Clarkson Golden Knights topple SUNY Potsdam in women's lacrosse season opener, 15-9
Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 7:48 am

POTSDAM -- Clarkson University (1-0) built an early lead and held off the SUNY Potsdam women’s lacrosse team (0-1) for a 15-9 win on a chilly afternoon Wednesday at Maxcy Turf Field.

Golden Knight senior attack Katie VanDeValk (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker) had a game-high five goals and two assists for seven points, while teammates Alyssa Cristaldi (North Syracuse, N.Y./Cicero-North Syracuse) and Christine Wright (Watertown, N.Y./Immaculate Heart) each chipped in six points (4g-2a). Sophomores Margaret Wall (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas) and Bailey Weigel (East Amherst, N.Y./Williamsville East) led the Bears with three goals apiece.

Clarkson opened the contest on a 7-1 run over the first 21:15. Wright notched the first two of the game before Wall cut the gap to 2-1 at 21:20.

VanDeValk scored the next three followed by two in a row from Cristaldi to build the six-goal advantage at 8:45. Wall struck again at 7:23, before Cristaldi answered two minutes later.

Over the last five minutes of the half, Cristaldi and Wright sandwiched two goals between two Weigel tallies and Clarkson led 10-4 at the break.

The goals were the first of Weigel’s collegiate career. Potsdam matched the Golden Knights score for score in the second half, but couldn’t over take them. Senior attack Denise Johns (Marcellus, N.Y./Marcellus) opened the scoring at 27:59, but again Wright answered for Clarkson. Johns struck again at 20:51 to make it 11-6 before VanDeValk buried two in a row to give the Golden Knights their biggest lead of the contest at 13-6.

At the 13:39 mark, freshman attack Bri McClusky (Watertown, N.Y./Watertown) recorded her first career goal on a free position. Seven minutes later, Wall scored the game’s lone man-up goal.

Senior midfielder Noelle Miller (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg) and junior attack Marissa Mastronardi (Cortland, N.Y./Cortland) struck for the next two to cap the Golden Knights’ scoring at 15. Weigel closed Potsdam’s scoring with 1:12 remaining.

In goal, Bears junior Jen Chmiel (Rochester, N.Y./Eastridge) finished with five saves in her first collegiate start. Clarkson junior goalie Kara DiNatale (Auburn, N.Y./Manchester) made seven saves and allowed eight goals over the first 58:05. Freshman Stephanie Lynch (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker) made one save and allowed one goal in the final 1:55.

Each team attempted 24 shots. Potsdam edged Clarkson, 18-14, in ground balls, but the Golden Knights totaled 18 draw controls to the Bears’ eight.

Potsdam is back in action on Saturday as the Bears travel to Utica College for a 1 p.m. showdown with the Pioneers.