Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College women's lacrosse team led from start to finish during a 17-7 victory over visiting Southern Vermont in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) tilt at Leary Field Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Blazers to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the NECC, while the Mountaineers falls to 3-1 in league play, and 4-2 on the season.
After three minutes of back-and-forth play opened the contest, the Blazers struck first as freshman Alecia Keesee (Westfield, Mass.) spotted classmate Janis Christian (Westfield, Mass.) on a break to the net, and Christian found the back of the goal to stake Elms to a 1-0 lead. The Blazers extended their advantage to 3-0 after junior Haley Roberts (Westfield, Mass.) and freshman Haley Richard (Monson, Mass.) tallied goals within a minute span. Christian struck again with a free-position goal at the 22:06 mark to hand Elms a 4-0 lead.
Southern Vermont got on the scoreboard in the 10th minute of action behind an unassisted goal from senior Emily Lesure (Cheshire, Mass.). After Richard recorded her second goal of the day, Mountaineers senior Mel Orrell (Gloucester, Mass.) converted off a feed from junior Paige Vitale (Port Jervis, N.Y.), and then potted an unassisted strike at the 15:02 mark to trim the gap to 6-3. The Blazers wrapped up the opening frame with goals from sophomore Vanessa Vurno (Salem, Conn.) and Richard to build a 8-3 lead at the half.
The Blazers registered five unanswered goals to kick off the second half, ignited by Keesee and Vurno who added goals in the 38th minute of action to push Elms to a 10-3 lead. Christian recorded her first career hat trick, scoring off a pass from Richard at the 18:09 mark, followed by free-position goals from juniors Jackie Soucia (Belchertown, Mass.) and Alissa Porfilio (Agawam, Mass.) as the Blazers escorted the lead to 13-3 with 16:53 to go.
The sides traded goals over the next eight minutes with Christian and Vurno countering the efforts of Orrell and Southern Vermont senior Lauren Nesshoever (Chittenden, Vt.) to set the score at 15-5. Elms senior Kathleen Tuechler (Farmingdale, N.Y.) delivered a late goal and assist for the Blazers as they cruised to the 17-7 victory.
The Blazers had four players with at least four points in the game, led by four goal and one assist performances from Christian and Richard. Vurno added three goals and an assist, while Tuechler dished out a game-high three assists with a goal. Keesee notched two goals and an assist in the win.
Orrell powered the Mountaineers attack with four goals on eight shots. Nesshoever tallied two goals, while Lesure had one goal and two assists.
The Blazers outshot the Mountaineers, 31-20, during the contest, while Southern Vermont edged Elms in ground balls, 25-23, and draw controls, 14-11. Elms senior Meeghan O'Connor (Fall River, Mass.) stopped five shot for the Blazers, while Southern Vermont junior Kristiana Goldup (Schuylerville, N.Y.) made a game-high eight saves in the loss.
The Blazers will look to record their fourth straight victory when they travel to Sage College for a non-conference clash Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. Southern Vermont hosts MCLA in non-conference action Monday at 4:00 p.m.