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Women’s lacrosse: Villanova opens with rout of Michigan; Sukonik helps Lehigh roll

Saturday, 22nd February 2014

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, Posted 2/22/14
From Press Release

Led by sophomore attack Kelsey Denihan’s seven goals, the Villanova women’s lacrosse team (1-0) opened the season today with a dominant 20-7 win over visiting Michigan (0-1) Saturday afternoon.

Hannah Goforth (Bishop Shanahan) had a brilliant all-around game for the Wildcats, collecting one goal, one assists, six draw controls, two groundballs and two caused turnovers.

For Michigan, Sophie DuPhily (Kennett) scored once. Defender Brooke Pancoast (Radnor), playing in her hometown backyard, had two draw controls and fellow defender Kelly Kubach (Penn Charter) had a groundball and a caused turnover.

The Wolverines, playing in their first game as a Division I team, scored just 32 seconds into the game, but junior attack Jessica Mucci responded just two seconds later to tie the game. Denihan scored two minutes later to put the Wildcats ahead for the rest of the game.

The Wildcats and Wolverines traded free position shots in the eighth minute of the game, with Anna Schueler and sophomore midfielder Chelsey Henderson scoring for their respective teams.

Sophomore attack Meghan Breen, playing in her first game as a Wildcat, played a part in the next four goals. She scored two, both assisted by Mucci, before setting up junior midfielder Goforth. Breen scored her third goal at 13:11 to complete her hat trick.

Sophomore midfielder Tierney Griff and Denihan each scored goals assisted by Henderson to close the half with the Wildcats up 9-4.

Villanova scored the first four goals of the second half with Henderson scoring two unassisted goals and Denihan and senior attack Ali Judge scoring Mucci-assisted goals to bring the Wildcats to a 13-4 lead.

Denihan scored the next four Villanova goals, assisted by Breen, sophomore midfielder Shannon Galvin, Griff and freshman midfielder Becca Hetrick. Judge scored on a free position at 3:22 to bring the Wildcats up to a 19-6 lead. After a Michigan goal, sophomore attack Kendall Cietek scored at 1:25 to end the game with a 20-7 Villanova lead.

The Wildcats’ 20 goals were the most scored by Villanova since a 20-7 win over Georgetown on March 26, 2010.

Villanova led 37-11 in shots, 18-14 in ground balls and 16-13 in draw controls. The Wildcats were 15-of-15 in clears for the day. Denihan led the team with eight points (7G, 1A) while Henderson finished with seven (4G, 3A) and Mucci recorded five (1G, 4A). Goalkeepers Julia Todd and Jaclyn Fraum shared time in net, with Fraum making two saves.

Lehigh 10, Mount St. Mary’s 4

Down 2-0 in the early going, the Mountaineers outscored Mount St. Mary’s 10-2 over the final 58:12 on its way to a win.

Junior Carli Sukonik (Harriton) led the offense with four goals for her 11th career hat trick while senior Chelsea Retaleato added a career-high three goals. The defense stood tall, allowing just nine shots and just seven over the final 58 minutes. That included a shutout streak which exceeded 36 minutes, allowing the offense to open up a five-goal advantage.

“It was a good team win,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “We’re happy to get multiple goals from several of our attackers and we were even happier to see our midfielders cause turnovers and put pressure on them.”

Sophomore Megan Paytas added a goal and three assists while freshman Allison LaBeau dished a pair of assists. Freshman Julianne D’Orazio (Merion Mercy) posted two groundballs and three caused turnovers while junior Kelly Scott had three groundballs and caused two turnovers. Sophomore Kendall Garden enjoyed a strong all-around game with a goal, assist, groundball and three caused turnovers.

The win marked the Mountain Hawks’ 14th straight season-opening victory, this over a Mount St. Mary’s team predicted to finish second in the NEC.

“It feels good, especially since Mount St. Mary’s is a capable team,” said Redfern. “To go into a negative hole like that from the start, and being a younger team, shows strong resilience to be able to come back with a good performance.”

Sammie Knapp gave the Mountaineers a 2-0 lead at 28:12 of the first half, but Lehigh had an answer. Sukonik got Lehigh’s scoring started at 25:54 before Paytas found Retaleato and Sukonik to make it 2-2 then 3-2 with 19:59 on the clock. Mount St. Mary’s tied the score less than two minutes later, but the Mountain Hawks responded with five straight goals bridging the end of the first half and beginning of the second. A goal from freshman Lauren Beausoleil made it 8-3 with 21:24 remaining.

Just over eight minutes later, Mount St. Mary’s broke Lehigh’s 36:04 shutout streak, but goals from Garden and Retaleato rounded out the scoring for the 10-4 final.

Lehigh held a 19-9 edge in shots, 19-14 in groundballs and 9-7 in draw controls. Senior Alexandra Fitzpatrick stopped four-of-eight shots send her way while Mountaineers goalie Steph Rurkowski finished with eight.

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