PHILADELPHIA – Senior attacker Francesca Donato scored four first-half goals to lead the Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse squad to a 15-8 win over George Washington in Atlantic 10 action on Sweeney Field on Friday afternoon. With their fifth win in their last six games, the Hawks improve to 8-5 overall (4-1 A-10) while the Colonials drop to 4-9 overall (2-3 A-10).
Donato finished the day with a game-high six points (4g, 2a). Her second assist of the game (2H, 3:34) brought her to 33 assists for the season, tying the program record for single-season assists (Maggie Egan, 2016).
"It's awesome for us because a win after a loss always feels good," said Donato of the bounce-back victory after a tight-scoring road loss at UMass on Sunday. "We took a lot of good things from that game and came out strong for this one."
Additionally, senior attacker Hayley Sabol and senior defender Ally Beck made their 68th career appearances, tying the program record for career games played (Nora McCallion '17). Sabol (3g, 1a) also notched her 100th career point in scoring her second goal of the game (1H, 13:56) while Beck moved into a tie for second (Alli MacDonald '12) for career caused turnovers on Hawk Hill, with 67.
With the game knotted at 5-5 heading into the final 7:18 of the first half, Cerciello scored the unassisted, go-ahead goal (6:48) before Donato closed the half with three consecutive scores (5:38, 2:55, 0:04) to send the Hawks up by four goals, 9-5, into the halftime break.
"When we can have multiple goals, that definitely helps give our team momentum," said head coach Alex Kahoe following the win. "Especially scoring those right before halftime... that helped us moving forward."
Kelly opened the second half with an unassisted score (26:15) to give the Hawks a 10-5 advantage, but the Colonials chipped away with three straight to close their deficit to two, 10-8, heading into the final 9:35 of regulation.
From that point, five different Hawks scored over the final 9:17 to put the game away.
Saint Joseph's dominated the game offensively with a 43-16 advantage in shots and finished with a 15-9 edge in draw controls, propelled by an 8-2 second half.
Sophomore goalkeeper Corinne Buttner (5-3, 4-1 A-10) made two saves vs. six goals allowed in the opening 44:43 to earn the win between the pipes.
Saint Joseph's remains home to host Davidson (7-6, 1-4 A-10) this Sunday, April 7. Opening draw control is set for noon on Sweeney Field. The Hawks will host their annual Alumnae and Family Day and will honor the Class of 2018 at halftime.
"Every A-10 game is a big game," closed Kahoe. "We really try to take it one day at a time. George Washington is a great team and really stepped up today to play us. We look forward to our next opportunity."