WLAX earns big win over Robert Morris Friday in Smithfield

Photo by Gretchen McMahon
Photo by Gretchen McMahon

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Behind goals from eight different scorers, the Bryant University women's lacrosse team trounced Robert Morris, 17-9, Friday afternoon at the Bryant Turf Complex.

With the win, the Bulldogs (9-3, 3-0 Northeast Conference) now sit alone atop the NEC standings as the only undefeated team remaining, while the Colonials (8-4, 2-1 NEC) suffer their first conference loss of the 2014 season.

"This was really our first complete game all season," said Bryant head coach Jill DePetris-Batcheller. "Both on the offensive and defensive end, it was a true all-around, team effort."

After falling behind 3-0 five minutes into the contest, Bryant responded in a big way scoring the next nine goals, including three from both Lauren Descalzo (Hauppauge, N.Y.) and Haley Bloom (Hauppauge, N.Y.), to open up a 9-3 margin over the visitors. Just before the half, Robert Morris put in three more tallies to bring themselves within three, 9-6.

"After they scored the first there goals I was very proud of the way we were able to respond," added DePetris-Batcheller. "The energy totally changed and we began being more aggressive and playing smarter on the offensive end."

Whatever momentum the Colonials hoped their late push at the end of the first half would bring them was quickly thwarted by the Black and Gold as a pair of Katherine Keckeisen (Danbury, Conn.) goals and scores from both Lisa Vendel (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and Olivia McCarthy (Sea Grit, N.J.) boosted the Bryant lead back to seven, 13-6, with just over 20 minutes left to play.

RMU's Jessica Rutherford eventually stopped the skein with her first goal of the contest at the 17:52 mark but the relentless Bulldog attack quickly responded with goals from Vendel, Descalzo and Kimberley Sniffen (Redding, Conn.), widening the margin to nine, 16-7.

The final 12 minutes saw a pair of goals from the Colonials and Vendel's third of the afternoon but the hard-nosed Bryant backline kept Robert Morris's talented attack in check from start to finish en route to the 17-9 victory.

"It was important that we were able to come out today with a win against a very strong team," stated DePetris-Batcheller. "Robert Morris is one of the best defensive teams in the league, but we did a terrific job working the ball and finding the holes making for a lot of quality possessions."

Descalzo led the way offensively netting four goals and adding an assist, while Bloom finished with three tallies and a pair of helpers. Vendel rounded out the Bryant hat tricks with three scores of her own with Sniffen and Keckeisen each adding a pair of goals on the day.

Senior goalkeeper Brianna Watt (Babylon, N.Y.) put together another solid performance between the pipes making six saves in her third-straight win of the year.

Looking ahead, the Bulldogs will wrap up their homestand on Sunday when they do battle with Saint Francis U. at noon at the Bryant Turf Complex.