Fast Start Gives Manhattanville Easy Win over Aquinas

PURCHASE, N.Y. The Manhattanville women's lacrosse team blitzed Saint Thomas Aquinas College by scoring the game's first 10 goals, including three in the first 41 seconds, on the way to an easy 20-7 victory over the Division II Spartans in a non-conference matchup on Tuesday afternoon at GoValiants.com Field.

Senior tri-captain Abbe Grimes (Hamden, Conn.) scored five of the team's 10 goals during the opening run, leading all scorers with five goals on the afternoon. But the win turned Pyrrhic for the home team less than five minutes into the second half, as Grimes went down with an apparent knee injury. Counting her five goals today, Grimes is just 15 goals away from becoming the school's all-time leading scorer.

Eight other Valiants found the net on the day, including four from sophomore Cassie Kovac (Saugerties, N.Y.) and a career-high matching three from senior tri-captain Colleen Holahan (New Hyde Park, N.Y.). A pair of Valiant defenders also got into the act, as juniors Callie Housser (Leominster, Mass.) and Cybil Robinson (South Lake Tahoe, Calif.) each notched their first goals of the season in the second half.

Manhattanville as a team dominated play against the Spartans, holding a huge 40-17 edge in total shots and picking up 33 ground balls compared to just 11 for Saint Thomas Aquinas. Sophomore Kirstin Betsill (Parkton, Md.) made six saves to earn the win, while juniors Jennifer Kugler and Kailey Brown combined to make nine stops for the visitors.

The Valiants did not fool around in their final non-conference test of the regular season, scoring three times in the first 41 seconds of the game. Sophomore Jen Ascencio (Monroe, N.Y.) recorded the first of her game-high six draw controls off the opening draw and took the ball down the field for the game-opening goal 21 seconds in to start the scoring.

Sophomore Emelda Ogweta (Portland, Maine) possessed the next two draws and sprinted down the field each time. The Valiant indoor track star found the net herself on the first opportunity and fed Grimes for an easy score on the second chance, coming just 10 seconds apart.

The Valiant offensive onslaught continued with goals by Kovac and Grimes to give the home team a 5-0 lead 3:19 into the first half, and Grimes capped the 10-0 game-opening run with her fifth of the game, a free-position attempt, with 12:08 left in the first half. Freshman Anne Buttafuoco finally got her team on the board less than three minutes later, but Manhattanville still went into halftime with a comfortable 13-5 lead on the strength of a 24-11 shot advantage.

The Valiants continued to control play in the second half, as the team scaled back the offensive attacks but still posted a 16-6 edge in shots and outscored the Spartans, 7-2. Housser set a new career high with two points on a goal and an assist midway through the second half to increase the Valiant lead, while Kovac put an end to the scoring with an eight-meter score with 1:24 left in the second stanza.

Manhattanville (7-4, 2-4 MAC) will play nothing but Middle Atlantic Conference contests for the remainder of the regular season, beginning with a Thursday afternoon matchup with Misericordia University at 4:00 p.m. at GoValiants.com Field. Saint Thomas Aquinas (0-6, 0-2 ECC) will host Penn State-Abington on Thursday at 4:00 p.m.

2009-04-07



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