Hawks Start Season with Victory Over Mount Saint Mary

ONEONTA, NY Hartwick fell behind 4-1 early but scored the next seven goals to take command in a 15-9 season-opening win over visiting Mount Saint Mary on Saturday at Wright Stadium.

Freshman Lauren Rosenberg (Smithtown, NY/Commack HS) impressed in her collegiate debut with game-highs of four goals, two assists, and six points. Kia Ference (Schenectady, NY/Schenectady HS) added four goals and an assist and Ali Sisco (Kendall Park, NJ/South Brunswick HS) notched three goals. The win was also the first for head coach Jackie Rutkowski at 'Wick.

"I couldn't be happier for our team for getting the win today," said the victorious coach. "The girls were very nervous to start as it was the first game at home and our opener. We didn't get the number of draws we wanted and made some sloppy passes. But once we settled down and got a couple of goals and pick it up."

Ference gave Hartwick an early advantage but the Knights would score the next four goals over a 10-minute span to take a 4-1 edge with 17:18 left in the half. Sisco answered for the Hawks at 13:32 to cut the deficit to two goals, 4-2, and it was all Hartwick the rest of the half.

Jweid and Rosenberg scored 1:18 apart to even the game at four and Ference would put the Hawks up to stay with her second tally of the game 5:06 before halftime. The Hawks weren't done, however, as Lisa Littleton (Yorktown, NY/Yorktown) scored on a free-position goal with 2:06 left, Sisco scored Hartwick's seventh at 1:02, and Rosenberg finished from Meg Luce (Saratoga Springs, NY/Saratoga Springs) as the halftime horn sounded and 'Wick led 8-4 at the break.

The Knights would draw one back inside of a minute in the second half. Two goals from Sisco and Luce, however, put the hosts ahead 10-5. The score remained the same for the next seven minutes until Claire Duffy and Katie Gattori each scored 12 seconds apart and MSMC trimmed the margin down to three, 10-7.

Ference and Nicole Palmieri traded goals for both teams with under 13 minutes left but Rosenberg answered right back with two straight goals to widen the gap to five with seven and a half minutes left. Jen Gries netted Mount Saint Mary's final goal of the contest with 6:44 remaining, as Ference and Jweid would close the door on a comeback bid with goals with under four and a half minutes left.

"We utilized Lauren and Ali well today," added Rutkowski. "They scored some big goals. Defensively, Caroline Stanford (Skaneateles, NY/Skaneateles) and Morgan Galipeau (Bennington, VT/Mount Anthony Union) definitely stood out with their pressure and Steph Luce (Saratoga Springs, NY/Saratoga Springs) made some clutch saves."

Stanford and Galipeau combined for five caused turnovers and seven ground balls. Galipeau had four ground balls and three caused turnovers. Mandy Van Auken (Altamont, NY/Guilderland) registered a team-high five ground balls. She also dished out an assist. Emily Jweid (Marcy, NY/Whitesboro) finished the day with a pair of goals and an assist. Steph Luce ended the contest with nine saves and three ground balls.

"In the second half we were able to slow things down and play the way we play," said Rutkowski. "Jweid, Megan Young (Gansevoort, NY/Schuylerville), and Meagan Wright (Mahopac, NY/Mahopac) were able to settle things down for us. They handled their pressure well."

Hartwick had a 29-25 edge in shots in the match. They also earned 34 ground balls to Mount Saint Mary's 33.

The Knights were led by Gattori who scored three goals. Duffy finished with two tallies and goalie Deirdre Ray made nine saves.

"I'm very pleased with our effort," said Rutkowski. "This will definitely help propel us into our game with Marywood next week."

The Hawks play the Pacers on Tuesday, February 25 at 5:00 p.m. in Scranton, PA.


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