Stanwick Leads No. 6 Boston C. Past Bryant in NCAA Opener

NEWTON, Mass. Seniors Lisa Vendel (Sandy Hook, Conn.), Kimberley Sniffen (Redding, Conn.) and Haley Bloom (Hauppauge, N.Y.) each got on the board twice to lead the Bulldogs in the final contest of their careers, as Bryant showed well in its first-ever NCAA tournament game despite falling to No. 6 Boston College, 17-9, Friday in NCAA first round action at the BC Lacrosse Complex.

Sophomore attack Lauren Descalzo (Hauppauge, NY.) joined the senior trio with two markers of her own, while senior midfielder Kate Keckeisen (Danbury, Conn.) picked up the only other Bulldog (15-4) goal. Vendel dished out Bryant's only assist of the day to finish with a team-leading three points.

Covie Stanwick paced the Eagles (14-5) with eight points off five goals and three assists, while Sarah Mannelly found the back of the net four times (2 assists) and Moira Barry and Mikaela Rix each scored twice in the victory.

The Bulldogs stole the momentum to open the contest, scoring a pair of quick goals for an early 2-0 advantage. Sniffen got the first tally of the day just a minute into Friday's contest, scoring on a free position goal right out of the gates.

Bloom would get her own free position score just 50 seconds later for the two-score lead, but the Eagles would adjust to Bryant's aggressive pace and quickly tie the game at 2-2 with a pair of free position goals of their own, taking the clock down to the 23-minute mark in the process.

BC's scoring run would stretch to four straight before the Bulldogs got back on the board with a goal from Vendel with 18:27 to play. The senior created her own shot, streaking across the goal mouth to fire a fade-away shot past Eagles rookie goalie Zoe Ochoa to cut the home side's lead to 4-3.

But BC leading scorer Mikaela Rix would get the tally back just more than a minute later, and tallies from Stanwick and Ceglarski would follow in rapid succession for a three-goal spurt in the span of just 32 seconds for the 7-3 Eagles advantage.

With 10:05 to play, though, Vendel would break through once more with the most impressive scoring effort of the game. With the triple team on, Vendel spun free through traffic, lifting off the ground just enough to fire a shot over the shoulder of Ochoa and into the upper 90, netting the Bulldogs' four goal of the day in unassisted fashion.

"Lisa's ability to be our playmaker at key times has helped us all season long," said Bryant head coach Jill DePetris-Batcheller. "She was the person who continually gave the team hope throughout this game today."

But BC's response to the score was quick, as Stanwick got back in the scoring column off a pass from Rix 90 seconds later. BC's leader in points in 2014, Stanwick repeated the effort with 5:17 to play in the first for a 9-4 BC advantage.

As the clock neared the final three minutes of the frame, a charge called on Rix gave the Bulldogs back to the ball on defense, and Bryant would take advantage of the giveaway, streaking up the field for a transition goal out of the stick of Descalzo with 2:56 left on the clock. It was the last score of the opening half for the Black and Gold, who would give up one final tally to Mannelly to take a 10-5 deficit into the break.

"We talked about how we needed to get some stops on defense, how to shut down their key players and we talked about possession," DePetris-Batcheller said of halftime. "We needed to possess the ball and make those possessions count, which I think we did a better job of in the second half."

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2014-05-09



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