Women Lacrosse Defeats CCSU

Women’s Lacrosse Team Defeats First Place CCSU

MU women’s lacrosse squad used a total team effort to hand Central Connecticut State their first conference loss of the season, 127 on Kessler Field Thursday, April 5.

The Hawks (49, 32 NEC), which never trailed, opened up an 81 lead in the first half. The Blue Devils (55, 31 NEC), who are off to their best start in program history, scored six second-half goals but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Monmouth offense.

“To me it was a lot about the stats today,” said MU head coach Denise Wescott. We started getting the draw, we got some good looks early. Our defense just shut them down, our assistant coaches’ scouting report was good and that really helped us shut the door.  Our offense pressure and ran our ride as well as we have all year. We eased up a little in the second, we felt a little too confident. We gave up the draws and they capitalized.”

Offensively, the Hawks were led by sophomore Kaleigh Gibbons, who had a career high seven points on five goals and two assists. The MU defense was impressive, forcing CCSU into 14 turnovers. Sabrina Heskins had three ground balls and two caused turnovers while freshman Katie Donohoe backstopped the Hawks with six saves, six ground balls and four caused turnovers.

The Hawks jumped all over the Blue Devils with Gibbons tallying back to back goals in the first 2:38 of the game.  Senior Sam Lillo tallied two straight of her own, giving the Hawks a 40 lead with 14:10 to play. Lynn White added a goal, with Gibbons on the assist before the New Hampshire native scored her third of the first half on a free position goal. Senior Olivia Salata pushed the lead to 70 with 12:22 to play before CCSU’s Betsy Vendel got her squad on the board with 10:52 remaining.  Monmouth’s Sam Savona put MU up 81, scoring with 34 seconds left in the half.

The Blue Devils cut the lead to 83 in the opening minutes of the second frame, prompting a Monmouth timeout. The Hawks rallied and Gibbons scored her fourth marker of the game to break up the CCSU scoring run. The Blue Devils got back to back goals over an eight minute stretch to put the score at 94 but MU answered with consecutive goals from Salata and Gibbons. Central tallied a goal with 4:08 remaining before Lillo tallied her third goal to push the score to 126. CCSU’s Ashley Perkoski scored with four ticks remaining and the Hawks walked off with a five goal victory.

The Hawk defense held Vendel, the league’s sixth ranked point scorer, to one goal on the afternoon. MU outshot the Blue Devils 3420, including a 226 margin in the first half, while owning a 2916 advantage in ground balls.

Gibbons’ set a career high with her five goals and seven points, while going three for three on free position attempts. Lillo had a trio of goals but also had five crucial draw controls in the contest.

PHOTO COURTESY of MU Photography