FRANKLIN, Mass. – Freshman midfielder Jenna Banta (Montville, Conn.) netted nine goals to power the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) past the Dean College (DC) Bulldogs, 19-2, in non-conference women's lacrosse action on Grant Field Monday afternoon. The win marks the first of the 2019 season for the Blue Jays as they improve to 1-2 overall, while Dean slips to 0-3.
The Blue Jays picked up their first win of the season in dominating fashion in large part to the play of Banta whose nine goals mark the most in a single game since Rose St. Hilaire potted a single game record of 11 back in 2016 in a win over Southern Vermont. Banta's nine goals are the second most in a single game in USJ women's lacrosse history.
Junior Charlotte Eberhardt (Thomaston, Conn.) also posted a hat trick on the afternoon finishing with four goals and an assist to contribute to USJ's high-powered offensive attack against the Bulldogs, while freshman Silvana Barcomb (Middletown, Conn.) made six saves between the pipes to record her first collegiate victory in goal.
Eberhardt got things started for the visitors finding the back of the net just 57 seconds into the match and the Blue Jays would never look back. Banta followed with back-to-back goals and just like that USJ was out to an early, 3-0, lead.
Dean would answer with its first goal with 13:58 remaining in the opening half on a strike from sophomore Genesis Johnson (Bridgeport, Conn.) to trim the gap to 3-1. However, the tandem of Eberhardt and Banta went back to work as they each deposited another goal to push the USJ lead up to 5-1.
A free position goal by DC's sophomore Lauryn Wilks (Hartford, Conn.) kept the Bulldogs within striking distance (5-2) with under six minutes left in the first half, but the Blue Jays tightened up defensively and wouldn't allow another goal for the remainder of the match.
Banta followed by netting her fourth and fifth goals of the game within a 30-second span and then freshman Taya Valdez (East Lyme, Conn.) converted on a free position shot to send the Blue Jays into the halftime intermission ahead, 8-2.
Goals by senior Annmarie Masayda (Watertown, Conn.) and sophomore Symantha Fazzino (Newington, Conn.) to start the second half were followed by more goals from Eberhardt (2) and Banta (3), giving USJ a commanding, 15-2, lead with 15 minutes to play.
Freshman Andrea Pezzullo (Ashaway, R.I.) found the back of the net for her first collegiate goal with just over 10 minutes left in regulation and Valdez, Banta, and Fazzino each added one more to conclude the scoring for the Blue Jays and account for the, 19-2, final margin.
The Blue Jays held the Bulldogs scoreless for the final 35:25 of the game and scored 14 unanswered goals to walk away with the victory. Six different USJ players scored during the run.
Draw controls were even at 11 for each team but the Blue Jays held a substantial 51-13 edge in total shots, including 36-8 in shots on goal.
The USJ women's lacrosse team will be back in action next on Wednesday, March 13 when they travel to intrastate and GNAC rival Albertus Magnus College. The opening draw between the Blue Jays and Falcons is slated for 12:00 p.m.