By Thomas Scavetta
An eruption of 11 unanswered goals in the opening stanza proved to be the deciding factor for the fourth-ranked women’s lacrosse team (5-1) on Wednesday, March 16. The team took care of business in a 17-5 blowout win against Philadelphia University (1-2) in a non-conference showdown at Ravenhill Field in Philadelphia, PA.
The first half was highlighted by senior attacker Emily Delaney and freshman midfielder Ryan McKinney, who scored three goals apiece. Senior defender/midfielder Honey Roche also got a slice of the action, netting two scores for the Pioneers. Offensively, the Pioneers were extremely efficient, scoring on 11 of their 14 first half shots.
The Pioneers outscored the Rams 6-5 in the second half to complete the script and win their third-straight game. Delaney was impressive, finishing with a game-high eight points (3 G, 5 A). McKinney continued her standout freshman campaign, as she racked up five points along with junior attacker Connor Bird. Bird also won three draws for the Green and Gold while Roche had another field day, winning five face-offs and causing two turnovers.
In the cage, sophomore goalie Olivia Kirk totaled five saves and senior net-minder Kasey Kephart rejected one shot for the visitors.
On Saturday, March 19, the Pioneers topped their 17-point effort, as they defeated Roberts Wesleyan College (2-5) 18-4, at RWC Lacrosse Field in Rochester, N.Y.
Junior attacker Stefani Vagelatos paced the Pioneers’ offense, tallying seven points (5 G, 2 A) along with Delaney, who finished with a game-high eight points (4 G, 4 A).
After trailing 1-0 in the opening moments of the contest, the Pioneers responded with five unanswered goals and never looked back. Vagelatos and McKinney each scored two goals during that stretch. The Pioneers clicked on all cylinders and took a commanding 12-3 lead into the intermission.
In the latter stanza, the visitors continued to dominate; outscoring Roberts Wesleyan 6-1. Bird capped off the scoring with a free position marker with 1:58 remaining in regulation.
Defensively, Kirk made five saves for the Pioneers, as her counterpart, Shannon Knapp, had nine saves, but gave up 16 scores for the Redhawks. In addition, the Green and Gold held an advantage in nearly every category. The Pioneers outshot the Redhawks 35-9, led in draw controls (21-3), ground balls (13-6) and free-position shots (7-3). The Pioneers were also 10-of-10 on clears.
Head Coach Meghan McNamara and her Pioneer squad return home on Wednesday, March 23, as they prepare to host ECC rival Molloy College. The opening draw is slated for 3:30 p.m. at Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium in Brookville, N.Y.