TROY, N.Y. – Elms College freshman Ashley Cava (Wilbraham, Mass.) netted five goals and senior Chelsey Grabowski (South Hadley, Mass.) and sophomore Nora McDonough (South Hadley, Mass.) netted four goals each to help spark the Blazers to a tightly contested 18-16 victory over The Sage Colleges in Wednesday evening's non-conference women's lacrosse game in Troy, N.Y.
With the win, Elms snaps a 21-game losing streak dating back to April 12, 2011 and improves to 1-1 on the season. Sage begins its season 0-1. The win is also the first under Blazers' first-year head coach Maureen Ruane.
Both periods saw Elms edge Sage by one goal – 8-7 in the first half, and 10-9 in the second stanza. In the first 30 minutes, Cava scored three of her five goals, while Grabowski added two tallies of her own. Junior Kayla Narey (South Hadley, Mass.) found the back of the net twice and sophomore Lauren Mazza (Agawam, Mass.) scored once to highlight the Blazers' first half output.
In the second half, Elms extended its 8-7 lead to 11-7 with the first three goals of the frame. Grabowski started the scoring just 15 seconds in, followed by back-to-back markers by McDonough.
Sage rallied with seven of the next 10 goals evening the contest at 14-14 with 10 minutes to play. Alexa Pajak (Earlton, N.Y.), who led the Gators with a game-high seven goals and five assists, scored three goals including the equalizer during the run.
Grabowski then fired in another goal, and McDonough found the back of the net twice to give the Blazers a 17-14 advantage. Pajak answered with 2:14 to play, but Cava's final goal of the contest helped Elms pull away to an 18-16 victory.
The Gators received four goals from Mallory Hansen (Johnstown, N.Y.) and three from Alayna Kaiser (Ballston Lake, N.Y.), while goalkeeper Courtney Reed (Mechanicville, N.Y.) made 15 saves in the losing effort. Hansen also caused four opponent turnovers and Kaiser picked up three groundballs.
During the contest, Pajak broke the program's scoring and points record for the Gators.
Cava picked up five groundballs and caused four turnovers to lead Elms in the victory, while Narey finished with three goals. Sophomore net-minder Alysha Parson (Newington, Conn.) made eight saves to secure her first-collegiate win between the pipes.
Elms returns to non-conference action March 14 at the College of St. Elizabeth's at 3:00 p.m.