Manhattanville Holds off Sweet Briar in Slugfest

HILTON HEAD, S.C. Sophomore Casandra Honovich (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Walter Panas) led all players with seven goals, including three of the Valiants' last four, and senior Liz Cooper (Old Greenwich, Conn./Forman School) made a season-high 20 saves, as Manhattanville held off Sweet Briar by a 20-17 score to pick up its first win of the season on Wednesday afternoon.

Honovich had a season-high seven tallies and also added an assist to tie for the game-high with eight points, matching Sweet Briar's Kimberly Orchowski (four goals, four assists). Junior Maggie Howley (Philadelphia, Pa./Cardinal Dougherty) had a season-best six points on five goals and an assist, while junior Melissa Goncalves (Holtsville, N.Y./Sachem East) had three tallies and led the squad with a game-best six ground balls and four draw controls.

Cooper also had a great game in goal for Manhattanville, turning aside a career-high 20 shots to earn her first collegiate victory.

The two teams battled back and forth for the first 20 minutes, with a three-goal stretch allowing the Vixens to take a 6-4 lead with 10:21 remaining in the half. But Manhattanville came back with eight straight goals in a span of 6:14 to take control of the contest, as Honovich and Howley both netted three and Goncalves and freshman Ashley Hess (Mountain Top, Pa./Wyoming Seminary) added one apiece during the game-changing run.

Despite a Vixen goal in the final minute, Manhattanville still took a 12-7 lead into intermission after firing 27 shots toward the Sweet Briar net in the first 30 minutes.

The Valiants scored three of the first four goals of the second half to open up the largest lead of the game, as Howley's fifth of the day made it 16-8 with 24:49 left in the match. However, Sweet Briar held the Valiants scoreless for the next 13 minutes and scored six straight goals to get right back in the game, down just two at 16-14 with 11:47 left.

But Honovich came to the rescue, as she scored three times and senior Nicole Catapano (Franklin Square, N.Y./H. Frank Carey) added another over the next nine minutes to give Manhattanville a 20-14 edge with 2:20 on the clock. Sweet Briar scored three times in the final 90 seconds, but the effort was in vain as the Valiants were able to pick up their first win of the year.

On the game, Manhattanville finished the game with 43 shots, while also netting a season-high four goals from the eight-meter arc on nine attempts.

Manhattanville (1-4) will return north to take on SUNY Oneonta this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Sweet Briar (3-4) will take on the College of Charleston on Friday at 7:00 p.m.


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