TOWSON, Md. – After clawing back from an early four-goal deficit to trail by just one goal midway through the first half, the Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse squad fell to an 8-1 Towson run en route to an eventual 17-9 loss at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Wednesday evening. The Hawks fall to 3-4 on the season after battling a tough Towson program while the Tigers (1-6) pick up their first win of the year after opening up against six ranked opponents. 

Of note, Towson scored six of its goals on free position opportunities, going 6-for-9 on the night. 

Sophomore attacker Stephanie Kelly's hat trick led the offense while junior midfielder Bridget Cerciello and senior Hayley Sabol, making her first start of the season up on the attack in place of Sam McGee, added two goals apiece. Senior attacker Francesca Donato matched Kelly's three points with a game-high three assists.

Towson jumped out to a 5-1 edge by the 19:27 mark of the first half, but the Hawks scored four of the next five in just under a five-minute span to close the deficit to one, 6-5, by the 13:37 mark; Cerciello opened the scoring run (18:31) before Donato found Sabol (16:24) and freshman midfielder Olivia Little buried one at 15:52. Cerciello closed out the run with her second unassisted goal of the night (13:37).

Kerri Liucci put the Tigers back up by two with a goal at the 12:30 mark, but Kelly scored her first of the night, on a Donato helper, with 11:58 to play in the first to once again inch the Hawks to within one, 7-6.

From there, Towson tore off five in a row and, after Kelly broke up SJU's scoring drought with her second of the night at the 21:53 mark of the second half, the Tigers tacked on three more for a 15-7 advantage heading into the final 12:56.

For the game, Towson earned advantages in shots (36-25), shots on goal (27-19), and ground balls (29-19) while Saint Joseph's put up a fight in the circle, winning 13 of the game's 27 draw controls to keep possession close; junior midfielder Penny Green earned six draw controls for the Crimson and Gray, doubling her previous career-high total for draws in a game (3).

Senior Sinead Brierley went for two ground balls and a team-high two caused turnovers on the back line. 

Sophomore goalkeeper Corinne Buttner came on in relief of freshman goalkeeper Amber Weedon (3-2) at the 18:02 mark of the first half to make nine saves vs. 10 goals allowed in the final 41:58.

The game closes a three-game road stretch for the Crimson and Gray, and SJU returns home to host Delaware (3-4) in the Hawks' non-conference finale this Saturday, March 16. Opening draw control is slated for noon on Sweeney Field.