Women's Lacrosse: Defense Sacks Worcester in Warriors' Non-Conference Home Victory

Junior Allison Nadeau (white jersey) races past Worcester State's Kelly Austin in the first half of Eastern's 16-6 non-conference victory Tuesday evening at the Mansfield Athletic Complex. Nadeau had six ground balls and won three draws as the Warriors stopped a two-game losing streak.
Junior Allison Nadeau (white jersey) races past Worcester State's Kelly Austin in the first half of Eastern's 16-6 non-conference victory Tuesday evening at the Mansfield Athletic Complex. Nadeau had six ground balls and won three draws as the Warriors stopped a two-game losing streak.
MANSFIELD, Conn. – Senior midfielders Caroline Regan (Niantic) and Paige Schneider (East Lyme), and junior defender Allison Nadeau (Tolland) combined to pick up 18 ground balls as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's lacrosse team forced a season-high 33 opposing turnovers in a 16-6 non-conference win over Worcester State University Tuesday evening at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Eastern (7-3) won four draws and 15 Worcester (1-6) turnovers helped the Warriors score the first seven goals of the match over the first 16 minutes of action, and after the Lancers answered with the final three goals of the half to slice the Eastern lead to four, Eastern countered with the first seven goals of the second half to pull away.

The ten-goal differential is the largest in the four-game series between the clubs, with the first three contests being decided by a total of six goals. The Warriors won the second in a row in the series after Worcester captured the first two.

Worcester's 33 turnovers and Eastern's season-high total of 30 ground balls helped limit the visitors to just 19 shots. Regan  led players on both teams with seven ground balls, Nadeau collecting six and Schneider adding five. Off the bench, freshman  attack Alyssa Powers (Ellington) chipped in four ground balls to go along with three goals.

The Warriors won 14 of 23 draws, Schneider, Regan and Nadeau combining for ten.

Sophomore attack Michelina Pinto (Groton) led both teams with five goals, Schneider scoring the first three goals of the match in less than five minutes and finishing with four. Junior attack Katie Burke (South Windsor) led players on both team with four assists and also contributed two goals.

Instrumental when the Warriors struck for the first seven goals of the second that that allowed them to re-gain the momentum were Pinto (three goals) and Burke (two goals, one assist). Senior defender Taylor Pendergast (South Windsor) also recorded her first assist of the year on Pinto's first goal in that run.

At left: Eastern's Allison Nadeau, Paige Schneider and Devyne Doran (left to right in white jerseys) contest this first-half draw in Tuesday's 16-6 home win over Worcester State. Nadeau eventually won this draw, helping the Warriors to a 14-9 advantage in that category in the match.

Eastern senior Taylor Emmerson (Colchester) gave up only three goals and was called on for only four saves in goal over the first 48 minutes, with sophomore Jessica Purick (Riverhead, NY) inserted over the final 12 minutes to seal the win.

Worcester, which lost its last scorers from a year ago and a combined total of 122 goals and 79 assists, got three goals from junior midfielder Mackenzie Little and two goals and two assists from junior attack Alexis Vecchiarelli. Little also won four draws and shared the team lead with junior defender Alexa Harvey, both with five ground balls.

Eastern opens Little East Conference play Saturday at 2 p.m. by hosting the University of Southern Maine.