PHILADELPHIA, PA. 4/22/2018 – The Saint Joseph’s Hawks women’s lacrosse team moves along taking a 16 – 9 won over the Patriots of George Mason on Senior Day on Sweeney Field. The Hawks improve to 10 – 6 overall and 6 – 2 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. SJU holds third place in the league, a game behind second place Richmond. GMU came into the contest one-game back, so the win for the Hawks in a big spot and an emotional game was important.
The team got off to a good start jumping out to a 3 – 0 first half lead on goals by Bridget Cerciello, Stephanie Kelly, and Sinead Brierley within the first nine minutes of play. It was a good sign for SJU Coach Alex Kahoe.
“It’s always important for us to come out strong,” Kahoe said. “We talk about having each other’s back and coming out hard on the whistle. That built momentum for us.”
However, George Mason stormed right back to score three times with just under 16 minutes to play in the opening stanza. Saint Joe’s answered on a goal by Francesca Donato, her 33rd of the season at 14:29. The Hawks scored the next four to take a 7 – 3 lead into halftime, and stayed in front the rest of the way and showed how resilient this team can be.
“George Mason is a great team, but we are resilient and fought back hard and maintained the lead,” said Kahoe.
The teams traded flurries in the second half. Saint Joe’s would put the game under control with three straight scores by Aly Gormley, Laura Lasprogata, and the second of the game by Donato, who has a team-leading 34 goals for the season, to lead 14 – 8 at the 7:46 mark.
Sam McGee and Rebecca Lane led the Hawks with three goals each. Erin Donoghue of Mason led all scorers find the back of the net four times.
It was a strong defensive effort holding Mason to under 10 markers. Goal Keeper Liz O’Sullivan made 9 saves. Amelia Diebler registered one save. As a team the Patriots had 26 shots while the Hawks had 30.
“When you hold team to nine goals, that’s a good day,” the Saint Joe’s Coach said. “Our team caused a lot of turnovers (20), played tough, and secured the win.”
The Saint Joseph’s winning streak extends to five games. The Hawks end the regular season on the road against city rival La Salle on Saturday. Nothing has been decided yet, and the focus is on the Explorers, who are fighting for a conference championships spot. However, SJU will be in the Atlantic 10 Championships and could be a dangerous squad in Richmond.
“We haven’t played our best lacrosse yet, and that is putting everything in place at the right time,” Kahoe said. “We’re still peaking and are excited for what’s to come,.”
It was Senior Day on Hawk Hill. Prior to the game seniors; Dana Garbinski, Aly Gormley, Morgan Lamey, Kristen Kelbon, Kate Payne, Juliana Strazulo, and Catie Vivian along graduate students Amelia Diebler and Liz O’Sullivan were honored after the game.
“Senior Day is a special day,” Kahoe said. “Our team came out strong. It added a little something for the seniors and made it that much more special. Having a win adds to the special occasion.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian