DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Oftentimes, the Little East Conference can be good for what ails you.
Looking for its first victory of the season, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's lacrosse team capitalized on its long history of success against the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to break into the win column and even its LEC record with a 17-5 victory Saturday at Cressy Field.
Eight consecutive goals in a span of nine minutes in the first half all but guaranteed Eastern (1-10, 1-1 LEC) its 24th win in the 28-game series with UMass Dartmouth (4-6, 0-2 LEC).
Having been on the short end of the draw control battle all year – with their opponent winning twice as many – the Warriors claimed 15 of 24 against the Corsairs, with freshman Aiyana Ward (Waterbury) winning six in her third game (first start) with the program, and senior Michelina Pinto (Groton) winning four more and junior Tristan Kijak (Windsor) three.
Pinto also caused four turnovers and led the Warriors offensively with five goals and an assist. Junior Madison Renaud (Somers) scored four goals for the second straight match to give her 11 in the last three contests. First-year sophomore Sydney Hogan (Northford) and junior Meg Bartley (Somers) set up three additional scores with assists, with Hogan chipping in two goals. Sophomore Olivia Donahue (Avon) had two goals and two assists.
Pinto collected a hat trick in the opening 15 minutes of play and Renaud dded a hat trick of her own in the final 12:08 of the half to give Eastern Connecticut a 12-3 advantage at the break. The visitors iced their triumph with four unanswered tallies in the opening 14 minutes of the second half.
With 23 turnovers, Eastern equalled its lowest total in the last eight games.
Junior Sam Muir and freshman Isabella Mancini each scored twice in the setback for the host Corsairs, who received a goal and two assists from senior Brooke Martel.
Senior Jessica Purick (Riverhead, NY) picked up the win in goal, making eight saves and giving up only three goals over the first 30 minutes. She finished with 14 stops.
The contest was the seventh at home this year for UMD and the eighth away from home for the Warriors.
Eastern hosts Fitchburg State University Wednesday at 4 p.m. before closing the regular season with five straight conference games.