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Fitchburg State Holds Off Johnson & Wales, 16-15

Fitchburg State Holds Off Johnson & Wales, 16-15

Laferriere nets four goals for Falcons in non-conference victory

CRANSTON, R.I. – Fitchburg State University defeated the Wildcats of Johnson and Wales University, 16-15 in non-conference women's lacrosse action this afternoon at the Scots Miracle-Gro Athletics Complex to start the season 2-0 for the first time in the program's history.

In the first half, Johnson and Wales dented the scoreboard first as freshman Kathy Ensor found the back of the net off an assist from classmate Allison Pazienski before Fitchburg State answered with back-to-back tallies by sophomores Corinne DeSimone and Bailey Miller for the 2-1 advantage.

Following a goal from sophomore Gabrielle Vasile to knot the score at 2-2, the Green and Gold regained the lead with scores by DeSimone and sophomore Jaimee Lutz to make the score 4-2.

The Falcons upped its margin (11-5) on markers from senior Brianna Dunn, sophomore Amanda Gage, junior Ali Laferriere and a pair of score by Miller. Johnson and Wales fought its way back into the contest, cutting the deficit to four as Pazienski and senior Marissa Hart connected on back-to-back goals in winding minutes of the opening half as Fitchburg State took an 11-7 margin into the break.

Following intermission, the Wildcats continued the offensive pressure as Pazienski and sophomore Raquel Pederzani registered markers to open the second half. Fitchburg State answered with pair of goals of its own on scores from Laferriere and junior Andrea Comeau for the 13-9 edge.

Johnson and Wales continued to battle however, netting three straight tallies by Hart, Ensor and junior Kayla Smith (13-12). The Falcons answered back with the next two scores, with junior Kayla Panek and Comeau picking up goals for the Green and Gold.

After a score by DeSimone put Fitchburg State up by three (16-13), the hosts made one final rally as junior Lydia Knapp and Vasile registered markers for Johnson and Wales, but that's as close as the Wildcats would get as the Falcons were able to gain control of ball and hold on the 16-15 final.

Fitchburg State was paced by Laferriere, who finished with a team-leading four points on four goals with one groundball and one draw control, while DeSimone added four points on three markers and one assist as well as four groundballs. Miller was also solid for the Green and Gold, totaling three points on three score to go along with a game-leading five groundballs.

For the Johnson and Wales, Hart led the way with a game best five points on two goals and three assists as well as two groundballs, a caused turnover and one draw control, while Pederzani and Knapp combined for eight points on four goals and four helper with nine groundballs, four caused turnovers and two draw controls.

For the contest, Johnson and Wales finished with a 36-29 margin in shots, while the Falcons held a 28-22 advantage in groundballs. In between the pipes, senior Liz Darrigo stopped 15 shots for Fitchburg State in the complete game effort, while counterpart Cristal Benton made eight saves for the Wildcats in 60 minutes of action.

Fitchburg State (2-0, 0-0 MASCAC) returns to action on Tuesday as it takes on the Lyons of Mount Holyoke College at the NTC Spring Games in Clermont, Fla. at 11 a.m. Johnson & Wales (1-3, 0-0 GNAC) will visit Salve Regina on Saturday for a contest starting at 3 p.m.

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