HAMDEN, Conn. - Four players scored three or more goals to lift the Quinnipiac University women's lacrosse team past Northeast Conference foe and in-state rival Central Connecticut, 20-4, Sunday afternoon at the Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Field. Team captain Katie Latonick (Severna Park, Md.) led the charge, scoring four goals and adding four assists for a season-best eight points. The Bobcats are now 2-0 in NEC play this season and 2-4 overall. The Blue Devils drop to 0-3 in league games and 2-4 overall with the loss.
"It's always great to get an NEC win," Head Coach Danie Caro said. "It was great to see that when we gave some of the younger players opportunities to play, there was no let down. The team played well as a whole and this was a big win for us moving forward into league play."
Central's Ryan Mackenzy started the game with two straight goals in the first five and a half minutes. The 2-0 advantage would be the only lead of the day as junior Laura Iannotti (Rocky Point, N.Y.) scored three-straight goals in 1:20 of play to take the lead. Iannotti's previous career high was two goals in a game, a mark she eclipsed in less than a minute and a half against the Blue Devils.
The Bobcats continued to pour on the offense, scoring five more goals after Iannotti's hat trick. Sophomores Devon Gibney (Hopkinton, Mass.) and Marissa Caroleo (North Babylon, N.Y.) each added goals in the 8-0 run, while Latonick scored a free-position tally and freshman Sarah Allen (Glastonbury, Conn.) netted two.
After two quick goals by the Blue Devils made it an 8-4 game, the Bobcats offense continued its onslaught, while the defense stopped everything. Quinnipiac held Central without a goal in final 39:40 of play.
Allen, Latonick, Gibney and junior Lauren Matuszczak (East Longmeadow, Mass.) all scored again before the half to take a nine-goal lead, 13-4 into the break.
Quinnipiac's younger players saw opportunities to contribute in the second half. On the first shot of her college career, Mary Kate Manganiello (Media, Pa.) scored her first goal, while fellow freshman Jackie Keleher (Manlius, N.Y.) earned her first-career point with an assist. Kayla Hamberry (Annapolis, Md.) picked up her first point, assisting on a Kelly Bruneau (Cheshire, Conn.) goal with 4:47 remaining. Keleher then scored her first goal with 2:15 showing on the clock. Sophomore Jane Moldovan (Shoreham, N.Y.) earned just her second career assist on Keleher's first.
In the first start of her career, junior goalkeeper Lexi DeStefano (Brookfield, Conn.) made three saves to earn the win. Central Connecticut's Erin DeLancey stopped 12 shots, including 10 in the first half in the loss.
Quinnipiac outshot CCSU, 37-9, in the game, holding the Blue Devils to just two in the second half. The Bobcats also held a 32-15 advantage in ground balls, while Central committed 35 fouls to Quinnipiac's eight.
The Bobcats return to action on Wednesday, Mar. 24 as they play host to Iona. The Gaels and Bobcats are set to meet from Hamden at 3 p.m.