CHICOPEE, Mass. – The University of Saint Joseph lacrosse team suffered a 21-5 setback on the road in a non-conference showdown with the Elms College Blazers at Leary Field Monday afternoon. The loss is the fourth-straight for the Blue Jays and drops them to 3-7 overall on the season, while the Blazers improve to 11-2 with the victory.
The Blazers wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as senior Kathleen Tuechler (Farmingdale, N.Y.) scored off a pass from sophomore Vanessa Vurno (Salem, Conn.) just over a minute into play. St. Joseph quickly answered though, to draw the game even, 1-1, when junior attack Hannah Lemek (Bristol, Conn.) found the back of the net for the Blue Jays off a pass from freshman Devin Godbout (Willimantic, Conn.) at the 27:41 mark of the first period.
Vurno and freshman Haley Richard (Monson, Mass.) hooked up just over 30 seconds later to ignite a 13-0 run for the Blazers over the next 22 minutes. Tuechler then sandwiched a pair of goals around another tally from Richard to push the lead to 5-1. After Richard and junior Jackie Soucia (Belchertown, Mass.) found the back of the net, freshman Janis Christian (Westfield, Mass.) scored five of the next six goals for Elms to escort the lead to 13-1.
Following a goal from Elms junior Lindsey McNiff (Kingston, Mass.), Blue Jays freshman Charlotte Eberhardt (Thomaston, Conn.) tickled the twin for the sixth consecutive game and halted the Blazers run to set the score at 14-2 at the half.
Lemek opened the second-half scoring for USJ with a free-position strike at the 28:20 mark to draw the visitors within 14-3. However, juniors Arianna Santiago-Sullivan (Willimantic, Conn.) and Madison Crawford (Bennington, Vt.) potted the first of seven goals for the Blazers in the final frame. Following an unassisted goal from USJ senior Vicky Thai (West Hartford, Conn.) with just over 20 minutes left tin regulation, Elms rattled off five straight goals, featuring tallies from freshmen Kelly Scianna (Milford, Conn.) and Kaila Abrams (Westfield, Mass.) en route to the 21-5 victory.
Christian fueled the Blazers offense with five goals, while Soucia and Richard added three goals and an assist each. Vurno logged seven assists, while Tuechler, McNiff and Santiago-Sullivan scored two goals apiece. Lemek netted three goals for the Blue Jays, while Thai and Eberhardt notched one goal apiece in the loss.
The Blazers controlled the shot column, 33-11, and the draw control battle, 20-7, during the game. Elms senior Meeghan O'Connor (Fall River, Mass.) made five saves in the win, while Blue Jays junior net minder Emily Bourassa (Bristol, Conn.) stopped a game-high eight shots.
The USJ lacrosse team returns to action next when it travels to Lasell College for a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) contest Wednesday at 4 p.m.