NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - Senior Lauren Matuszczak's (East Longmeadow, Mass.) four goals and one assist led the Quinnipiac women's lacrosse team to its first Northeast Conference victory of the season on Sunday afternoon, as the Bobcats came away with a 14-8 victory over Central Connecticut. Quinnipiac improves its overall record to 2-3 on the season and its NEC record to 1-0, while Central Connecticut falls to 5-3 on the season overall and 0-1 in NEC action.
"It's always good to start off the conference slate with a victory," said head coach Danie Caro. "I give a lot of credit to Central, they came out with a good game plan and played us very evenly in the first half. Once we regrouped we had some of our returners really step up and make a difference. If we're going to be successful this year, it has to be because some of our good players and leaders are playing well and leading the way."
Senior Christine Sinnigen (Sudbury, Mass.) finished with four points (two goals, two assists), while junior Marissa Caroleo (North Babylon, N.Y.) and junior Devon Gibney (Hopkinton, Mass.) each added two goals apiece. Sophomores Lianne Toomey (Hicksville, N.Y.) and Chelsea Guerrera (Wantagh, N.Y.), as well as seniors Laura Iannotti (Rocky Point, N.Y.) and Kaitlyn Kelly (North Massapequa, N.Y.) each contributed one goal on the afternoon.
Central Connecticut was led offensively by Betsy Vendel's three goals and Mackenzy Ryan's two goals. Ashley Mara, Cara Momnie and Ashley Perkoski each scored one goal on the afternoon.
After the Blue Devils jumped out to a 3-0 lead to start the first period, Iannotti netted the Bobcats' first goal with 13:42 remaining in the contest. The game then remained scoreless for the next seven minutes until Central Connecticut broke the scoreless drought with 6:04 remaining to extend its lead, 4-1.
Quinnipiac's offense came to life just over a minute later, as Sinnigen scored for the Bobcats with 5:03 remaining. Guerrera then tightened the score to a one goal game with 4:22 remaining, followed by Gibney's game-tying goal just 15 seconds later with 4:07 remaining in the half.
The Bobcats took their first lead of the game with 26:34 remaining in the second half, as Sinnigen found a cutting Matuszczak, who then fired home her first goal of the afternoon.
Following a Central Connecticut goal, Quinnipiac proceeded to score eight unanswered goals to give itself a healthy 13-5 lead in the game with 10:04 remaining to play. Caroleo began the scoring barrage when she scored her first goal of the game with 23:30 remaining in the second period to give Quinnipiac the 6-5 lead. Matuszczak stretch the lead to a two-goal advantage for Quinnipiac on her first free position goal of the afternoon with 22:14 remaining in the contest. Gibney then scored for Quinnipiac, taking a clever pass from Sinnigen off a free position attempt and deeking Central Connecticut's goalie for her second goal of the game.
The Bobcats scored its ninth goal of the contest with 19:07 remaining on a Matuszczak tally, followed by goals from Caroleo, Martello and Sinnigen. Matuszczak capped the eight goal run with her fourth goal of the contest.
Central Connecticut scored two goals to bring the score to 13-7, matching the closest it would come for the remainder of the game.
Kelly then netted her first goal of the season for the Bobcats to increase the score to 14-7 with just over a minute to play in the game. Central Connecticut would add its final goal as time expired to give the game its final score, 14-8.
Starting junior goalkeeper Noelle Martello (Westbury, Conn.) made four saves in net for the Bobcats, while senior goalie Lexi DeStefano (Brookfield, Conn.) collected one save for Quinnipiac. Central Connecticut's goalie Erin DeLancey turned away seven shots overall.
Quinnipiac returns to action on Friday, Mar. 25 when the team returns home to host Saint Francis (Pa.) at 3 p.m.