HAMDEN, Conn. - Sophomore Marissa Caroleo (North Babylon, N.Y.) scored a career-high seven goals as the Quinnipiac University women's lacrosse team defeated Bryant, 18-10, Saturday afternoon in its Northeast Conference opener. The win was the first of the season for the Bobcats, who improve to 1-3 overall and are 1-0 in conference play. The Bulldogs even their NEC mark at 1-1, while dropping to 1-5 overall in 2010.
"It's always good to get your first win of the season," said head coach Danie Caro. "I would've liked it better if we played more consistently throughout the game, but we made plays when it counted."
The first half was evenly played as both teams exchanged goals for the majority of the period. After Bryant scored first, Caroleo answered 49 seconds later with her first of the game. She would add another goal just over two minutes later, followed by goals from Devon Gibney (Hopkinton, Mass.) and Chelsea Guerrera (Wantagh, N.Y.). Gibney and Caroleo scored twice more in the half, while Lauren Matuszczak (East Longmeadow, Mass.) added another with seven seconds remaining to take a 9-7 lead into the half.
Quinnipiac's Kaitlyn Vennard (Albany, N.Y.) scored her first goal of the season to open the second half. An Allison Faiola goal on a free-position shot pulled the Bulldogs to within three, 11-8, but that was as close as they would get.
The Bobcats went on a 7-0 run over the course of 17 minutes midway through the second period. Freshman Lianne Toomey (Hicksville, N.Y.) scored her first career goal to start the barrage. Goals from Guerrera, Matuszczak, Gibney and Caroleo all followed to put the game away. Two late goals by the Bulldogs in the final six minutes ended the running clock, but were not enough as Quinnipiac held on, 18-10.
Gibney and Caroleo combined for 11 goals, while Guerrera's three goals and three assists were also career-highs. Team captain Katie Latonick (Severna Park, Md.) went over 70 assists in her career with four against the Bulldogs on Saturday. Toomey scored one and added two assists, while Gibney and Matuszczak also had helpers to go along with their goals.
"Some of our younger players stepped up for us today," Caro added. "It showed that they can play at this level."
Quinnipiac had a season-high 43 ground balls in the game, with Kaitlyn Kellyn (North Massapequa, N.Y.) leading the way with a career-high seven in the win. Gibney added six, while also causing five turnovers in the game. Matuszczak led Quinnipiac with four draw controls.
Sophomore Noelle Martello (Westbury, N.Y.) played just over 36 minutes, earning the win. Junior Lexi DeStefano (Brookfield, Conn.) turned aside five shots, including two on free-position attempts by Bryant in 23:36 of action.
Quinnipiac returns to action on Friday, Mar. 19, as it plays host to California-Berkeley. The Bobcats and Golden Bears will play at the Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Field at 3 p.m.