Springfield, Mass. – April 8, 2014 - A pair of seven-point performance’s from sophomore midfielder Connie Nielsen (Sayville, N.Y.) and senior attack Kelly Gallo (Westfield, Mass.) helped pace the Springfield College women’s lacrosse team to a convincing 17-3 victory over the Smith College Pioneers on Tuesday evening at Stagg Field.
With the win, the Pride even their record at 6-6, and improve to 3-1 in New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play. With the loss, however, the Pioneers fall to 1-11 overall and 0-4 in conference play.
At a disadvantage due to injury, the Pioneers were forced to play with 10 field players, one less than the regulated 11. The Pride ousted Smith in the ground ball battle, picking up 13 to the Pioneers nine. The Pride also accumulated 39 shots over the course of the game, with Smith goalkeeper Merric Kallfelz (North Easton, Mass.) finishing the contest with 12 saves.
Gallo opened up the game scoring back-to-back goals to give the Pride a 2-0 advantage. Just minutes later, sophomore Nielsen found classmate Heather Raniolo (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) on the crease to push Springfield’s lead to three.
At the 27:51 mark of the first half, Jessica Lillquist (East Lyme, Conn.) dodged through a pair of Pride defenders and beat Springfield goalkeeper Anne Versprille (Franklin, Mass.) to get the Pioneers on the board.
Springfield played a combination of three goalkeepers, each making three saves, as senior Versprille picked up her sixth victory of the season. Carley Elkin (Guilford, Conn.) played a flawless game, not allowing a goal, while Gabriella Anderson (Mahopac, N.Y.) closed out the game making a pair of crucial point-blank saves.
After receiving two more goals from Gallo and one from Nielsen, the Pride displayed precise ball movement which resulted in Colleen Keeley (Agawam, Mass.) finding senior Emily Fowler (Branford, Conn.) with an open net goal to give the Pride a 7-1 edge.
Following a goal from Anne Zawacki (Ponte Verda Beach, Fla.), the Pioneers then surrendered two more strikes to both Nielsen and Gallo with Raniolo adding her second of the game to end the first half 12-2 in Springfield’s favor.
Opening the second half, junior Jennifer McDonough (Holbrook, N.Y.) capitalized on a free-position chance followed by an inside finish from Emily Rodgers (Durham, N.H.) to extend the Pride’s lead to 14-2.
After a goal from Fowler at the 18:44 mark, Raniolo picked up a rebound off of a shot from Paige Campbell (Lakeville, Mass.) and bounced it past Kallfelz to give the Pride a 16-2 lead.
With 7:25 remaining in the contest, junior Michelle Dorsey (Wilbraham, Mass.) tallied her first goal of the game, followed by a score from Zawacki to finalize the score at 17-3.
The Pride will be back in action on Saturday, April 12, when they will host conference-foe Mount Holyoke. The game is set to begin at 1 p.m.