MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's lacrosse team posted its first victory over a nationally-ranked team in nearly three years by holding off No. 24 Assumption College, 12-11, on Saturday afternoon at Grappone Stadium.
Saint Anselm (8-5, 6-3 NE10) held a 10-5 advantage at halftime, but Assumption (7-5, 4-5 NE10) fought back to tie the game at 11-11 with 9:28 remaining. Senior Meaghan Sheehy scored on a free position shot with 7:46 to go and the Hawks' defense made it stand up, as Saint Anselm earned its first win over a nationally-ranked foe since an 8-5 victory over No. 7 Stonehill on Apr. 22, 2015.
On the team's Senior Day, seniors combined to score all 12 of Saint Anselm's goals on the afternoon. Sheehy's game-winning goal was part of a three-goal, three-assist performance, while Erica Mattila scored a team-high four goals. Marta Versprille chipped in with three goals and added five ground balls, three draw controls and two caused turnovers.
After the teams traded goals 12 seconds apart in the opening 36 seconds, Saint Anselm scored three-straight goals to take a 4-1 lead. Sheehy and Versprille found the back of the net 1:18 apart during the run and Mattila followed with a free position shot. The Hawks stretched their lead to as many as five on two occasions in the opening half and took a 10-5 lead into the break after a Mattila free position shot with 1:10 left.
In the second half, Assumption held Saint Anselm scoreless for the first 18:02, scoring four-straight goals to get within one, 10-9, after Sarah Reilly set up three consecutive goals by Caitlin Graves. A Mattila unassisted goal with 11:58 remaining broke the Saint Anselm drought but the Greyhounds tied the game at 11-11 on consecutive goals by Kailyn Hart and Emily Spath, setting up Sheehy's winning goal.
Hart matched Mattila's total of four goals to lead Assumption, while got two goals and four assists from Reilly and three goals from Graves. Meghan Cushing had three caused turnovers, three draw controls and two ground balls for the Greyhounds, while Kyra Goucher made 11 saves.
Saint Anselm held a 19-12 advantage in ground balls in the game and grabbed 13 draw controls, compared to 12 for Assumption. The Hawks outshot the Greyhounds, 23-10, in the opening half before the visitors took 15 of the second half's 22 shots.
The Hawks head to Stonehill for a 7 p.m. game on Tuesday, Apr. 17.