NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's lacrosse team played a neck and neck first half, but could not contain the aggressiveness of Albertus Magnus College (AMC) in the second half, running out of steam despite fighting to the end, losing 16-7 on Celentano Field Wednesday afternoon.
The Blue Jays (1-3) cut the lead to two, 8-6, after scoring to start the second half, but the Falcons (1-2) picked up the pace, scoring six goals in the next nine minutes to pull away. Five players scored at least twice for AMC, including freshman defender/midfielder Madison Neilander (Wallingford, Conn.), who scored a game-high seven goals, consistently finding gaps to attack for scores. Junior attack/midfielder Charlotte Eberhardt (Thomaston, Conn.) led the way for the Blue Jays with five goals (four in the first half).
AMC dominated in time of possession (20-5 in Draw Controls), allowing them to take twice as many shots on net (41-19), and thus controlling the overall pace of the game. The Falcons also won the ground balls margin 26-17.
Junior attack Kaitlyn Ellsworth (Tolland, Conn.) scored the first goal of the game for AMC less than two minutes in, but on the very next play, freshman midfielder Jenna Banta (Montville, Conn.) broke free for a goal, tying the game at one. It would be her only goal of the game, as she went out with a red card 10 minutes later. Albertus Magnus held a 4-1 lead with 18:00 to go.
A man down was not enough to stop Eberhardt, who spun away from a double team on the right side of the field, attacked middle, and whipped it into the net from about four feet out. She continued on the attack throughout the half, matching Ellsworth with four first-half goals to keep the Blue Jays in striking distance, down 8-5 at the break.
Sophomore midfielder and defender Symantha Fazzino (Newington, Conn.) opened up the second half with an unassisted goal to cut the gap to two, 8-6, with 26:39 to play. The intensity picked up, as both teams stayed physical when guarding the ball-handler (51 combined fouls on the game). The Falcons found a way, scoring the next six goals in nine minutes (Neilander and Ellsworth both scored). All of a sudden, AMC had their largest lead of the game, 14-6, with 13:20 to go.
Eberhardt did her part, scoring another goal, but it was not enough, as the Falcons wore the Blue Jays out down the stretch to claim their first win of the season. Freshman goalkeeper Silvana Barcomb (Middletown, Conn.) continues to improve each day for USJ, finishing with 15 saves on the game.
The USJ women's lacrosse team will be back in action on Saturday, March 16 when they travel to Saint Joseph's College (ME). Opening draw is set for 3:00 p.m.