The St. Lawrence University women's lacrosse team's co-captains, Joey Kelley, Holly Noyes, Brigid Hurley and Stephanie O'Rourke, combined for 11 goals and three assists on Friday, pacing the Saints to a 16-8 victory over Potsdam State at Hall-Leet Stadium.
St. Lawrence improves to 4-2 after owning a 34-19 advantage in shots and a 28-17 mark in ground balls. The Saints also held a 16-10 edge in draw controls thanks to Kelley, while the Bears (0-3) struggled to convert on free-position chances, finishing only 4-of-10.
The Saints struggled to find their game throughout the first half, but came away with a 4-3 lead after 30:00 minutes. Despite Potsdam State's best efforts, they were unable to gain possession time in the second half as the home team outscored them 12-5 in the latter period. Noyes finished with three goals, while Hurley, Kelley and O'Rourke each added a pair.
"We weren't sharp in the first half and let them dictate much of the pace and transition game," said St. Lawrence head coach Jodi Canfield. "We were much better in the second half and seized control thanks to our captains, who swung the momentum in our favor."
Emily Petit had a solid game for Potsdam, finishing with two goals and two assists, including the game-tying tally at 3-3 with 3:40 remaining in the first half. However, first-year Chloe Knapp's unassisted goal with 1:46 left before halftime would give St. Lawrence a 4-3 advantage heading into the second stanza.
The second half was a much faster-paced period, as both teams exchanged runs early on. The Saints gained separation up 9-4 thanks to goals by Noyes, Hurley, Kelley, O'Rourke and rookie Michaela Maybee with 21:00 minutes to go. However, Potsdam State responded with three straight goals to cut the deficit to two at 9-7 thanks to Bailey Weigel, Petit and Michelle Varney.
However, the visitors would never claw to within a single goal, as Noyes scored back-to-back goals only 11 seconds apart en route to a 6-0 St. Lawrence run to cap the game's scoring. Junior Parker Benedict's first career goal on a free-position would slam the door shut, up 14-8 with 8:02 remaining, while Caroline Bailey and Maybee added insurance tallies for the final score of 16-8.
O'Rourke finished with two helpers, while Kelley and Carly VanTassel each had one for the Scarlet and Brown. Denise Johns finished with a team-high three goals for the Bears, who simply struggled in transition, completing only 12-of-25 clears on a cold and blustery day.
Both goaltenders, St. Lawrence's Adden Cunningham and Potsdam State's Jen Chmiel, closed with five saves in the game. Benedict and Petit each had a game-high five caused turnovers for their respective teams, while Kelley added a game-high seven draw controls and five ground balls for the Saints.
St. Lawrence will be in action again next Tuesday, March 26 when they visit Geneseo State at 4:00pm.