Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Elms College women's lacrosse squad wrapped up the 2017 regular season with a 16-7 non-conference victory over host Rhode Island College at Alumni Field Friday afternoon. With the win, the Blazers completed the winningest regular season in program history with a 12-2 mark, while the Anchorwomen finished their season with a 2-13 record.
Rhode Island College harnessed an early lead as senior Betsy Heidel (Warwick, R.I.) and junior Jessica Trautman (Narragansett, R.I.) potted back-to-back free position goals in the opening three minutes of play. The Blazers got on the board when junior Alissa Porfilio (Agawam, Mass.) converted off a feed from classmate Jackie Soucia (Belchertown, Mass.) at the 27:30 mark. Trailing 3-1 following a tally from Heidel, the Blazers evened the score with a free-position goal from freshman Janis Christian (Westfield, Mass.) and a tally from sophomore Vanessa Vurno (Salem, Conn.) to make it 3-3 with 19:28 on the clock.
The Anchorwomen regained a 4-3 lead on a strike from freshman Hannah Ambrosia (Warwick, R.I.) in the 12th minute, but the Blazers took control for good with a 6-0 run over the next 15 minutes of action. Porfilio found Soucia on a break to the net at the 14:28 mark, followed by unassisted goals from freshman Haley Richard (Monson, Mass.) and Vurno. Soucia and Vurno registered back-to-back free-position goals, and then Vurno netted her fourth goal of the half to put Elms ahead 9-4. Trautman ended the Blazers run with a goal in the 29th minute, but Richard scored two goals in the final minute to give Elms an 11-5 lead at the break.
The Blazers offense kept churning in the second half as Vurno tallied a goal with 28:25 to go. Vurno connected with Richard in the 54th minute, followed by consecutive strikes from Soucia to extend the Elms advantage to 15-5. Heidel and junior Allison Smedberg (Cranston, R.I.) sandwiched late goals for RIC around a tally from Richard as the Blazers cruised to the 16-7 win.
Richard and Vurno powered the Blazers offense with a game-high seven points on five goals and two assists each. Soucia registered six points with four goals and two assists, while Porfilio and Christian contributed a goal and an assist each.
The Blazers outshot the Anchorwomen, 37-12, during the contest. Elms senior goalie Meeghan O'Connor (Fall River, Mass.) made five saves in the win, while RIC sophomore Julia Eaton (Cumberland, R.I.) stopped a game-high 13 shots.
The Blazers earned a first-round bye in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Women's Lacrosse Championship Tournament, and will host a semifinal game at Leary Field Thursday night at 6:00 p.m.