April 9, 2013

Women's Lacrosse Falls at Saint Michael's, 16-8

Pair of freshmen score twice each

Dale Dale scored twice on Tuesday afternoon at Saint Michael's.

COLCHESTER, Vt. (April 9, 2013) – Three different Saint Michael's players scored twice in the opening 6:21 on Tuesday afternoon, as the Franklin Pierce University women's lacrosse team fell into an immediate, 6-0 hole from which it would never emerge. Freshman attackers Nicole Beliveau (Westfield, Mass.) and Nicole Dale (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) scored twice each at Duffy Field, but the Ravens were downed, 16-8, by Saint Michael's in Northeast-10 Conference play.

With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 2-6 (1-5 Northeast-10), while Saint Michael's improves to 5-6 (3-5 Northeast-10).

In a sign of things to come on the afternoon, the Ravens lost the first four draw controls, as well as five of the first six, and found themselves in a 6-0 hole before their first offensive possession at Saint Michael's. Junior attacker Crystal King fired the opening salvo for the Purple Knights on a free-position shot just 98 seconds into the contest, giving Saint Michael's a lead it would never relinquish. King and sophomore attackers Courtney Piper and Kate Boyer all scored twice each in the opening 6-0 run.

Beliveau finally stopped the run and got Franklin Pierce on the board at the 8:44 mark, sparking a brief Franklin Pierce run in the opposite direction. The Ravens came up with a defensive stop after losing the ensuing draw control, and Dale converted the resultant possession into her 12th goal of the season to make it 6-2. Franklin Pierce pushed the run as high as 3-0 only 1:09 later, when a midfield turnover resulted in a free-position chance for senior midfielder Courtney Weber (Centerport, N.Y.), who cashed her 14th of the season to cut the gap to 6-3.

However, draw controls would continue to tell the story of the day, as Saint Michael's was on its way to winning 18 of the game's 26 draws. The recurring possessions allowed the Purple Knights to answer with a 3-0 lead of their own and reclaim the six-goal lead at 9-3. Boyer picked up her third of the day on the run. Beliveau scored her second goal of the opening half with 83 seconds to play, cutting the gap to 9-4 at the intermission.

Franklin Pierce cut the deficit to three again, this time at 10-7, by scoring three of the first four goals in the second half. Senior midfielder Lindsey Leach (Hamden, Conn.), sophomore midfielder Madeline Shopshire (Hyannis, Mass.) and Dale all scored -- the latter two on free-position shots -- as the trio worked around an early second-half goal by sophomore midfielder Hannah Beardsley for Saint Michael's.

From there, Saint Michael's took control by scoring the next six goals over a span of nearly 20 minutes to put the game away. Piper found the other two of her goals during the run, while Boyer struck twice more as well. Sophomore attacker Geena Franciosi (South Easton, Mass.) scored for Franklin Pierce with 91 seconds to play to create the 16-8 final.

Through the combination of winning 18 draw controls and forcing 23 Franklin Pierce turnovers, Saint Michael's was able to ring up a 35-20 advantage in shot attempts, as well as an even more telling 26-13 advantage in shots on goal. Though much of the discrepancy lay in the 18-8 draw control advantage, Saint Michael's did commit three fewer turnovers and corral four more ground balls than Franklin Pierce on the afternoon.

The barrage left junior goalkeeper Jacqueline Jolles (Hamden, Conn.) under siege in front of the Franklin Pierce cage, as she mustered just four saves against 13 shots on goal and ultimately took the loss (2-5), before being relieved at halftime. Sophomore Julia Coakley (Bridgewater, Mass.) made six saves against 13 shots on goal in the second half. At the other end, Saint Michael's freshman Casey Curtin was not much more successful, but picked up the win (5-6) by virtue of facing fewer shots; she stopped five of 13 shots on frame on the day.

Neither team was particularly adept at clearing its own end after gaining possession, as Saint Michael's went 12-for-17 on clear attempts (70.6%), compared to 11-for-22 for Franklin Pierce (50%). The Ravens were far more successful than they have been of late in the free-position department, as they turned six attempts into three goals (50%), including two during the early second-half surge. However, Saint Michael's was even better, as it went 5-for-8 on free-position shots (62.5%).

The Ravens return to the field on Thursday, April 11, when they travel to Keene State for a non-conference contest. Game time is set for 4 p.m. at Owl Athletic Complex in Keene, N.H.

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). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce women's lacrosse apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).

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