Monmouth Drops NEC Contest at Bryant

SMITHFIELD, R.I.- Monmouth University's women's lacrosse team (6-3, 1-1 NEC) suffered its first conference loss of the season on Sunday afternoon, falling to Bryant University (2-7, 1-1 NEC) in Smithfield, R.I. by a score of 8-7.

The loss was MU's first against Bryant, a team that joined the Northeast Conference two seasons ago after transitioning from Division II. It also snapped a four-game road winning streak for the Hawks. Monmouth was just 7 for 30 on shots, including 1 for 7 of free position attempts.

I thought our defense played pretty solid," said head coach Denise Wescott. "Going 7-30 shooting was tough on our offense. Bryant's goalie played very well and they ran their gameplan to earn a good win. Hopefully we'll learn from it and move forward."

After trailing for the entire game, Monmouth junior Sam Lillo (Short Hills, N.J./Milburn) netted her 12th goal of the season with 10:12 left in regulation to tie the game at 7-7. The tie was short lived however, as Lauren Sheridan tallied her second goal of the game just 30 seconds later to give the Bulldogs back the lead, this time for good. The Hawks had five shots in the final nine-plus minutes, including a free position attempt by senior Molly O'Brien (Kennett Square, Pa./Unionville), which was saved by Bulldog netminder Lauren Filipone.

Bryant jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Monmouth, with all three goals coming on free position attempts. Olivia Salata (Broomall, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) and Carissa Franzi (Fairfield, N.J./West Essex) scored back to back goals for the Hawks at the 6:33 and 4:39 marks, respectively to slice the lead to one. Bryant took the ensuing draw control and streamed down the field, scoring its fourth goal just 20 seconds after Franzi's to regain a 4-2 advantage. Each team registered one last goal at the end of the period and the Bulldog's took a 5-3 lead into halftime.

The Bulldogs got their sixth goal of the game a mere 31 seconds into the second frame on a Madeleine Pickett shot and eight minutes ticked off the clock before Monmouth was able to get a score. Junior Erica Abendschoen (West Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) took a feed from freshman Rachel Obregon (Fairfax Station, Va./W.T. Woodson) and beat Filipone to slice the lead to 6-4 with 22:34 remaining.

Three minutes later Obregon scored a goal of her own and MU found itself back just one. Bryant matched that goal before Franzi and Lillo scored a pair of goals 41 seconds apart to knot the game at 7-7. Twenty seconds later Sheridan beat MU goalie Kirby Mundorf (Columbia, Md./Seton Keogh), on a goal assisted by Haley Bloom to give the Bulldogs their first win in three attempts over the Hawks.

Franzi led the way for Monmouth with two goals, five ground balls and a career-high three caused turnovers. O'Brien and Abendschoen each had a goal and an assist while Obregon had a career high in points and assists with a goal and two helpers. Junior Sabrina Heskins (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) registered career highs in ground balls and caused turnovers with five and three, respectively. Mundorf made eight saves and had a pair of ground balls in the contest.

Bryant held a 11-6 advantage in draw controls but committed 11 more turnovers than the Hawks. Filipone had 14 saves in the win, while Bloom led all scorers with two goals and three assists for five points.

Monmouth will look to rebound next Friday when they welcome Wagner College to Kessler Field at 3:00 p.m.


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