The Monmouth University women’s lacrosse team opened their 2020 season with an 11-5 win over Sacred Heart University on Saturday Feb. 15. This is the second time the team has won their opening game in the last three seasons under head coach Jordan Trautman.
Within the first six minutes of the match, Monmouth was leading 3-0 over Sacred Heart. Junior attacker Caroline Bleck scored the first goal for the Hawks just two minutes into the first half to put Monmouth on top 1-0. Freshman midfielder Maddie Murphy executed a free position shot which awarded Monmouth another goal about one minute after Bleck’s, followed by senior attacker Nicole Ceraso assisting fellow senior attacker Allison Turturro in scoring the third goal.
Sacred Heart got on the board due to junior midfielder Anna Mesham scoring off an assist from freshman midfielder teammate Emma Kittredge. This advanced the Pioneers to 3-1 trailing Monmouth, and was Meshman’s first career goal.
Shortly after Sacred Heart found the back of the net, Monmouth responded with another three goal run in the span of about six minutes. Ceraso scored again off a free position shot followed by a goal carried out by senior attacker Sarah Gillogly, and with an assist from Ceraso to senior midfielder Rachel Mills the Hawks were up three more shots over the Pioneers.
Kerri Metzler, Sacred Heart senior attacker, interrupted Monmouth’s scoring streak with a goal for the Pioneers to put them up 6-2.
With just six seconds left in the first half, Ceraso scored yet again on a free position shot to send Monmouth into halftime up 7-2 over Sacred Heart.
Entering the second half of the match, Sacred Heart brought the momentum with a goal within the first four minutes scored by Cesaro assisted by freshman midfielder Mikala Eacrett. However, the Hawks countered with yet another three goal streak in a ten minute time span. Bleck scored the first goal, followed by Mills scoring due to an assist by Ceraso who went on to score the third goal to advance Monmouth to 10-3.
Cesaro carried her momentum from the beginning of the half to break Monmouth’s streak with goal four and five for Sacred Heart, completing her hat trick and making the score 10-5. Despite the efforts the Pioneers put forth, it was not enough to compete against the Hawks’ offense, and thanks to Ceraso assisting Gillogly in scoring the final goal Monmouth walked away with an 11-5 home opening win.
Throughout the match, Monmouth outshot Sacred Heart 40-17, and 22-7 in the first half. This game was fifth year goal keeper, Stephanie Delliturri’s first start for the Hawks in goal and ended with her first win.
“Steph [Dellituri] was awesome today. I thought she stepped up like a fifth-year and she made some big stops for us,” said Trautman. “She cleared the ball well, she did her job and then I think she did some extra things to make her game extra special today.”
Monmouth currently leads the all-time series 17-13 and Cesaro, who already leads Monmouth’s women’s lacrosse program with career assists, added four more to her record after this matchup.
“Obviously, it is exciting to start the season with a win,” said Trautman. “We did some good stuff on both ends of the field but we need to clean up some things for our next game on Wednesday. I’m happy to get the ball rolling with a win.”
On Wednesday Feb. 19, the Hawks will welcome another Northeast Conference school, Long Island University, with opening draw set for 2:00 p.m.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics