PHILADELPHIA – Sophomore attacker Francesca Donato recorded a career-high six points on a career-high four goals and two assists to lead the Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse squad to a 15-6 win over La Salle in Atlantic 10 action on Sweeney Field on Saturday afternoon. With their third consecutive win, including their sixth in the last seven games, the Hawks improve to 8-5 overall (4-1 A-10) while the Explorers fall to 6-8 overall (2-4 A-10).
Donato's four goals and six points led all scorers while graduate student midfielder Mallory Grey (3g, 1a) added a four-point effort to go with three caused turnovers on the afternoon.
Leading by two coming out of the halftime break, Saint Joseph's scored the first eight goals of the second half to take a 13-3 lead into the final 12:49. Donato tallied five points during that run, scoring three (29:19, 23:53, 22:31) of SJU's first four to open the half and assisting on scores from sophomore midfielders Hayley Sabol (26:21) and Rebecca Lane (16:17).
The Hawks maintained control from that point, as Grey (9:53) answered back on a La Salle score (10:52) and freshman midfielder Maria Bio (2:34) responded to an Explorers goal at the 5:05 mark to keep SJU up by ten goals.
La Salle's Gabby Burton tucked one away with 27 ticks to play to give the Explorers their sixth of the day.
For the game, Saint Joseph's held a 40-23 advantage in shots, including a 21-8 second half. The Hawks held a 20-17 edge in ground balls and won 16 of the game's 23 draw controls, propelled by second half in which SJU won 11 of 14 opportunities from the circle.
Junior defender Kristen Kelbon went for three ground balls and two caused turnovers while junior midfielder Dana Garbinski scooped up three ground balls of her own. Freshman midfielder Julia Pash added a game-high four draw controls.
The Hawks were a perfect 16-for-16 in clear attempts and forced 17 turnovers on the Explorers, including six off of failed clears. SJU also held La Salle to just 3-of-10 shooting from the eight meter, while the Hawks went 4-for-9.
The Hawks return to action at George Mason next Friday, April 21 at 4:00 p.m.
GAME NOTES: Saint Joseph's improves to 13-7 all-time against La Salle, including 11-2 at home... With her assist on sophomore attacker Francesca Donato's goal at the 22:31 mark of the second half, senior attacker Nora McCallion reached 170 career points and now ranks third all-time in career points at Saint Joseph's... Sophomore midfielder Rebecca Lane's pair of assists were her 19th and 20th of the season; she now ranks tied for eighth with Emily Bowers (2014) and Lindsey-Kate McCool (2006) for single-season assists.