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February 19, 2013

Descalzo, Vendel pace 15-12 win over Siena

DESCALZO, VENDEL PACE BULLDOGS TO 15-12 HOME VICTORY OVER SIENA TUESDAY AFTERNOON

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Freshman Lauren Descalzo (Hauppauge, N.Y.) and junior Lisa Vendel (Sandy Hook, Conn.) each scored four goals while junior Kimberley Sniffen (Redding, Conn.) chipped in a hat trick of her own to lead the Bryant University women's lacrosse team to its first victory of the 2013 season, a 15-12 win over Siena College Tuesday afternoon at home.

The win also marked the first head coaching victory for first-year bench boss Jill DePetris, whose Bulldogs (1-1) overcame an 8-7 halftime deficit and saw seven different scorers. Vendel led the way with a game-best five points, adding an assist to a four-goal day that tied her career best. Sniffen and Descalzo added four points apiece. Siena (0-1) was paced by three goals from both Casey Irwin and Alyssa Treanor, while Maggie Deloria added a trio of assists on the day.

The Saints held much of the momentum in the opening frame, staying out in front of the Bulldogs nearly the entire half with the exception of a brief 1-1 tie early on. Liz Stutzman gave the visitors the 1-0 edge less than a minute into Tuesday's contest, and while Vendel's first tally of the game knotted the score, it would be followed by unassisted goals from Sarah Croutier and Katie Maguire for a 3-1 Siena advantage.

Sniffen would cut the Saints' lead to one, 3-2, exactly 10 minutes in off a pass from classmate Haley Bloom (Hauppauge, N.Y.), and the teams would trade one goal for another for the next 13 minutes before Irwin got back on the board following a Shannon Pfohl tally to give Siena its largest lead of the game, 8-5, with 6:27 to play before the intermission.

But the Bulldogs would start to turn the tide with the final two scores of the half — a Vendel free position goal  with 3:52 remaining and the first-career tally for rookie Nicole Britton (Monmouth Beach, N.J.) with 1:44 to play — to head to the locker room trailing by just a single goal, 8-7.

The consecutive scores were the first of four uninterrupted Bryant tallies, as junior Katherine Keckeisen (Danbury, Conn.) got on the board and Sniffen netted her third of the day all within the first five minutes of the second stanza to hand the home side its first lead of the afternoon, 9-8.

Back-to-back unassisted goals from Treanor less than two minutes apart shifted the advantage back to the side of the visitors, but not for long, as Bloom found the back of the net for the first time this season to tie it up at 10-10 with 21:04 left on the clock.

Rookie Morgan LaBarbera (New Fairfield, Conn.) followed just over two minutes later, this one assisted by Bloom, to put the Bulldogs out in front once again, and while Siena would knot the game at 11-11 and 12-12, the visiting Saints would not lead again as Bryant scored three unanswered goals — a Vendel tally bookended by Descalzo scores — to close out the first victory of the year, 15-12.

The Bulldogs outshot their opponents, 35-24, on the day, including a 19-8 margin in the second half, while Bryant netminder Brianna Watt (Babylon, N.Y.) made seven stops between the pipes. The home side scored on six of its 12 free position shots and saw just two fouls in the second frame to the Saints' 23 (34 in all). Both sides picked up 15 ground balls on the afternoon, while the visitors edged out the Bulldogs in draw control wins, 16-13.

The Bulldogs look to keep their momentum going as they hit the road for the first time this season in their next matchup, traveling to the University at Albany for a 3 p.m. tilt Saturday, March 2.

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