PHILADELPHIA – Junior midfielder Hayley Sabol hit the back of the net seven times, including SJU's first five goals of the second half, to lead the Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse team to a 21-8 victory over Central Connecticut State in the Hawks' 2018 home opener on Saturday afternoon on Sweeney Field. With their first win of the season, the Hawks improve to 1-1 while the Blue Devils open their season at 0-1.
Alongside Sabol's seven goals, junior midfielder Rebecca Lane (2g, 3a) and rookie attacker Stephanie Kelly (3g, 2a) went for five points apiece as nine Hawks found the back of the net for the Crimson and Gray. Sophomore midfielder Penny Green, senior attacker Francesca Donato, and sophomore midfielder Julia Pash added multi-goal performances.
"Today was a great day to open up against Central Connecticut," said head coach Alex Kahoe after the win. "They're a great team. We had nine people score for us today, which was great. It was a full team effort, and Hayley [Sabol] really stepped up today with seven points on the board for us."
Leading 5-4 after CCSU's Megan Szawlowski scored at the 19:19 mark of the first half to inch the Blue Devils to within one, the Hawks tore off six consecutive goals to close out the first half to take an 11-4 lead into the halftime break. Green (12:29) and Sabol (12:04), assisted by Lane, scored within 25 seconds of one another to open that run, while Sabol scored again, assisted by sophomore midfielder Laura Lasprogata, just 16 seconds later (11:48). Lane found Kelly (7:23) before putting away an unassisted score of her own (5:42), and junior midfielder Ally Beck hit the back of the net (1:02) to close out the first half.
Sabol and the Blue Devils went back and forth in scoring to begin the second half, as SJU and CCSU put away three goals apiece to keep the Hawks ahead by seven, 14-7, at the 19:57 mark. Sabol then recorded her sixth and seventh goals of the game, assisted by junior midfielder Sinead Brierley (16:00) and senior midfielder Kate Payne (15:33) to extend SJU's lead out to nine.
CCSU's Morgan Sinton tucked away a free position shot, CCSU's third of the half, to close the deficit to eight, 16-8, with 11:36 to play, but from there, the Hawks fired off five consecutive goals to activate the running clock from the 9:44 mark on. Kelly (10:51) and freshman midfielder Taylor Newman-Farr (9:44) kicked off the run with unassisted scores before Green assisted on Pash's second of the day (7:58) and scored her own (5:50), assisted by freshman attacker Sam McGee.
Graduate student goalkeeper Liz O'Sullivan (1-1) made eight saves and allowed eight CCSU scores in 49:09. Freshman Corinne Buttner came on in relief and made two saves to blank the Blue Devils in the final 10:51.
For the game, Saint Joseph's owned a 52-21 advantage in shots, doubling the Blue Devils' shot counts in both halves. The Hawks also earned a 24-16 edge in ground balls and won 20 of the game's 31 draw controls; sophomore midfielder Bridget Cerciello recorded a team-high four ground balls while Payne (7) and Pash (6) combined for more than half of SJU's draw controls.
CCSU converted on half of their free position shots (3-of-6), scoring all three in the second half, while the Hawks struggled from the eight meter; Lane's free position goal early on in the first was SJU's lone conversion in eight opportunities.
The Hawks' defense was tremendous in holding CCSU to just 16 clears in 27 attempts, forcing 11 CCSU turnovers on failed clears.
Saint Joseph's returns to action this Wednesday, February 21 at Temple. Opening draw control at Howarth Field in Philadelphia is set for 3:00 p.m. Temple (2-1) had a two-game winning streak snapped by #9 Princeton this afternoon.
Sideline Photos, LLC's photos from today's game are available for sale at Photoshelter.com.
GAME NOTES: 11 Hawks made their collegiate debuts in freshman attackers Paige Diminick, Alyssa Manley, and Emma Murphy, freshman midfielders Skyler Demis, Skylar Dorenkamp, and Kenzie Staska, freshman defender Anna Seifert, freshman goalkeeper Corinne Buttner, sophomore attacker Sara Hughes, sophomore midfielder Sarah Poli, and sophomore defender Sarah Platt... Freshman attacker Sam McGee made her first collegiate start... With three assists, junior midfielder Rebecca Lane moved into sole possession of third on SJU's all-time list for career assists (59), passing Meghan McDevitt '13 (56), former teammate Nora McCallion '17 (56), and Shannon Hungate '03 (57)... With five points, Lane remains in 10th on SJU's all-time list for career points (134).
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