WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – University of Saint Joseph sophomore Dayna Gambino (Newington,Conn.) scored six goals in a record-setting day as the University of Saint Joseph lacrosse team defeated the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, 21-10 Saturday in the season finale for both teams.
St. Joseph finished 5-9 and the five victories are the most in one season in the nine-year history of the program. USJ had won four games in 2011. USMMA finished 0-11.
Rachel Foster (Newington, Conn.) had four goals and three assists and Erika Leitao (Southington, Conn.) had four goals and one assist for USJ. Leitao's final goal, 2:25 into the second half, was her 40th of the season and tied the single-season school record set by Gambino last year. Leitao also finished with record totals of 14 assists and 54 total points.
Gambino finished the season with 39 goals and career totals of 79 goals and 92 points. Saturday, she passed two career school records after just two seasons, previously set by current assistant coach Dianna Soucier, who had 78 goals and 89 points from 2010-'12. Goal #79 was the final one on the day for the Blue Jays and came with 5:40 to play.
Holding a 6-2 lead after 12 minutes, USJ went on a 10-goal run and a score by Lindsey Dionne (Portland, Conn.) with 32 seconds left in the half put USJ up, 16-3 at halftime. The Blue Jays fired an amazing 41 shots in the first half and outshot USMMA for the game, 56-20.
Francesca Mastria (Higganum, Conn.) scored three times for USJ and Haley Tufano (Farmington, Conn.) had a goal and two assists. Dionne, Justine Mojsa (Newington, Conn.) and Eliza Doane (Suffield, Conn.) each scored one goal for St. Joseph.
Alexandra Winfree (Millstone, N.J.) scored five goals for USMMA, Kristen Bell (New City, N.Y.) had three and Jessica Wiley (Warner Robins, Ga.) two.
"This group of players deserved a record for wins," USJ coach Jim Herrera said. "They worked hard all season to improve and it began to show in recent games. I'm proud of what they accomplished and for what it means for our future."