PORTLAND, ME – Saint Joseph's College (1-0) breezed past Thomas College (0-1), 17-6, in what was the 2013 women's lacrosse season-opener for both programs at Deering Memorial Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. Junior goalkeeper Haley Nason (Saco, Maine) tied a program single-game record with 18 saves in the victory.
The win, which was the first of first-year Head Coach Amanda Cahoon's collegiate coaching career, was very much a team effort. Ten different Saint Joseph's players found the back of the cage and the Monks held advantages in ground balls (37-33), draw controls (21-4) and turnovers (18-33) in the season-opening triumph.
Junior attack Cassie Diplock (Augusta, Maine) led the hosts offensively with three goals and three assists – all in the first half – while junior midfielder Anneka Adame (San Diego, Calif.) recorded three goals and a helper with game-highs of seven ground balls and 14 draw controls on the afternoon. Junior attack Macy Pagurko (Augusta, Maine) tallied two goals and a pair of assists, sophomore Victoria Tenenbaum (Brunswick, Maine/McAuley) netted three markers while Mary Leasure (South Portland, Maine/McAuley), Lizzie Calnan (Westport, Mass.), Doe Leckie (Naples, Maine) and Taylor Allison (Pawtucket, R.I.) all registered their first NCAA goal in the victory.
Nason, making just the seventh start of her career, was busy all afternoon as the third-year netminder made nine saves on both sides of the break with several coming off the sticks of Terrier shooters at close range. If her effort in the opener is any indication, the junior keeper seems poised to take a big step forward this spring.
For the Terriers, senior attack Miranda Tinsman (Belgrade, Maine) netted a pair of tallies and senior midfielder Ceara DiBiase (Westbrook, Maine) chipped in with a goal and two assists in the losing effort. Erin Nelligan (Walpole, Mass.), Brittany Premo (Concord, N.H.) and Jasmine Ryan (Berwick, Maine) also scored for the visitors.
Freshman goalie Brittany Fox (Lovell, Maine) made six saves in net for the Terriers.
The Monks wasted little time getting on the board, as Adame produced the season's first goal off a Calnan feed 1:48 into play. Tinsman answered for the Terriers with a game-tying tally off a DiBiase pass five minutes later, but Saint Joseph's proceeded to net five of the following six goals to assume control of the non-conference contest.
DiBiase scored her first goal of the season off a Nora Rauch (Shelburne, Mass.) to cut the Terriers' deficit to 6-3 with 17:39 left in the opening half, but the Monks rattled off six unanswered scores, including a Lauren Bailey (Hampton, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas) at the 3:05 mark, and carried a sizeable 12-3 cushion into intermission.
Tenenbaum kicked off the second-stanza scoring with a pair of goals eight minutes apart to make it a 14-3 game with 16:05 remaining. Allison, who served as the team's primary keeper for three seasons before sitting out last spring, capped the scoring with her first career marker off an Emily Gallant (Rumford, Maine) assist with six minutes on the game clock.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 6-0 in the history of the series with Thomas College, a team the Monks defeated by a 12-9 margin last season.
Saint Joseph's resumes play on Monday when the Monks play host to Husson University at Deering Memorial Stadium at 5:00 PM. Thomas travels to Elms College on Saturday for a 1:00 PM start.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 350-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.