WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - A big first half by the Norwich University Cadets doomed the University of Saint Joseph lacrosse team as they were defeated 19-4 in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference matchup on the USJ Lacrosse Field Saturday afternoon. With the setback the Blue Jays fall to 3-4 overall on the season and 0-4 in the GNAC, while the Cadets improve to 6-5 and 2-3.
Junior attack Hannah Lemek (Bristol, Conn.) led the offense for USJ on the afternoon scoring two of the four goals for the Blue Jays and assisting on another. She leads the team with 26 points on 21 goals and five assists for the season. Freshmen Mary Jeorg (Canton, Conn.) and Charlotte Eberhardt (Thomaston, Conn.) scored the other two goals on the afternoon for USJ. Eberhardt has now found the back of the net in three-straight contests.
Six cadets posted multi-goal games for Norwich in the victory led by a four-goal game by sophomore Kathryn Albretsen (Cotuit, Mass.). Senior Chapel Guarnieri (Peppered, Mass.) and Mary-Kait Mace (Canton, N.Y) each netted hat tricks for the visitors.
Norwich raced out to a 6-0 lead over the Blue Jays and never looked back in the opening 18 minutes of action. Freshman Rebecca Brown (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) started the scoring for the Cadets seven minutes into the game with a man-up free, free-position goal and Guarnieri would find the back of the net twice during the opening run to build the early 6-0 advantage.
Lemek stopped the run and got the Blue Jays on the board to make it 6-1 with 11:13 left on the clock before halftime, but the Cadets responded with three unanswered goals to take a 9-1 lead with just over seven minutes to play in the half.
Joerg cut it to 9-2 with her fifth goal of her freshman campaign off a nice feed from Lemek, but Norwich would close the half with four goals, including back-to-back goals from junior Meaghan McGrath (Barre, Vt.), to take a commanding 13-2 lead into the intermission.
Norwich picked up right where they left off in the second period and continued its run with four more goals to start the second 30 minutes of play and build a 16-2 lead. USJ would finally break through in the second half after the second goal of the game from Lemek with 15:27 left to play in regulation and after two more goals by the visitors, Eberhardt closed the scoring with an unassisted goal to account for the 19-4 final.
USJ's junior goalkeeper Emily Bourassa (Bristol, Conn.) was handed the loss between the pipes and falls to 3-4 on year. She finished with 12 saves and held Norwich to 50.0 percent (8-16) on free-position shots. Lawson Hayes (Moorestown, N.J) earned the win for the Cadets making three saves to improve to 3-3 on the season.
Norwich controlled the tempo and pace of play outshooting the Blue Jays 38-8 in the game. They held an 18-7 advantage in draw controls led by Guarnieri who finished with five. Lemek posted up three for the Blue Jays.
Junior Amanda Van Buren (Burlington, Conn.) picked up a team-high three ground balls for St. Joseph and also added a pair of draw controls, while Albretsen snagged four ground balls and added four draw controls and a caused turnover for Norwich.
The USJ lacrosse team will return to action next when they travel to Emmanuel on Wednesday for another GNAC contest. The opening draw is scheduled for 4 p.m. Norwich also next plays on Wednesday in a GNAC game at home against Mount Ida beginning at 7 p.m.