PHILADELPHIA – For the second time in three games, the Hawks will face a nationally-ranked opponent as the Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse squad (3-3) closes out its three-game homestand vs. #14/13 Towson (4-1) this Wednesday, March 14. Opening draw control for the second meeting in program history and first since 1995 is set for 4:00 p.m. on Sweeney Field. Each team is riding a win into the game as the Hawks downed Vanderbilt, 12-10, on Sunday and the Tigers defeated Coastal Carolina, 15-3, on Saturday.
Live streaming ($) of Sunday’s game will be available via a subscription to the Atlantic 10 Network. To sign up, please click here. Live stats will also be provided at SJUHawks.com.
Wednesday’s game will mark just the second meeting between Saint Joseph’s and Towson in program history, and the first in over two decades. The last time the Hawks and Tigers met, on April 18, 1995, Towson came away with a 21-4 win in Towson, Md.
The sixth-ranked team in the nation in both assists per game (7.00) and shots per game (35.50), the Hawks will go up against a Tiger offense that averages just over 15 goals per contest and scores on 52.7 percent of its shots. Towson ranks third nationally in free position percentage at a clip of 56.8 percent and, defensively, forces 11.80 turnovers per game.
Saint Joseph's enters Wednesday's game following a 12-10 win over Vanderbilt on Sunday that snapped a two-game losing streak for the Crimson and Gray. Junior midfielder Rebecca Lane scored four times, including twice during key times late in the game, junior attacker Francesca Donato chipped in four points on a pair of goals and pair of assists, graduate student goalkeeper Liz O'Sullivan made nine saves and held the Commodore offense to its lowest goal-scoring total of the season, and junior midfielder Ally Beck was brilliant on both the offensive (key equalizer late in the second half) and defensive (two ground balls, four caused turnovers) ends in the victory.
For their contributions in SJU's performances vs. then-#11-8 Navy and Vanderbilt last week, Lane (Co-Player of the Week) and freshman attacker Stephanie Kelly (Rookie of the Week) received recognition from the Atlantic 10.
Lane (15g, team-high 11a), Donato (team-high 18g, 6a), junior midfielder Hayley Sabol (13g, 2a), and Kelly (9g, 4a) own double-digit points for the Crimson and Gray while sophomore midfielder Julia Pash (26) and senior midfielder Kate Payne (17) have combined for more than half of SJU’s draw controls. Senior defender Kristen Kelbon (12 ground balls) and Beck (11 ground balls, team-high 10 caused turnovers) have led the Hawks on the defensive end of the field while O'Sullivan (3-3) owns a .402 save percentage with 49 saves in 305:47.
Towson, ranked 14th in this week's IWLCA Coaches Poll and US Lacrosse Magazine Media Poll and 13th in this week's Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, opened the season with a trio of home wins over then-#4 Penn State, 14-13, Georgetown, 21-13, and Michigan, 14-7, before suffering a 14-13, triple-overtime heartbreaker at Loyola (Md.). The Tigers bounced back with a 15-3 home win over Coastal Carolina this past Saturday; Towson scored the first seven goals of the game while Kaitlyn Montalbano went for six points (4g, 2a) to lead six Tigers in multi-goal efforts.
On the season, six Tigers own double-digit points, led by Natalie Sulmonte (9g, team-high 10a), Emily Gillingham (team-high 17g, 1a), Montalbano (10g, 7a), and Carly Tellekamp (13g, 1a); Sulmonte also leads the squad in draw controls, with 34. Oliva Conti leads Towson's defense with a team-high 18 ground balls and a team-high 12 caused turnovers while goalkeeper Kiley Keating (4-1) sports a .415 save percentage and 9.81 goals against average with 34 saves and 48 goals allowed in 293:29, all but 20:16 on the season.
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Also be sure to check out Sideline Photos, LLC's shots from home games vs. CCSU and Navy and road game vs. Villanova at PhotoShelter.com.