March 2, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Led by sophomore Jessica Mucci's (Severna Park, Md.) career-high seven points, the Villanova Women's Lacrosse team catapulted their way to an 11-8 victory over Central Connecticut State on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats claimed their first season win at Villanova Stadium and improved to 1-2 with the victory while Central Connecticut fell to 0-3 on the season.
Sophomore Elise Bendinelli (West Chester, Pa.) led the team with three goals while nine Wildcats posted points for the afternoon. In an overall show of dominance, Villanova led nearly every statistical category for the day including a 20-8 advantage in ground balls and a 24-20 advantage in shots.
"Our goal today was to come out and protect our home field and get our first win of the season. We want to continue to build on that momentum going forward," said Head Coach Julie Young following the contest. "It feels great to have that first win. We've been working hard and to make adjustments and it felt good to have that pay off and we want to build upon that for our game on Wednesday against Drexel."
Villanova began the contest with a four-goal run with Bendinelli, Chelsey Henderson (West Long Branch, N.J.), Ali Judge (Annapolis, Md.) and Kelsey Denihan (Manhasset, N.Y.) all notching scores off of feeds from Mucci and Annie Fallon (Shrewsbury, N.J.). With 13:10 left in the first half, CCSU's Claire Healy broke the Blue Devils scoring drought to close the gap at 4-1, but the relentless Wildcat attack rebounded with three more scores from Bendinelli and Mucci to give Villanova a 7-1 advantage at the half.
Central Connecticut seemed to find their rhythm in the second stanza and tallied two quick scores from Elyse Malecki and Amanda Toke to close the gap at 7-3. Less than five minutes later, Villanova freshman Shannon Galvin (Maplewood, N.J.) notched a pair of back-to-back scores off a Mucci assist and a free position goal to increase the VU lead at 9-3 with 18:12 left to play in the contest.
Despite the increased production from the Villanova offense, CCSU rebounded with another pair of goals from Betsy Vendel and Toke to at the 16:11 and 14:00 minute marks to make it 9-5. Another three-goal run with just over eight minutes left in the contest would get the Blue Devils to within two at 10-8 after a Shannon Lane (Annapolis, Md.) score, but the late goal rally wouldn't be enough to find the equalizer.
Villanova's Lane would put the final score up for the day off another Mucci assist to solidify the 11-8 victory for the Wildcats with 5:15 remaining in the contest.
Defensively, senior goalkeeper Amanda Hirschfeld (Timonium, Md.) tallied eight saves in the victory while CCSU's Morgan Tullar posted four stops in the defeat. Junior Ali Brandenburg (Edgewater, Md.) and senior Shawna Giust (Basking Ridge, N.J.) each captured three draw controls on the day while Sarah Moody (Burke, Va.) and Hannah Goforth (Chester Springs, Pa.) led the team with three ground balls and three caused turnovers, respectively.
The Wildcats will be back in action when they make the short trip to Philadelphia, Pa. on Wednesday, March 6th to take on the Drexel Dragons. Game time is slated for 4 p.m. at Vidas Field.