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Bryant offense hitting on all cylinders as eight Bulldogs score in 19-7 win over LIU Brooklyn

Photo by Gretchen McMahon Photography
Photo by Gretchen McMahon Photography

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Sophomore midfielder Jess DeMeo (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) scored five goals and led eight Bulldog scorers as the Bryant University women's lacrosse team dominated LIU Brooklyn, 19-7, to open Northeast Conference play Friday night at the Track & Turf Complex.

Rookie Leah Nocera (Westwood, Mass.) scored a career-high four goals while junior Catlin Brown (San Diego, Calif.) chipped in her third hat trick of the season to help DeMeo lead the Bulldog (5-4, 1-0 NEC) offense. Bryant also saw two goals from senior attack Ali Cardinal (Schenectady, N.Y.) and sophomore midfielder Lauren Britton (Monmouth Beach, N.J.), with single-goal efforts from senior Shannon Sullivan (Farmingdale, N.Y.), sophomore Jasmine Perkins (West Babylon, N.Y.) and freshman Katherine Clark (New Fairfield, Conn.), who scored her first collegiate goal with 35 seconds left in the contest.

The Blackbirds (2-7, 0-1) received two goals apiece from Sierra O'Connor, Tori Shinkowitz and Jillian May, while the Bulldogs held leading scorer Jenn Peters scoreless.

Bryant ran out to a 3-0 lead before the Blackbirds secured a single offensive possession, sandwiching a Britton score between two tallies from Nocera in the opening 5:37.

But LIU Brooklyn responded quickly, as Shinkowitz put the visitors on the board just seconds into their first trip into the offensive zone. Mary McQueen and May would follow with unassisted scores of their own less than two minutes apart to tie the contest at 3-3.

But a five-goal Bryant run would put that tie out of view and put the Black and Gold firmly out of reach, with the eventual game winner capping off the stretch with 12:38 still to play in the opening half. That tally completed Nocera's first-career hat trick and came off a pass from Brown to move the score to 8-3 favoring the Black and Gold.

Two LIU Brooklyn goals cut into that lead, but it was all Bryant in the final 10 minutes of the frame, as the hosts scored six straight to send the home team into the halftime break with a 14-5 advantage.

DeMeo would be responsible for three of the six goals to close the first frame, and she got right back to work in the second, extending Bryant's scoring streak with her fourth tally of the day less than five minutes into the new half.

Brown, Nocera and another DeMeo score would run the margin up to 18-5 with 15:08 left on the clock, and O'Connor would finally halt Bryant's run of 10-straight scores with her second of the day at the 12:09 mark. A nifty May score with 8:16 on the clock would be the final of the evening for the visitors, and Clark's scoring debut would put a cap on the 19-7 final.

The Bulldogs fired three times as many shots as the Blackbirds, 39-13, and dominated in ground balls, 25-12, and on the draw, 20-7. Brown posted a game-best five draw controls while Clark, DeMeo and Britton all grabbed three ground balls to pace the contest. The Bulldogs earned eight caused turnovers to LIU Brooklyn's four.

Virginia Gibbons made 11 stops for the Blackbirds between the pipes, while Samantha Santeramo (Wantagh, N.Y.) turned away two before giving way to classmate Daja Andrews (Lumberton, N.J.) for the final 12:09 of play.

The Bulldogs return to action Sunday, when they travel to Fairfield, Conn., for a 1 p.m. matchup against Sacred Heart.