MANCHESTER, N.H. – Junior goaltender Zoie Cavotta made a career-high 12 saves as the Saint Anselm College women's lacrosse team mounted a second-half rally but fell 8-6 to No. 20 Stonehill in its Northeast-10 Conference opener on Thursday at Southern New Hampshire University's Larkin Field.
Stonehill (2-2, 1-0 NE10) scored the game's first five goals to get out to a 7-2 halftime lead and led by six just 1:33 into the second half. Saint Anselm (2-3, 0-1 NE10) responded by scoring four-straight goals to get within two with 12:55 to go but neither team scored over the remaining time as Stonehill hung on.
Emma Palumbo tallied her third hat trick in five games this season to lead the attack for the Hawks. Meaghan Sheehy recorded a team-high four points on a goal and three assists, while Marta Versprille and Rachel Henderson also scored. Breda Holland added a helper for the Hawks.
Palumbo also snagged a team-high four ground balls, Liv Connly added three and Erica Mattila and Becca Shea each had a pair. Connly also caused two turnovers, while Versprille had a team-best three draw controls.
Shannon Booth had two goals and an assist to pace Stonehill, while Elizabeth Vetter netted a pair of goals. Four other Skyhawks found the back of the net in the game, including Taylor Shannahan, who tallied a game-high five ground balls. Cara Corvino caused four turnovers for Stonehill, with Vetter grabbing four draw controls.
The nationally-ranked Skyhawks raced out to a 5-0 lead over the first 11:39 of the game, including two goals from Booth. Neither team scored for the next 10-plus minutes until Versprille got the Hawks on the board with 7:37 remaining in the opening half. After back-to-back goals from Stonehill stretch the lead to 7-1, Henderson scored the final goal of the half with 1:01 to go to make it a 7-2 game at the break.
Shannahan scored 1:33 into the second half as the Skyhawks matched their largest lead of the afternoon at six, 8-2. However, Palumbo scored 39 seconds later to spark an extended 4-0 run for Saint Anselm, which included all three of Palumbo's goals in the game. Sheehy grabbed the second goal of the run and set up Palumbo's final two, leaving it a two-goal game with 12:55 to play, but that was the final goal of the game as the Skyhawks ran down the clock.
Stonehill outshot Saint Anselm 23-4 in the opening half but the Hawks held a 10-8 advantage after the break to leave the final count at 31-14 in favor of the Skyhawks. The Skyhawks also held advantages in ground balls (25-14) and draw controls (9-7), while committing fewer turnovers (21-15) than the Hawks.
Cavotta surpassed her previous career high of eight saves with nine in the first half alone, before adding three more after the break. Bailey Herr earned the win by making two saves for Stonehill.
Saint Anselm plays host to American International College for a 3 p.m. game on Saturday, March 18.