Eskenazi's Career Day not Enough as Jaspers Fall to Bulldogs

RIVERDALE, N.Y. Junior Carly Eskenazi had a career high four goals, adding an assist, to lead the Manhattan offense but it wasn't enough as the Jaspers (3-7) fell by an 11-10 margin to Fresno State. It was the first-ever meeting between the two schools in which the Bulldogs (2-6) used two late goals for the one-point victory.

Manhattan controlled much of the tempo early on, scoring twice in the first five minutes. Kelsey Rehain registered the first goal two minutes into the contest before Kaitlyn Cunningham finished a pass from Donna Jo DiNorcia to put the Jaspers up 2-0. They looked to continue on the offensive, winning the ensuing draw control, but turnovers would give Fresno State the opportunities they needed to overcome the early deficit.

Kara Concheck got the Bulldogs on the board with 24:38 left in the first half, starting a string of three straight goals by Fresno State. Anjelica Fuccillo and another Concheck score gave their team its first lead of the contest. Clare Kerrisk would even things back up at 3-3 before Fuccillo scored the second of her three to but the 'Dogs ahead with less than 15 minutes left until halftime.

Both teams found chances to add to their momentum prior to the break, but a late attack from the Jaspers resulted in the first of Eskenazi's score of the game. With time winding down, she streaked down the left ally and buried a feed from Megan Yarusso to tie things up with just 26 remaining in the first.

Fresno State quickly recaptured the lead in the second half as Marcy Levatino scored off a free position shot 45 seconds into the frame to go up 5-4. A physical half saw both teams get multiple free position attempts. Manhattan finished 3-7 while the Bulldogs were 2-7 on their chances. Two of the Jaspers scores came back-to-back as Eskenazi and Yarusso each finished their shots in a 3:08 span to but their team on top 6-5 with 19:33 left to play.

Over the next eight minutes, the squads traded goals with Yarusso and Domenica O'Brey scoring for Manhattan while Concheck and Lauren Natale found the back of the net for Fresno State. Natale's goal was a man-down score that tied the game at 7-7 just before O'Brey's free position goal gave the Jaspers a one goal advantage with 10:52 remaining.

The Bulldogs then went on a mini run, scoring twice in two minutes, to regain the lead. Holly Cisneros tied it up with an unassisted goal before Natalie Harrington scored a man-up goal with 8:10 to go, leading 9-8. After getting multiple looks at the net, Eskenazi finally knotted it up again taking a DiNorcia pass from behind the cage and beating goalie Katie Wilbur.

With under five minutes remaining in regulation, Fuccillo was able to put Fresno State back up at 10-9 and the Bulldogs proceeded to play keep away. Needing to force a turnover and playing a man-down, goalkeeper Christina Fiorinelli got caught outside the crease in the final minute. That left Natale with a wide open look at the net, which she took, and made it a two goal game.

Eskenazi added her fourth goal with just one second left on the clock for the 11-10 score. Two different players had hat tricks for the Bulldogs with Fuccillo leading the team with four points including an assist.

The Jaspers were solid in gaining possession all game long, winning 17 of 23 draw controls and picking up 16 ground balls to Fresno State's 15. However, 19 turnovers led to the team being outshot 28-24 in a game that saw eight ties and four lead changes.

Wilbur made eight saves in net for the Bulldogs while Fiorinelli stopped 11 shots for Manhattan and picked up a game high five ground balls. Her 11 saves gives her 245 for her career, placing her fifth all-time in Jaspers history. She surpassed Allison Brown's 241 stops from 2008-10 and she is now 22 shy of tying the fourth place mark of 277 currently held by Julia DeBernardo (2010-11)/

Manhattan will now enter Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play when they travel to Iona on Wed., April 3, for a 3:00 p.m. tilt.


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