April 23, 2011



Providence, RI-The Rhode Island College women's lacrosse team hung close for most of the afternoon, but first-place Eastern Connecticut ran off eight straight goals over the final 15 minutes to close out a 21-10 conference victory at the RIC Lacrosse Field on Saturday afternoon.


Junior attacker Nicky Drolet (Somersworth, NH) had a stellar performance for the Anchorwomen, leading the offense with six goals. The Eastern defense denied Drolet the ball on most possessions, forcing her to do damage in the transition game, where all of her opportunities arose. Drolet made a habit of scoring quickly and on the move to keep RIC in the game.



 Junior attacker Nicky Drolet


The Anchorwomen (5-8, 0-5 Little East Conference) hung in with the Warriors (6-7, 4-0 LEC) for the first three quarters of the game. Although Eastern led from wire to wire, the Anchorwomen always stayed within striking distance, trailing briefly by six-goal margins twice, but typically closer. The Anchorwomen played their best lacrosse of the game in the middle of the first half, when they were able to slow the pace and control possession. RIC held Eastern scoreless for a stretch of nearly nine minutes, and got to within one when a goal by freshman midfielder Jessalyn O'Neill (North Providence, RI), assisted by junior attacker Molly Voyer (Lincoln, RI), brought the score to 4-3 with 17:15 remaining.


The Warriors then went on their first substantial run of the day. ESCU scored the next four tallies in just over five minutes to widen the lead to 8-3 on a goal from freshman attacker Sarah Edelman (Stonington, CT), which was assisted by freshman midfielder Ashley Wolk (Barrington, RI) with 8:02 left in the first. Soon thereafter, Wolk scored two consecutive unassisted goals just under two minutes apart to boost Eastern's lead to 10-4.



 Senior midfielder Suany Almonte


With the Warriors threatening to pull away, the Anchorwomen dug in and mounted a comeback.  Just before halftime, Voyer tossed in her second and final goal of the day, assisted by freshman midfielder Courtney McKiernan (Hope, RI), to narrow the margin to 10-5 at the intermission. 


In the second half, Drolet took over. After nearly six minutes of stalemate, Drolet scored the first goal of the stanza unassisted with 24:15 to play. Following two Warrior goals, Drolet fought back with two more markers just over two minutes apart, bringing the score to 12-8 with 18 minutes remaining. After another goal from Wolk, who finished with five goals two assists, Drolet willed the Anchorwomen into contention, scoring two more goals in a span of only 17 seconds to bring RIC to within three goals with 16:20 remaining. 


Drolet, RIC's leading goal scorer for the season, scored all five second half goals for the Anchorwomen. All of her tallies were unassisted. After Drolet's prolonged outburst, the Warriors locked down defensively and regained control of the game.  Freshman attacker Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) swung the momentum with a goal on a free-position shot with 14:49 to play. The goals piled up from there, including a second goal from Conn two and a half minutes later. 



 Senior defender Christina Tavana


Warrior junior attacker Ashley Prizio (Brookfield, CT) bookended the day with dominant play at both the start and finish. She scored the first three goals of the game, and each of Eastern's first five. Prizio punctuated the contest with the final three goals, scored over the course of the final seven minutes. For the day, Prizio finished with nine goals and two assists for a whopping 11 points.


The Warriors enjoyed their most prolific offensive game of the season, breaking the 20-goal plateau for the first time. ECSU held a hefty, 46-15, advantage in shots and had a 29-20 advantage in ground balls. RIC freshman goalkeeper Taryn Carbone (Cranston, RI) made 16 saves in a losing effort (5-8), while Warrior sophomore keeper Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) turned away three shots in the win (6-7). 


The game was played under difficult conditions, with rain beginning about two hours before game time and intensifying throughout the contest. Most other action in the Little East Conference was postponed or rescheduled, with only lacrosse games braving the elements. The field conditions progressively deteriorated, leaving players to contend with puddles and mud in the waning minutes.


With the victory, the Warriors move a half game ahead of Southern Maine for first place in the Little East. Southern Maine (6-8, 3-0 LEC) was scheduled to play Keene State (7-5, 3-1 LEC) this afternoon in conference action, but was forced to call off the game due to inclement weather.





Saturday's game was Senior Day at Rhode Island College, marking the final regular season games for midfielder Suany Almonte (Warwick, RI) and defender Christina Tavana (Middletown, CT). The two seniors were honored in pregame ceremonies and both saw extensive action in the contest.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will close out the regular season with its final Little East Conference game at UMass Dartmouth on Wednesday, April 27 (4 p.m.). The contest amounts to a play-in game to the 2011 Little East Tournament; the winner will receive the sixth and final postseason slot.