Second-Half Surge Sends Springfield Past Blue Lacrosse, 12-6

Alex Berman Photography
Alex Berman Photography

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Behind five-point performances from sophomore Shelby Corsano (Bourne, Mass.) and senior midfielder Heather Raniolo (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.), the Springfield College women's lacrosse program opened up New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play with a 12-6 win over Wellesley College lacrosse on Wednesday night at Stagg Field.

With the win, Springfield improves to 6-2 overall and 1-0 in conference, while Wellesley falls to 5-3 on the year, and 0-1 in league play.

Corsano and Raniolo each had identical offensive performances, as they each posted four goals and one assist, while Raniolo posted four draw controls and Corsano picked up three of her own in the win. Additionally, senior attack Bianca Raniolo (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) had two goals and added a helper, while junior goalkeeper Gabby Anderson (Mahopac, N.Y.) notched a pair of saves in the win.

For the Blue, Nikki Sharkin (Summit, N.J.) led the way with three goals and one assist, while Mary Lemay (Longmeadow, Mass.) registered a pair of goals and added one assist to total three points on the evening. In net, junior Wendy Nettleton (La Jolla, Calif.) made 10 stops in the setback.

Wellesley struck first when Sharkin found Lemay for a goal just 5:19 into the game, before the Pride evened the score at one when Heather Raniolo dodged down the right alley and fired a shot past Nettleton just 5:16 later.

After Lemay picked up a loose ball in the crease and tucked a shot past Anderson, the Pride rattled off four-straight goals to take a 5-2 lead over the Blue with 5:42 left in the opening stanza. Bianca found a cutting MK Jaeger (Plymouth, Mass.) in the crease for an easy finish to even the score at a pair, before Corsano dodged the left alley and converted and Ann Mahoney (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) followed suit with a goal of her own to make it 4-2. The Pride would push its lead to three when Bianca Raniolo found an open Corsano in transition, who fake high and shot low past Nettleton to make it 5-2, Springfield.

The Blue would tally the final two goals of the quarter, both off the stick of Sharkin to cut its deficit to one heading into the halftime break.

Springfield would score the first five goals to open up the second half, as Heather Raniolo scored unassisted just 3:05 into the stanza, before Corsano took a feed from the senior and buried her chance to make it 7-4, Springfield.

Just 3:17 later, Heather Raniolo scored her third marker of the contest on a free-position chance, before Kristen Steidler (Somers, Conn.) took a pass from Corsano and found the back of the net to push Springfield's lead to five with 18:20 to go.

With 12:19 left, Paige Campbell (Lakeville, Mass.) found Bianca Raniolo on the wing, who tucked a shot underneath the crossbar to make it 10-4, Pride, before Wellesley cut its deficit to five when Sharkin converted a free-position chance of her own.

After another strike from Heather Raniolo, Lena Engbretson (Beaverton, Ore.) capitalized on a free-position shot with 2:01 remaining to make it a five-point game, but Corsano would seal the win with a last-second strike to push the Pride's lead back to six.

Wellesley returns home on Sunday, April 3, for a 1:00 PM non-conference match-up with Colby. Springfield will host MIT in a rematch of last season's NEWMAC Championship game on Stagg Field at 1 p.m.

Courtesy Springfield College Athletic Communications