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Clarkson, SLU women’s lacrosse teams fashion convincing home wins

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POTSDAM - With two goals in the opening four minutes, Bard College looked like it might end its winless drought in the Liberty League, but the Clarkson University Women’s Lacrosse team scored the next 15 goals en route to a 19-4 rout of the Raptors Friday afternoon at Hantz Turf Field.

The Golden Knights improved to 6-8 overall and 2-6 in the Liberty League, tying its single-season mark for victories in a season, while the Raptors dropped to 5-10 overall and 0-8 in conference contests. Clarkson will close out the regular season against Vassar College on Saturday, while Bard will travel to play St. Lawrence.

The Raptors scored a pair of goals early, taking the lead at 27:08 and a two-goal advantage at 26:13, but after those two scores it was all Clarkson. Saryn Campbell (West Bolton, VT) won the next two draws and came down to tally unassisted goals for the Knights as Clarkson produced six goals in less than five minutes to take a 6-2 lead and force a Bard timeout. The momentary cease in play didn’t stop Clarkson’s onslaught as the Knights were able to possess the ball for the majority of the half, despite not scoring for the final 10-plus minutes. The Knights held a 25-7 edge in shots in the second half and won 10 of the 13 draws.

In the second half, Clarkson scored the first five goals to take a 15-2 lead with just seven minutes expired from the clock, but Bard finally stopped the barrage with a goal at 21:01. Three more Clarkson goals made the score 18-3 midway through the half, at which point the pace of play stalled and just two more goals were split among the teams.

Junior Alyssa Cristaldi (North Syracuse, NY) scored six times and assisted on one other to lead Clarkson with seven points, while Campbell added four goals, four groundballs and eight draw controls. Junior Nicole Kelly (Syracuse, NY) had four points on two goals and two assists, and freshman Cassie Grace (Potsdam, NY) scored a pair of goals as well. Junior Katie VanDeValk (Baldwinsville, NY) also produced three points with a goal and two assists in addition to gaining five draw controls.

Hannah Walters (Amherst, NH) made five saves and allowed three goals in 51 minutes of play, while Kara DiNatale (Auburn, NH) made three saves in eight-plus minutes of action for Clarkson. The victory was awarded to Walters, the 17th in her career at Clarkson, which sets her apart with the most goalie wins in program history.

Simone Leitner made nine saves for Bard, allowing all 19 goals over the course of the 60 minutes. Stephanie LaMont scored twice for the Raptors, and Reed Mango and Victoria Fleisher each scored once.

Clarkson held a 36-16 advantage in shots and gained control early by winning 19 of the 25 draws. The two teams were nearly even in groundballs, with the Knights leading 19-13.

SLU LAXWOMEN PREVAIL

St. Lawrence University senior co-captain Lanni Piroli had a game-high six points (3g,3a) while junior Brigid Hurley added a game-high five goals, as the Saints defeated Vassar College by the score of 20-8 in Canton on Friday.

The victory moves St. Lawrence to 5-3 in Liberty League play and 8-6 overall, while the Brewers fall to 5-9 (2-6) on the season. Despite the solid effort by the Scarlet and Brown, the team will still need a win tomorrow against Bard and an RIT loss to Union in order to qualify for the 2012 Liberty League Tournament.

St. Lawrence finished with the advantage in shots (34-13), ground balls (20-14) and draw controls (21-9). Sophomore Carly VanTassel also finished with five points on two goals and three assists, while Stephanie O’Rourke and Holly Noyes each had multi-goal outings.

Vassar was led offensively by Sophia Rosetti who had a team-high three goals while Emma Carter added two.

The Saints came out of the gate sharp, scoring the opening three goals in the first 4:38 before Vassar’s Zoe Ripecky made it 3-1. However, each time Vassar would score, the home team would answer, as they built a 6-3 lead with 17:10 to play in the first half.

St. Lawrence would pull away from the Brewers in the latter stages of the first half, as it put together an impressive seven-goal run to take a 13-3 advantage into intermission. Hurley scored three times in the run, while VanTassel, Piroli, O’Rourke and rookie Mackenzie Collins also chipped in to push the cushion to 10.

Though Rosetti scored the first goal of the second half for Vassar to make it 13-4, St. Lawrence rattled off four goals in a span of 4:39 to take a 17-4 lead and put the game away. O’Rourke and Hurley scored, followed by a tally from Kate Higgins and another from co-captain Margie Bailey.

Carter would score consecutive goals for the Brewers, who had their scoring capped by Stephanie Stone and Malena Harrang. Piroli, Abigail Horan and VanTassel would also pick up goals in the final minutes, giving the Saints the 20-8 victory.

Noyes and Bailey each closed with a game-high five draw controls for the home team. Senior co-captain Paige Powell picked up the win in goal for St. Lawrence despite having to make only two saves. Kate Pula suffered the loss in net for Vassar after giving up 12 goals in the first half while making two stops. Heather Kesselman and Hilary McDonnell split time in the second half for the visitors.

St. Lawrence will celebrate its “Senior Day” when the team faces Bard College at 3p.m., while Vassar ends its conference season against Clarkson in Potsdam.

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