm scored four-straight goals to build a 7-5 lead, with Mattila and Emma Palumbo each recording a goal and an assist in the run. Finding themselves behind for the first time, the Chargers rallied to take a 9-8 halftime lead by scoring four of the first half's final five goals, including a Mazliah man-down free position goal with 26 seconds remaining.
New Haven scored the first two goals of the second half to open up a three-goal lead. Saint Anselm got within two goals on four occasions before the hosts increased their lead to five, 18-13, with 8:36 to play with a 4-1 run. The teams alternated goals over the final minutes as the Chargers secured the victory.
Saint Anselm narrowly outshot New Haven in the game, 37-34, but the Chargers got 13 saves from Gianna Guerra on the afternoon. Senior Zoie Cavotta made eight stops for the Hawks. New Haven scooped up 35 ground balls to 30 for Saint Anselm and was successful on 17-of-18 clears, compared to 12-of-14 for the Hawks.