MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's lacrosse team cut a four-goal deficit inside the final 15 minutes to just one with 3:19 left, but fell one goal short to No. 10-ranked University of New Haven in a 12-11 setback on Senior Day on Saturday afternoon at Grappone Stadium.
New Haven (11-3, 9-3 NE10) scored the first six goals of the second half to take a 12-8 lead with 13:05 remaining before Saint Anselm (6-9, 4-7 NE10) tallied the next three to get within one. With the Chargers attempting to run down the clock, Marta Versprille forced a turnover in front of the New Haven bench to give the Hawks possession, but Erica Rinsky made a save on a Rachel Henderson free-position shot with 10 seconds remaining to preserve the win for the Chargers.
The Hawks thought they had tied the game on a Henderson goal with just eight seconds remaining after the late Versprille caused turnover, but play was called back for a timeout. After the timeout, play was restarted with 28 seconds to go and Rinsky's save proved decisive.
Before the game, Henderson and fellow seniors Liv Connly and Micayla Evans were honored on the field for their efforts over the last four years. On Senior Day, Henderson led the Hawks with four goals, while Connly paced the defense with four caused turnovers and three ground balls.
Meaghan Sheehy registered a team-high five points on three goals and two assists, Erica Mattila had two goals and Versprille added a goal and an assist for the Hawks. Versprille and Sheehy also added three ground balls apiece. Mattila grabbed a team-high four draw controls, while Emma Palumbo had three as well as a goal.
Kendall Cietek recorded four goals and three assists for New Haven. Nicole Belanger and Caitlin O'Brien each tallied two goals and one assist and Samanatha Galler and Jessica Mazliah each scored twice. O'Brien snagged seven draw controls for the Chargers.
Zoie Cavotta fell to 5-9 on the year despite making 10 saves for Saint Anselm. Erica Rinsky also stopped 10 shots for New Haven to improve her mark to 3-1.
Sheehy opened the scoring for the Hawks after 1:44 but New Haven responded with three-straight goals to go up by two. Trailing 3-1, Saint Anselm rattled off five-straight goals, two each from Sheehy and Henderson, to take a three-goal lead. After New Haven netted three in a row to tie it at six, Henderson scored the final two goals of the opening half, including a free-position shot with eight seconds to go, to give the Hawks an 8-6 halftime edge.
In the second half, New Haven held Saint Anselm scoreless for the first 18:19 as the visitors scored six-straight goals to go ahead 12-8. Cietek and Belanger combined for five of the six goals during the run for the Chargers.
Versprille started the late rally for the Hawks, catching a Sheehy pass in traffic in front and scoring with 11:41 to go. A little over two minutes later, Versprille found Palumbo to cut the deficit to two with 9:38 on the clock. Mattila made it a one-goal game with 3:19 left with an unassisted goal but her goal was the final tally of the game as the Chargers survived in the late stages.
Saint Anselm outshot New Haven 31-26 in the game, thanks to a 22-13 edge in the opening half. The Hawks held a 15-10 advantage in ground balls, while New Haven won 14 draw controls, compared to 11 for Saint Anselm.
The Hawks wrap up the regular season with two road games next week, beginning with a 7 p.m. start at Assumption on Wednesday, April 26.