By Dylan Botelho, Staff Writer
The Johnson & Wales Women’s Lacrosse team rode a seven-goal performance from sophomore Maria Pantane to a 17-12 victory over the Corsairs Saturday afternoon at Cressy Field. The home team Corsairs were led by a combination of seven goals between both sophomore Sam Muir and senior Julia DiPillo, but could not out match the Johnson & Wales Wildcats in their opening day bout.
Johnsons & Wales started extremely hot. First year player Dani Lydecker gained control off the opening draw field and carried it the entire way to score her first collegiate goal just 15 seconds into her career. Two minutes later, the Wildcats scored again, this time it was Junior Sophia Czarnecki.
In the hole early, the University of Massachusetts Corsairs scored their first goal of the new season with 21:54 left in the first half when first year player Mackenzie Smith rocketed one over the Wildcats goalkeeper’s left shoulder.
From then, the teams traded goals and the Corsairs continued to trail by at least one goal. Muir recorded two of her team-high four goals and DiPollo scored her first of the game that ended up being the Corsairs last of the half.
The Johnson & Wales Wildcats put a little cushion on their lead after Pantane scored two unanswered goals to send the Wildcats into the halftime break with a 9-5 lead over the Corsairs.
Pantane really made her mark on the game at the open of the second half however. She scored three unassisted goals in just five minutes for the Wildcats. The Wildcats piled on even harder, with a goal each from two first year players, Marley Medina and Dani Lydecker. The Wildcats’ five unanswered goals but them far ahead of the Corsairs, with a 14-5 lead.
Senior Raquel Riley began the Corsairs climb back into the game when she scored her first of the year with 18:36 remaining in the second half. Pantane quickly answered back however, scoring 26 seconds later. The Corsairs’ Muir then scored back-to-back goals to bring the team to within 7.
Unfortunately for the Corsairs however, the Johnson & Wales Wildcats scored two unanswered goals right back to extend their lead again to 9. With only eleven minutes left to play, the Corsairs found themselves in deep trouble. They broke out of their shell in the final 10-minute frame of the game, scoring four straight goals before ultimately falling to the Wildcats. A pair of two seniors, Erin Kish and Annie Lynch, both scored one goal each while DiPillo scored a pair of goals that both began and ended the Corsairs last push.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Corsairs will look to bounce back from their opening night loss with another home game against Mass Maritime on March 3rd for a non-conference bout at 3:00 p.m. at Cressy Field. The Johnson & Wales Wildcats will have their second game of the season soon, as they’ll head to the road once again on Saturday, March 3 against Mass Maritime at 3:00 p.m.