Bennington, VT–A strong second half by the visiting Sage Colleges Gators led to Southern Vermont College getting clipped 16-13 Thursday afternoon in a non-conference women's lacrosse battle at Everett Field. With the win, Sage ties the program's mark for most wins in a season as they are now 4-6. The Gators have now achieved four wins on three separate occasions (2013 and 2014). SVC drops to 2-8 on the year.
SVC took a 9-7 edge into the halftime break, but Sage was able to outscore the Mountaineers by five in the final 30 minutes to pull ahead for the win.
Sage's junior captain Monica Koralus (Verbank, NY/Millbrook) registered three goals, four draw controls and three ground balls in the contest. She now holds every Sage career scoring mark as she has 93 career goals, 32 assists, and 125 points. She also leads the 2016 lineup with her impressive 44 goals and 11 assists, good enough for 55 points.
Mountaineer junior captain Mel Orrell (Gloucester, Mass.) led the hosts with team-highs of six goals and six draw controls while adding game-bests of eight ground balls and four caused turnovers to her line. Freshman Hailee Walker (Cohoes, N.Y.) had four goals and two ground balls on the day while junior captain Lauren Nesshoever (Chittenden, Vt.) chalked up two goals and two ground balls. Sophomore Paige Vitale (Greenville, N.Y.) tallied a goal and an assist in the effort.
Gator senior Nicole Maher (Glen Cove, NY/Saint Dominic) deposited a game-best seven goals in the win, adding an assist and a match-high eight draw controls. Koralus registered three goals, four draw controls and three ground balls, and sophomore Ellen Abbott (East Greenbush, NY/Columbia) notched two goals, four ground balls, two draw controls and an assist.
Sage junior captain and goalie Jackie St. Pierre (Averill Park, NY/Averill Park) made 15 saves in net for the win (4-6) while Mountaineer freshman goaltender Sydnee Julian (Mexico, N.Y.) stopped 10 Gator shots in the defeat (1-5).
Southern Vermont committed 19 turnovers to Sage's 24 as the visitors took a 17-14 edge in draw controls. The Gators also reeled in a 24-21 advantage in ground balls while scoring five free-position goals to SVC's six.
The Mountaineers got on the board first just two minutes into the game as Walker took a free-position opportunity and wrapped around the back of the net, popping out from the left side before firing a high shot into the top-left corner of the frame. Koralus got it right back less than a minute later, coming from behind the right side of the goal and shoveling a back-handed shot into the lower part of the net as the back-and-forth battle took off.
Nesshoever put home her first of the day on a free-position shot at the 23:30 mark, but Sage then took control as the Gators scored five unanswered goals to go up 6-2. Koralus started that run with a free-position goal, and Maher then got on the scoresheet when she grabbed a pass near her own restraining line and took it all the way down the field before bouncing a low shot around the SVC keeper.
After Abbott got her first to go on a free-position shot at the 18:30 mark of the first, Maher snagged the ensuing draw control and weaved through the Mountaineer defense before slotting it into the back of the cage just 15 seconds later. Abbott capped the Gator run with the visitors' third free-position goal of the game, but the four-score lead would not last for long as Southern Vermont stormed back.
SVC closed out the first half on a 7-1 surge, netting the first five goals of that stretch in a span of just under five minutes. Walker got her second of the day on a free-position shot, and Orrell then took the subsequent draw control and carried it all the way to goal, splitting the Sage defenders before firing a shot across the frame and into the top-left corner.
Orrell sent home a hopping free-position attempt with 13:07 left to go in the half, and Nesshoever then tied it 37 seconds later after taking a pass from Vitale and making a nice spin move in front of the net to open up her shooting lane. Vitale put her team on top just 35 seconds after that, taking the ball left of the goal and popping back out in front as she beat the Gator keeper with her third goal of the year.
Maher got the hat-trick to even things at 7-7 shortly thereafter on another free-position shot, but Southern Vermont was able to tally the final two goals of the period for the halftime lead. Walker scored her third of the day on a free-position opportunity with 7:12 to go, and Orrell then made it a 9-7 game when she danced around her defender, bounced to the right side and slotted a 15-yard shot to the left side of the keeper.
The Gators came out of the intermission on a strong foot, regaining the upper hand with a 6-1 run through the first 15:06 of the second half. Sage sophomore Martine Ianniello (Havre de Grace, MD/Havre de Grace) registered the first of the stanza just 16 seconds in, her 12th of the season being assisted by Maher. Koralus then fed junior Savannah Mason (Wynantskill, NY/Averill Park) for her second of the year, and Maher would score a man-up goal at the 23:23 mark to put Sage ahead 10-9.
Orrell would tie it up right away as she took a restart behind the Gators' restraining line, swooped around the Sage defenders and put a left-handed shot into the back of the net. The visitors would rattle off the next three, however, taking a lead they would hold the rest of the way. Ianniello got the first of that spurt, taking a pass from Abbott on the left side and shooting it right away into the goal for her 13th of the year.
Maher then caught the ball and brought it all the way down the right side before ripping home her fifth of the day with Sage on the man-up advantage, and Koralus followed with a free-position goal, her 44th tally of 2016 putting the Gators on top 13-10 with 14:54 remaining.
After Walker scored her fourth of the contest on a free-position opportunity, SVC junior captain Emily Lesure (Cheshire, Mass.) sent a pass in from the left side to an open Orrell in front of the cage; Orrell was able to beat the goalie and get it to a one-goal game. That would be the closest the Mountaineers got, however, as Sage closed out the day on a 4-1 spurt. Freshman Michaela DeRuzzio (Hudson, NY/Taconic Hills) got the first of that run as she sent a perfectly-placed shot from a marginal angle on the right side into the Southern Vermont goal.
Maher then pushed it back to a three-goal game 15 seconds later, taking the draw control and going all the way to net to put her team up 15-12 with 7:00 on the clock. That score was maintained until Orrell bounced home her 32nd goal of the season on a free-position shot from the left edge of the fan, but Maher answered only 10 ticks after with her 18th of the year, reaching up to snag the ensuing draw control and speeding to the net for the insurance tally. SVC would be unable to inch any closer down the stretch as Sage closed out the win.
Sage will be back in action on April 16 hosting St. Joseph's College – LI in a noon Skyline Conference match-up at Watervliet H.S.