VanTassel, Knapp push Saints women's lax past RIT, 11-9
Friday, April 4, 2014 - 10:24 pm

The St. Lawrence University women's lacrosse team hosted its 2014 home opener on Friday evening at Hall-Leet Stadium, as the team rallied from two three-goal deficits in the first half to top RIT 11-9. Carly VanTassel and Chloe Knapp each had hat tricks in the victory, as the Saints outshot the Tigers 13-5 in the second half to earn the win.

St. Lawrence (3-5, 1-2) earned its first Liberty League win after owning a 26-16 advantage in shots, a 15-7 edge in draw controls and completing 14-of-17 clears. RIT (4-4, 1-1), which was led by Sage Sarkis' five-goal outing, was unable to overcome struggles in transition as the team completed only 12-of-22 clears.

"We're certainly happy to have a great first win at home," said St. Lawrence head coach Jodi Canfield. "They have strong scoring power with Sarkis and (Corinna) Mandell, but I thought it was the first game we played solidly as team. We anticipate an equally-strong game tomorrow with Rochester."

Knapp added a game-high four draw controls for St. Lawrence which was balanced offensively with six goal scorers, while Addie Cunningham earned the win in net with six saves. Mandell had a hat trick and a game-high three caused turnovers for the Tigers and Caitlin Conway turned in a nine-save performance.

RIT jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening eight minutes on two goals from Sarkis and another from Mandell. Caroline Bailey and Abigail Owens scored unassisted goals to make it a 3-2 game, but Mandell's back-to-back tallies only 49 seconds apart put the visitors back on top by three, 5-2, midway through the period.

Trailing 6-3, St. Lawrence ran out the half with momentum behind three consecutive goals to tie the game at intermission, 6-6. Kiera Taussig made it 6-4 before VanTassel and Bailey scored man-down goals only 1:46 apart to tie the game and cap the first half scoring.

Both teams struggled to get going offensively in the second half, but Knapp kick-started a three-goal run that put the Saints on top 9-7 at the halfway mark. Though Sarkis put RIT up 7-6 early, Knapp answered followed by goals from Michaela Maybee and VanTassel for a two-goal advantage with 14:33 remaining.

Sarkis' man-up goal, her fifth of the game, came with 8:53 to go and pulled RIT within one, while Caruso's free position goal with 3:06 left tied the score at 9-9 for the Tigers. However, Taussig won the ensuing draw control and VanTassel delivered a key free position goal with 2:15 left for a 10-9 St. Lawrence lead.

RIT simply couldn't come up with possession in the second half, as the Saints again won the draw control. Knapp would put the game away as Conway came out of her net and failed to return in time to stop the insurance goal with 1:26 left, giving Knapp her hat trick and the Saints the 11-9 victory.

Hannah Calvelli had a pair of assists for St. Lawrence while Abigail Owens had one. Ashleigh Caruso and Sydney DaCosta added helpers for the visitors.

St. Lawrence, which snapped a two-game losing skid with the win, will look to earn a weekend sweep tomorrow when it hosts the University of Rochester at 3:00pm.