March 3, 2014

After Strong First Half, Women’s Lacrosse Uses Late Rally to Stave Off Bridgeport, 11-10, to Open Season

Shopshire (5-0-5), Beville (3-2-5) notch five points each

Shopshire Shopshire poured in five goals on Monday afternoon, including a late game-tying goal to kickstart a dramatic Ravens rally at Bridgeport.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (March 3, 2014) – Facing a 10-9 deficit after leading much of the afternoon, junior attack Madeline Shopshire (Hyannis, Mass.) put away her fifth goal of the day with 4:26 to play to bring the Franklin Pierce University women's lacrosse team even with Bridgeport in non-conference play at Knights Field on Monday afternoon. The goal set the stage for fellow junior attack Megan Raposa (Tiverton, R.I.), who finished off a free-position chance with 90 seconds to play as the Ravens rebounded and pulled out an 11-10 victory in their season opener after letting a five-goal halftime lead slip away.

With the win, Franklin Pierce opens the season at 1-0 (0-0 Northeast-10), while Bridgeport falls to 0-3 (0-0 East Coast).

Bridgeport opened the game by scoring three of the afternoon's first four goals over a span of 5:35. Junior midfielder Gabrielle Valela factored in on all three scores with two goals and an assist, the first three of her four points (3-1-4) on the day. In a sign of what was to come over the next five minutes, sophomore midfielder Lauren Beville (Jamesville, N.Y.) had the lone early goal for Franklin Pierce.

From there, it was almost all Ravens over the remaining 24:25 of the first half, as they scored eight of the next nine goals to take a 9-4 lead into the break. Beville figured in on three straight goals in 5:02 after the second Valela goal, as she scored once on either side of setting up a goal for sophomore attack Nicole Dale (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.). Beville would finish with five points on the day (3-2-5), as she later added an assist on the Shopshire goal which started the late rally.

Dale added another goal later in the run, while Shopshire put away the first four of her goals, including two free-position goals, the latter of which came just two seconds before halftime. Valela capped her scoring on the day with the lone Bridgeport goal amid the Franklin Pierce outburst.

Bridgeport surged coming out of the halftime break and rattled off the second half's first six goals over a span of 20:57 to storm to a 10-9 lead. The goals came in two separate spurts, with three goals over 4:55 early in the half and three more in a stretch of 2:59 spanning the midpoint of the period. Five different Knights found the back of the net in the run, with junior Alexia Costa contributing twice.

The Franklin Pierce bench twice tried to short-circuit the Bridgeport attack, to no avail. First, the team called a timeout after Costa's first goal cut the gap to 9-7 with 19:37 to play. Just over five minutes later, when junior midfielder Emily Catalano made it 9-8 with 12:02 to play, senior starting goalkeeper Jacqueline Jolles (Hamden, Conn.) was lifted in favor of junior Julia Coakley (Bridgewater, Mass.), who played the rest of the way.

Costa scored again with 10:23 remaining to level the game at 9-9, before freshman defender Lauren Mengel capped the comeback to give Bridgeport a 10-9 lead with 9:03 to play. Franklin Pierce was able to mount an attack to stop the run from there, setting up the dramatic final five minutes where Shopshire scored her fifth goal of the game and Raposa put away her first career game-winning goal.

Jolles finished her outing with five saves against 13 shots on goal over 47:58 in net for Franklin Pierce. Over the final 12:02, Coakley made one stop against three shots and ultimately was credited with the win (1-0). At the other end, sophomore Megan Carney made 10 saves against 21 shots on her net and took the loss (0-3) for Bridgeport.

The Ravens return to the field on Saturday, March 8, when they hold their first home game of 2014 by hosting Keene State in a non-conference contest. Game time is set for 11 a.m. at Sodexo Field in Rindge.

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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