WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — The University of Saint Joseph lacrosse team dropped a Great Northeast Athletic Conference decision to the Rivier University Raiders, 17-2, on Senior Day Saturday at the USJ Lacrosse Field. The loss drops the Blue Jays to 3-6 overall on the season and 0-6 in GNAC play. Rivier improves to 4-10 overall and 2-5 in the league after the triumph. Prior to the contest, USJ honored its two seniors Mary Lam (Newington, Conn.) and Vicky Thai (West Hartford, Conn.) along with junior study abroad student Febe Verkerk (Cuijk, Netherlands).
The Raiders were in control of the pace of play throughout the entire game. Freshman Alyssa Ciszek (Tyngsboro, Mass.) got things started for the visitors, finding the back of the net twice in the opening 10 minutes of action for an early 2-0 lead. Rivier kept USJ off the scoreboard in the first half en route to taking a 7-0 advantage into halftime. Ciszek and sophomore Ashley Leal (Tyngsboro, Mass.) each scored twice for Rivier in the first half.
Rivier picked up right where it left off in the second half with six more unanswered goals to build an insurmountable 13-0 lead. Freshman Sally Kennedy (Billerica, Mass.), senior Jane Farrell (Wilmington, Mass.) and Leal each netted a pair of goals to start the period and extend the run.
Junior Hannah Lemek (Bristol, Conn.) ended the drought for the Blue Jays with 14:29 left on the clock in regulation with her team-leading 24th goal of the season to make it 13-1 before freshman Charlotte Eberhardt (Thomaston, Conn.) followed and scored for the fifth-straight game just over five minutes later to pull USJ within 13-2.
However, four unanswered goals by the visitors to close the game, including a pair from freshman Amanda Barton (Pelham, N.H.), would account for the 17-2 final decision and drop the Blue Jays.
Rivier held a slight edge in draw controls, 11-9, led by junior Lauren Goodspeed (Merrimack, N.H.) who finished with four, while Lemek posted a game-high five for USJ.
Junior goalkeeper Emily Bourassa (Bristol, Conn.) suffered the loss between the pipes for the Blue Jays and falls to 3-6 overall on the season despite making 19 saves, including 14 in the first half. She also held Rivier to just 4-of-12 shooting on free position shot attempts. Sophomore Courtney Laperriere (Keene, N.H.) picked up the win for Rivier and made four stops.
The USJ lacrosse team will be back in action next on Monday, April 24 when they travel to Elms College for a 4 p.m. showdown with the Blazers on Timothy J. Leary Field.