West Palm Beach, FL - For the second time in four seasons, and only the second time ever, the Clarkson University Women's Lacrosse team has begun the year with four straight victories as the Golden Knights earned a 8-5 win over Washington & Jefferson Wednesday afternoon.
The Golden Knights moved to 4-0 on the season, matching the program's best start ever (2010), while the Presidents fell to 2-4. Clarkson will face Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Thursday night before returning to Potsdam.
Clarkson scored the first three goals of the contest and never trailed, with the Presidents only rallying early in the second half to tie the score at 4-4. The Golden Knights tallied four of the final five goals in the game to finish off the 8-5 victory, including an insurance goal from Katie VanDeValk (Baldwinsville, NY) with 1:11 remaining.
VanDeValk led the team in scoring with five points, recording four goals and an assist, pushing her early-season totals to 15 goals and five assists for 20 points. Classmate Alyssa Cristaldi (North Syracuse, NY) scored three goals and pushed past 200 career points. The senior attacker is also within two goals of tying the school-record for career goals (144), established by Kimberly Loucks in 2010.
VanDeValk and Cristaldi accounted for the majority of the Clarkson offense, though junior Marissa Mastronardi (Cortland, NY) also scored a goal, her fourth of the season. Freshman Christine Wright (Watertown, NY) had four minutes worth of penalties, but still led the team with four groundballs. For the Presidents, Brittany Fradkin and Danielle Cochrane each scored twice, while Alex Dikos added the other goal.
Junior Kara DiNatale (Auburn, NH) made eight saves in the Clarkson goal, as the Knights owned a 23-17 edge in shots. W&J goalkeeper Julia McLellan stopped 13 shots as the majority of the Clarkson's shots (21-of-23) were on the Presidents' cage.