March 24, 2012

Weber, Shopshire Propel Women’s Lacrosse Past AIC, 12-9

Bolduc makes 10 saves

Bolduc Bolduc turned aside over half of the shots on target at her end of the field in Saturday's win over AIC.

RINDGE, N.H. (March 24, 2012) – Junior midfielder Courtney Weber (Centerport, N.Y.) poured in five goals and added an assist for six points, while freshman attacker Madeline Shopshire (Hyannis, Mass.) added six points of her own on three goals and three assists on Saturday afternoon to lead the Franklin Pierce University women's lacrosse team to a 12-9 win over American International in the Northeast-10 Conference opener at Sodexo Field. Senior sisters Ashleigh and Courtney Szawlowski led AIC with four points each on three goals and an assist.

With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 3-1 (1-0 Northeast-10), while American International falls to 1-4 (1-2 Northeast-10).

After the two teams netted a pair of goals each in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Ravens rattled off the final seven goals of the first half to take a 9-2 lead into the intermission, which appeared to give them control of the contest. Weber put away her eighth and ninth goals of the season to kick-start the run, and added an assist later, while Shopshire figured on three of the seven as well, with a goal and two assists. Junior attacker Melissa Richtel (Castle Rock, Colo.) collected her third and fourth goals of the season during the spurt.

However, the second half was a different story, as the Yellow Jackets nearly rallied all the way back from the seven-goal deficit. The Szawlowski duo picked up the first three goals of the half over just 8:27 to close the gap to 7-5. In all, AIC would score five of the first six goals of the second period over 13:44, capped by Courtney Szawlowski's 15th of the season, which pulled AIC within one at 8-7 with 16:16 to play.

From there, Franklin Pierce picked up the next three goals, including two more from Weber to stretch the lead back to 11-7 with 6:34 to play. Courtney Szawlowski made it a three-goal game with 2:35 to play, but with 92 seconds remaining, senior defender Kim Jaksina (Townsend, Mass.) found freshman attacker Geena Franciosi (South Easton, Mass.) for the latter's first career goal to effectively put the game out of reach.

Behind Shopshire and Weber for Franklin Pierce, no other Raven would collect more than three points, though Richtel (2-1-3) and senior attacker Brianna Nash (Oceanside, N.Y.) (1-2-3) finished with three each. On the other side of the ball, junior midfielder Lindsey Leach (Hamden, Conn.) corralled a team-best four ground balls, while Jaksina and fellow senior defender Kristen Norton (Sandown, N.H.) picked up three each. Both Norton and Shopshire forced three AIC turnovers. Senior midfielder Christine McKay (Norwood, Mass.) was pivotal in establishing possession for the Ravens, as she tracked down five draw controls on the afternoon.

After the two four-point Szawlowski efforts for AIC, their younger sister, junior midfielder Bridget (2-0-2), and freshman attacker Whitney McKay (0-2-2) were the only other Yellow Jackets to record multiple points. Defensively, junior midfielder Lisa Duckles led the way with a game-high five ground balls, and also led the team by forcing three Franklin Pierce turnovers.

Senior goalkeeper Jillian Bolduc (Atkinson, N.H.) stopped 10 of the 19 shots on her cage, including back-to-back key saves with around six minutes to play, while the Ravens were staving off the second-half rally, to pick up the win (3-0) in front of the net for Franklin Pierce. Sophomore Nicole Sawula made 10 saves against 22 shots on goal and took the loss (1-4) between the pipes for American International.

The teams finished the afternoon dead even in both shot attempts (27-27) and ground balls (22-22), while Franklin Pierce held the edge in draw controls, 13-10. Franklin Pierce was successful on 14 of its 20 clear attempts (70%) and went 1-for-6 on free-position shots (16.7%). American International went 11-for-19 on clear attempts (57.9%) and 3-for-5 on free-position opportunities (60%).

The Ravens returns to the field on Tuesday, March 27, when they remain home to face Saint Michael's in a Northeast-10 Conference contest. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Sodexo Field.

For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics).

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