PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse team defeated LIU Brooklyn, 16-11, in the Hawks home opener on Friday afternoon at Sweeney Field. Senior attack Abby Ananian notched four goals to lead seven Hawks in scoring and sophomore Genevieve Giblin made a career-high 14 saves in the win.
"It feels so good to be back," said Ananian of her four-goal season debut. "I missed my team a lot. Playing with them is the glory of what we do from the day we get here on campus. Before every game, to motivate us we always say that with every 400 and every early morning workout, it comes down to game day and game time on the field. You have to love the girls you’re playing next to. We’re together all the time and there couldn’t be a better group to put it all together on the field. Nothing feels better than succeeding with them."
Saint Joseph's (1-1) jumped out to a 6-2 run and added the final four goals of the first half to take a 10-3 lead into halftime. Senior attack Val Paolucci led the first-half scoring with three goals, including a pair of back-to-back goals in the opening five minutes. Ananian and junior midfielder Hannah Hutchins each recorded a two-goal half while junior midfielder Julia Falcone, sophomore attack Emily Bowers, and freshman attack Nora McCallion notched one goal apiece.
LIU Brooklyn (0-2) scored just over a minute into the second half on a free-position shot to bring the score to 10-4, but the Hawks would go on a 6-2 run that spanned the first 15 minutes of the second half to extend the home team's lead by 10 goals at 16-6. Ananian notched her second pair of goals for the game during that run. Bowers scored two goals and Hutchins add her third at the 24:29 mark as the duo capped their days with hat tricks, and senior midfielder Michele Granger got in on the offensive action with her own tally at the 26:20 mark.
The Blackbirds would score the final five goals of the game to close the deficit to 16-11 with 5:44 remaining in regulation, but the Saint Joseph's defense would hold strong and that score would stand as time expired.
Paolucci concluded the day with three goals and an assist while Ananian (4G), Bowers (3G, 1A), and Hutchins (3G) were crucial factors on the attack. Senior defender Allison Heath was solid on the back line with six ground balls and seven draw controls on the day while classmate and fellow defensive anchor Brittany Hanrahan caused a team-high three turnovers.
Giblin (1-1) made a career-best 14 saves on the day in a full-game effort and picked up four ground balls for the Hawks.
For the game, Saint Joseph's held a 33-28 advantage in shots and a 33-24 advantage in ground balls. The squad's were nearly even at the draw, with LIU Brooklyn owning a slight 15-14 advantage. The Hawks were whistled for 24 of the game's 38 fouls.
Saint Joseph's returns to action this Sunday at city-rival Drexel. Start time at Vidas Field is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.