#7 Stonehill Drops Heartbreaker at #4 Rollins, 16-15

Senior Heather Sullivan scored five of her team leading six goals in the second half. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Thayer leads Tars in top ten clash for Skyhawks season-opener

WINTER PARK, Fla. (March 2, 2013) – Rollins College, ranked fourth in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Association (IWLCA) Division II poll, held off a second half comeback from 7th-ranked Stonehill College to claim a 16-15 triumph in non-conference women's lacrosse action at Barker Family Stadium tonight.

Junior Kelly Thayer (Orlando, Fla./Edgewater) led Rollins with four points on three goals and an assist, including a marker with 5:06 remaining to give the Tars a late two goal lead that Stonehill would not be able to erase. Senior Erica Pagliarulo (Winchester, Mass./Newton Country Day) and sophomore Chelsea Pinneke (Longwood, Fla./Lake Brantley) each netted three goals for Rollins, while junior Caroline Lamere (Longwood, Fla./Lake Brantley) contributed a goal and two assists for three points. Graduate student Courtney Bianculli (Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) and freshman Tyler Thomas (Winter Park, Fla./Lake Highland Prep) each chipped in with a pair of goals.

Senior Heather Sullivan (Andover, Mass./Andover) led Stonehill with six goals, including five in the second half as the Skyhawks rallied from a three goal halftime deficit. Classmate Kayla Green (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) added five points with four goals and an assist, while sophomore Mikayla Couch (Towaco, N.J./DePaul Catholic) contributed two goals and an assist for three points. Sophomore Jillian Yung (Bridgewater, Mass./Bridgewater-Raynham) dished out two assists, while senior All-American Kelsey Reilly (Hingham, Mass./Notre Dame Academy), junior Kelsey Shannahan (Mendham, N.J./Morris Catholic) and sophomore Elizabeth Lane (Sandwich, Mass./Bishop Stang) each chipped in with a goal.

Senior Kayla Green totaled five points with four goals and an assist tonight. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Junior Elyse De Lisle (Windermere, Fla./Olympia) preserved the win with 12 saves in goal for Rollins. Stonehill posted a 31-28 edge in shots for the contest, converting 3-of-6 free position shots, while the Tars were 5-for-7. Sophomore Ashley Armstrong (Northborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) finished with five saves in net for the Skyhawks. Rollins also held a 17-15 edge for draw controls.

Stonehill jumped out to an early lead in its season-opener, scoring the first four goals of the contest from the stick of four different players. Shannahan, who missed the entire 2012 season due to injury, opened the scoring four and a half minutes in with an unassisted tally. Green, Sullivan and Couch also netted goals for the Skyhawks.

Rollins responded by netting the next eight goals to take control of the game. Pagliarulo and Thayer each scored a pair during the run, with Thayer also notching an assist, as the Tars tallied four markers on free position attempts. Green got one goal back for Stonehill with 27-seconds remaining before the intermission.

Sullivan pulled Stonehill back within two goals with her first goal of the second half 41-seconds into the frame. Rollins regained the four goal lead less than two minutes later with back-to-back goals from Bianculli and Pagliarulo. The Skyhawks got back in the game by scoring six of the next seven goals to regain the lead with a Sullivan goal from Green with 15:46 to play. Sullivan scored two goals during that stretch, while Green had two goals and the assist.

Rollins answered with three straight goals to reclaim its two goal lead (14-12) after Bianculli's second of the game with 8:46 remaining. Sullivan drew Stonehill back within a goal twice on markers with 7:42 and 5:16 to go, but the Tars answered within a minute each time, including Thayer's third goal just ten seconds after Sullivan pulled the Skyhawks back (15-14) a second time. Reilly capped the scoring with two seconds remaining with an unassisted tally as the comeback effort came up short.

The loss is Stonehill's first in a season-opening match since dropping a 13-9 decision to Longwood University to start the 2004 season.

Stonehill (0-1, 0-0 NE-10) returns to action on Monday when it visits 15th-ranked Florida Southern College at 7 p.m. The Skyhawks home opener is scheduled for Sunday, March 17, when it hosts Queens (N.Y.) College at W.B. Mason Stadium at noon. Rollins (2-0) hosts Regis College on Monday at 4 p.m.

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