Second Half Surge Sends #14/15 Stonehill Past Southern Connecticut State, 11-4

Senior Kelsey Shannahan helped lead the Skyhawks with four goals and an assist. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Shannahan and McGill pace offense as Skyhawks outscore Owls 7-1 in the second half to pull away 

EASTON, Mass. (April 9, 2014) – Stonehill College, ranked 14th in this week's Lacrosse Magazine poll and 15th in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division II poll, outscored Southern Connecticut State University 7-1 in the second half to pull away for an 11-4 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's lacrosse action at Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight.

Senior Kelsey Shannahan (Mendham, N.J./Morris Catholic) and junior Cassandra McGill (Westborough, Mass./Westborough) both recorded five points to lead Stonehill to its fourth straight win. Shannahan had a game-high four goals to go with an assist, three draw controls and a caused turnover, while McGill posted two goals and three assists on the night. Junior Brooke Rudden (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) added a goal and three assists for four points with four ground balls and a caused turnover, while classmate Emily Kessel (Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk) netted two goals for the Skyhawks.

Sophomore Rebecca Matheson (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) and freshman Shannon Booth (Pearl River, N.Y./Nanuet) each chipped in with goals for Stonehill, with Matheson also collecting three draws and two ground balls. Senior co-captain Katherine McDonough (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) paced the Skyhawks defensive effort with a career-high 11 ground balls to go with two caused turnovers. Junior Ashley Armstrong (Northborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) held her eighth straight opponent to ten goals or less as she finished with four saves, two on free-position shot attempts.

Stonehill posted a 28-11 advantage in shots, including 15-3 in the second half, holding a 9-8 edge in draw controls with Southern Connecticut State committing 23 turnovers, including a 13-5 margin in the second half. Sophomore Vanessa Pagano (Wilton, Conn./Wilton) had ten stops in the Owls goal, adding four ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Junior Cassandra McGill also posted five points with two second half goals and three assists. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Sophomore Jennifer McCarthy (Norwalk, Conn./Norwalk) led Southern with two goals, while senior Emily Tooker (Eastport, N.Y./Eastport South Manor) and junior Emily Orser (Hamden, Conn./Hamden) each netted a goal. Junior Sarah Muise (Killingworth, Conn./Haddam-Killingworth) chipped in with an assist and four draw controls.

Stonehill appeared poised to run away from Southern Connecticut, scoring the first four goals of the contest in the opening 7:15. Shannahan played a role in three of the first four Skyhawk goals, netting a pair and assisting on another. She scored off a pass from McGill 1:03 into the contest to open the scoring and then set up Kessel's first marker 2:42 into the contest. Shannahan scored off a feed from Rudden after 3:20 before Kessel's second goal of the run gave the Skyhawks a four goal lead with 22:45 remaining in the half.

Stonehill wouldn't score for the next 26-plus minutes and Southern Connecticut State scored the final three goals of the first half to go into halftime trailing just 4-3. Tooker got the Owls on the board off a pass from Muise with 21:05 remaining. McCarthy converted a free-position goal with 13:20 on the clock and then Orser pulled SCSU within a goal less than four minutes later with an unassisted tally with 9:25 to play in the half.

McGill broke Stonehill's drought with her first of two second half goals with an unassisted tally 4:35 into the half. She followed by setting up Shannahan's third of the night less than three minutes later to restore the Skyhawks three goal lead.

McCarthy drew Southern back within two with a free-position marker with 21:26 remaining in the game, but that would cap the Owls scoring and Stonehill netted the final five goals of the night to win going away. Matheson started the Skyhawks closing run with her 17th goal of the year off a pass from McGill with 18:55 left to play. Rudden converted a free-position shot just over two minutes later before setting up Shannahan's team-leading 28th goal of the year with 14:31 remaining. McGill followed with her second goal with 13:56 to play, before Booth capped the scoring with 33-seconds left.

Stonehill (8-4, 7-2 NE-10) is back in action on Saturday when it visits top-ranked and two time defending National Champions LIU Post at noon. The Skyhawks return to W.B. Mason Stadium next Wednesday to host Merrimack College for an NE-10 matchup at 7 p.m. Southern Connecticut State (2-9, 0-8 NE-10) visits Queens (N.Y.) College on Friday at 4 p.m.

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