#10 St. Anselm Women’s Lacrosse Gums Up Findlay In Season Opener, 22-8

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Senior Kaitlyn Stazinski (Pembroke, Mass.) registered a career-high seven points to lead the 10th-ranked Saint Anselm College women’s lacrosse team past the University of Findlay, 22-8, Saturday afternoon in both teams’ season openers at Southern New Hampshire University’s Larkin Field.

The Hawks, who set a program record for wins a year ago after going 13-5 and also earned their first ever NCAA Tournament berth, begin the season at 1-0. The Oilers start the year 0-1.

Stazinski scored three goals and dished a career-best four assists. Fellow senior Marissa Daly (Marshfield, Mass.) and junior Lauren Perry (Merrimack, N.H.) each posted four goals and an assist, while junior Caitlin Villareal (Portsmouth, R.I.) also totaled five points with three goals and a pair of helpers. Saint Anselm had its offense working as it racked up 13 assists on 19 non-free-position goals.

Stazinski potted the Hawks’ first goal of 2015 just 3:37 into the contest off a feed from Villareal. She then set up Daly 22 seconds later before Perry found the back of the net twice to give Saint Anselm a 4-0 advantage in a matter of just 1:01.

Freshman Erica Mattila (Westford, Mass.) buried her first collegiate goal at the 23:08 mark before Mackenzie Barnwell put Findlay on the board 1:05 later to cut the deficit to 5-1. Junior Erin Marshall (Woburn, Mass.) picked up her second assist of the day as she set up senior Sarah Doherty (Franklin, Mass.) at 16:34 before Doherty connected on a pass to Villareal for a goal just 30 seconds later. Marshall then got in on the goal-scoring act at the 14:54 mark and Stazinski followed 13 seconds later to grow the lead to 9-1.

Daly scored twice in a 57-second span before Stazinski set up the first career goal for freshman Emma Palumbo (Sudbury, Mass.) at 6:41. Villareal came through with a pair of free-position tallies at 3:08 and 1:53 to break the game open at 14-2. Saint Anselm would bring a 14-3 advantage into the halftime break.

Stazinski opened the second-half scoring with a goal off an assist from Perry, who then twice answered a Findlay score to make it 17-5 nearly six minutes in. Junior Michelle Kudlate (Waltham, Mass.) notched her first goal of the season nearly four minutes later before Palumbo and Mattila added their second goals. Daly then made it 21-5 at the 11:52 mark and that wrapped up the day for most of the Saint Anselm starters.

Findlay scored three of the final four goals, with freshman Meaghan Sheehy (Wilmot, N.H.) recording her first career goal for the Hawks with 3:32 left.

Junior goalkeeper Jane Bunn (St. John’s, Fla.) stopped three of the eight shots she faced over the first 39:42 to earn the win, while freshman Zoie Cavotta (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) made one stop in her first career appearance that spanned the final 20:18. Rachel Heath stopped six of 20 shots for Findlay in the first half, with Brooke Eicher turning away seven of 15 shots in the second half.

Saint Anselm outshot Findlay, 38-15, including 22-8 in the opening frame. The Hawks held a 19-13 advantage in draw controls, including 10-4 in the second half. Saint Anselm went 3-for-5 on its free-position chances, while Findlay was 1-for-2.

The Hawks are back in action Saturday, March 14 at noon when they take on Southern Connecticut State University.