NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – The University of Saint Joseph lacrosse team opened its 2014 season with a 16-12 loss to Emmanuel College Saturday in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference game at Central Conn. State Univ.
Dayna Gambino (Newington, Conn.) had five goals and three assists to lead USJ. Erika Leitao (Southington, Conn.) had two goals and two assists for the Blue Jays and Justine Mojsa (Newington, Conn.) scored twice for the Blue Jays. Rachel Foster (Newington, Conn.), Lindsey Dionne (Portland, Conn.) and Francesca Mastria (Higganum, Conn.) also scored for St. Joseph.
Mojsa earned match-highs of eight draw controls and five ground balls and Mastria also picked up five ground balls for the Blue Jays.
Katie Baker (Stratham, N.H.) had three goals and an assist to lead Emmanuel while Kristen Tuleja (Mansfield, Mass.) and Abaigeal Merrigan (Rye, N.H.) each had two goals and an assist.
The teams played a nick-and-tuck affair throughout the opening stages. Leitao and Foster had early goals as the game began 2-2 after seven minutes. Emmanuel edged out in front, but a pair of Gambino goals trimmed the USJ deficit to 5-4 with 13:45 to play in the half. The Saints then went on a decisive run to lead 9-5 at halftime and Emmanuel maintained at least a three-goal edge for the entire second half.
USJ next plays Fredonia State and Clarkson March 19-20 in West Palm Beach, Fla.