Eastern Uses Strong Finsh to Down Manhattanville

ST. DAVIDS, Pa. Eastern outscored Manhattanville 7-1 over the final 23:00 minutes to open up a close game and deal the Valiants a 16-9 defeat in a Freedom Conference match-up on Thursday afternoon at Olson Field.

Caleigh Falco led all scorers for five goals and an assist for Eastern (5-8, 2-3 Freedom), including four straight goals in the second half to provide the key push for the home team. Anna Charlebois added four goals and Shannon Wilcox scored three times as well for the Eagles.

Senior Casandra Honovich (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Walter Panas) led all players with six goals, while Meghann Haggerty (Centerport, N.Y./Harborfields) had another solid game with two goals and two assists for Manhattanville (1-13, 0-4 Freedom), which is knocked out of postseason contention with the fourth straight conference setback.

The contest started very well for the Valiants, as junior Mallory Bakst (Morganville, N.J./Marlboro) controlled the opening draw and that quickly resulted in the first goal of the game from Honovich just 19 seconds into the contest. Haggerty doubled the Valiant lead just over a minute later, making it a 2-0 score 1:32 into the game.

Eastern scored five of the next six goals to gain the lead for the first time, getting two each from Charlebois and Wilcox, but three more Honovich tallies got the visitors back to even and knotted the score at six with 7:49 remaining in the opening half. However, the Eagles scored the final three goals of the game to take a 9-6 lead into the intermission.

The first-half stats were not that disparate in either direction, as the Eagles only posted a 13-10 edge in shots on goal. Valiant junior Kirsten Shaughnessy (Le Center, Minn./LeSueur-Henderson St. Peter) and EU keeper Megan McReynolds stopped four shots apiece over the first 30 minutes, while the visitors also controlled 12 of 16 draws.

Honovich started the second half much like she did the first, and this time found the net two times 18 seconds apart to quickly make it a one-goal game only 42 seconds into the second stanza.

However, Falco took over for Eastern over the next 15 minutes, scoring four consecutive unassisted tallies to give Eastern some breathing room, up 13-8 with 15:19 remaining. Senior Brooke Marcimo (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) ended the streak with her 19th goal of the year, but that was all the offense Manhattanville could find the rest of the way.

Eastern out-shot Manhattanville 21-7 in the second half, finishing the day with a 41-19 advantage in shots. Shaughnessy had nine more saves in the second half to finish with 13 for the afternoon, while McReynolds finished with six stops for the Eagles.

Manhattanville dominated the draws on the afternoon, controlling 18 of 27 restarts, including a career-high eight draw controls from Bakst and four more from freshman Sarah Dalsey (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City). However, the Valiants were unable to convert those possessions into scoring opportunities, turning the ball over 27 times.

The Valiants will return home to GoValiants.com Field for the first time in over two weeks on Wednesday, when the Valiants honor their two seniors with Senior Night festivities before the 2014 home finale against FDU-Florham beginning at 7:00 p.m.


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