Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College women's lacrosse drubbing visiting Daniel Webster College, 22-5, in their New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) opener at Leary Field Monday evening. With the win, the Blazers rise to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the NECC, while Daniel Webster drops to 0-1 in conference play and 0-3 on the season.
The Blazers found the back of the net in the opening minute of play as junior Haley Roberts (Westfield, Mass.) converted off a feed from sophomore Vanessa Vurno (Salem, Conn.) to give Elms a 1-0 lead. Over the next six minutes, Elms freshman Haley Richard (Monson, Mass.) sandwiched a pair of goals around another tally from Roberts to extend the Blazers cushion to 4-0.
Trailing 5-0, Daniel Webster got on the scoreboard as senior Madeline Roulier (Pittsfield, Mass.) netted the first of her three goals on the day with a man-advantage strike in the 10th minute of action. The Blazers responded as junior Lindsey McNiff (Kingston, Mass.) found Vurno in front of the goal for her second goal of the game, followed by a goal from Richard, giving Richard her second hat trick in as many games, to rebuild a 7-1 gap.
The Blazers pulled away with a four-goal spurt in a four-minute span midway through the first half, sparked by a free position strike from senior Kathleen Tuechler (Farmingdale, N.Y.) at the 18:26 mark. Freshman Kaila Abrams (Derry, N.H.), sophomore Mackenzie Hill (Brownfield, Maine), and senior Jackie Soucia (Belchertown, Mass.) followed with tallies to build an 11-1 advantage.
Roulier deposited back-to-back goals, trailed by a strike from sophomore Rebecca Hoffman (Andover, Mass.) to help the Eagles trim the deficit to 12-4 with just over three minutes to play in the opening half. Elms closed the frame with a 4-0 run as freshman Alecia Keesee (Westfield, Mass.) potted her first collegiate goal, along with tallies by Soucia, Richard and Vurno to possess a 16-4 lead at the half.
The Blazers offense slowed in the second half, focusing on possession play, and junior Madison Jung (Stafford Springs, Conn.) recorded her first goal of the season at the 27:52 mark. Following goals from Tuechler and Keesee, Roulier delivered the final goal of the day for the Eagles. Elms junior Arianna Santiago-Sullivan (Willimantic, Conn.) registered a pair of goals and Keesee completed her first career hat trick to seal the 22-5 victory.
Vurno paced the Blazers offense with a game-high seven points with three goals and four assists. Soucia, Richard and Keesee added four points each, while McNiff dished out three assists in the win. Roulier led the Eagles with four goals, while Hoffman added a goal and an assist.
The Blazers outshot the Eagles, 40-14, during the contest. Elms senior Meeghan O'Connor (Fall River, Mass.) made five saves in the win, while Daniel Webster sophomore Diamond Majett (Philadelphia, Penn.) stopped a game-high ten shots.
The Blazers will look to remain in the win column when they face Bay Path University in NECC action Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. Daniel Webster hosts Wheelock in conference play Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.