Descalzo scores five, Bulldogs top SHU

Photo by Gretchen McMahon
Photo by Gretchen McMahon


SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Freshman attack Lauren Descalzo (Hauppauge, N.Y.) scored a career-high five goals while the Bryant University women's lacrosse team saw three players net hat tricks in a 17-9 victory over Sacred Heart Saturday afternoon at the Bryant Turf Complex.

Descalzo's five goals included a natural hat trick midway through the first half that was part of an eight-goal run for the Bulldogs (6-4, 3-1 Northeast Conference), stretching the hosts lead to 10-1. The Pioneers (2-7, 1-2) got back on the board for the second time and first time since the game's opening minutes with 22 seconds to go in the frame, but the Black and Gold would take a 10-2 edge into the intermission.

That would prove to be all the scoring the Bulldogs would need, but the Bryant offense was far from done. Still, it was Sacred Heart who stole the momentum to open the second stanza, with two Shelby Vaccaro tallies in the first four minutes to cut Bryant's lead to 10-4 with 26:35 left in the game.

Descalzo and sophomore Shannon Burns (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) would equalize those scores, though, and while Taylor Babin and Emily Pepe made it 12-6 with goals just 50 seconds apart, the Bulldogs would outscore their visitors, 5-3, through the remainder of the contest for the 17-9 final.

Junior attack Haley Bloom (Hauppauge, N.Y.) scored her third hat trick of the season and added a pair of assists to tie Descalzo with five points on the day. Burns also netted a trio of goals in the outing, while rookie Morgan LaBarbera (New Fairfield, Conn.) and junior leading scorer Lisa Vendel (Sandy Hook, Conn.) each tallied a pair in the win.

Junior netminder Brianna Watt (Babylon, N.Y.) made eight stops in 60 minutes of action between the pipes, while her Pioneer counterpart made six saves on 33 Bulldog shots. The Black and Gold went 7-for-9 on free position shots on the day and picked up 18 ground balls to Sacred Heart's 11.

The Bulldogs limited their turnovers to just seven and forced nine of the Pioneers' 14 total giveaways. Sacred Heart owned the draw, though, winning 19 draw controls – seven of them from Samantha Villafranca – to Bryant's nine.

The Pioneers saw just three goal scorers on the day, but got a game-best six scores from Vaccaro and two more from Emily Pepe.

The Bulldogs return to action Friday, April 5 when they host Central Connecticut at 7 p.m. at the Bryant Turf Complex.