February 17, 2013

Saint Joseph's Soars Over Niagara

from press release

PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse team kicked off its season with a dominating 13-5 win over Niagara on Sunday afternoon at Finnesey Field. With the victory, the Hawks pick up their first opening-day win since defeating Lafayette on February 20, 2010.

Saint Joseph's (1-0) got things started right off the bat as graduate student attack Meghan McDevitt scored her first of four goals at the 28:39 mark of the first half.

Niagara (0-2) would answer back with a goal, but the Hawks would go on a 4-0 run with contributions from freshman attack Bianca Angstadt, McDevitt, and sophomore midfield and attack duo Julia Falcone and Hallie Pickard to jump ahead 5-1 with 17:35 remaining in the half.

The Purple Eagles would strike twice in a row before junior midfielder Val Paolucci registered her first of three goals at the 7:51 mark to extend the Hawk lead, 6-3. Niagara tacked on one more goal at the 6:53 mark to close its deficit to two as SJU held a 6-4 lead into halftime.

Defense was the name of the game for the Hawks in the second half. While McDevitt and Paolucci combined for four of the Hawks' seven second-half goals, freshman goalkeeper Genevieve Giblin made her collegiate debut a big one. The rookie standout made three crucial saves while only allowing one goal in 30 minutes of action.

McDevitt led all scorers with four goals and two assists and now stands just one dish away (currently 37) from a tie for fourth place in SJU's record book for all-time career assists. Paolucci was good for three goals and a dish in the win while Falcone added two goals. Defensively, junior midfielder Meghan Watkin picked up a team-high four ground balls and junior defender Kaitlyn McSwiggan caused a game-high three turnovers. 

Senior goalkeeper Alisha Aquilino (1-0) picked up her first win of the season with two first-half saves in 30 minutes of action.

"I'm so proud with how they kept it together for the entire game," said head coach Denise Roessler. "Even when the score was 6-4, they kept their focus and they put the pedal to the medal. They still were aggressive to every ball and they communicated and worked well as a team today. It was definitely a team win so I'm proud of them."

Niagara saw five different players score goals while Brittany Delano tied a game-high four ground balls.

Saint Joseph's outshot Niagara, 21-13, and held a 22-15 advantage in ground balls.

The Hawks will travel to Staten Island, N.Y. to compete against Wagner next Sunday, February 24. Game time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Wagner College Stadium. Saint Joseph's is 10-0 all-time against the Seahawks, with its last win a 14-7 victory on February 25, 2012. In that game, junior attack Abby Ananian registered two goals while Aquilino made six saves in goal for the win.



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