Mansfield, Conn. - February 25, 2016 - Led by five-point efforts from senior midfielder Heather Raniolo (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) and sophomore Shelby Corsano (Bourne, Mass.), the Springfield College women's lacrosse program defeated Eastern Connecticut, 15-11, to begin the 2016 season at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex on Thursday afternoon.
Beginning the season with a win for the 12th-straight season, the Pride is now 1-0, while also competing in its first game of 2016, Eastern Connecticut falls to 0-1 overall. Springfield was dominant in the possession game, as it posted 18 draw controls to the Warriors 10, while the Pride also held a 31-19 advantage in shots, a 25-24 edge in ground balls, and converted 8-of-11 free-position chances in the victory.
For Springfield, Raniolo notched a team-high four goals to go along with one assist, while Corsano produced three goals and added a pair of helpers. Corsano and classmate Ann Mahoney (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) each picked up four draw controls, while Mahoney also tallied a game-high five groundballs over the course of the contest. In net, junior Gabriella Anderson (Mahopac, N.Y.) posted three saves in the victory.
Junior midfielder Paige Schneider (East Lyme, Conn.) led the Warriors with four goals in the defeat, while senior attack Tess Mraz (Fairfield, Conn.) posted three goals to begin the season. In between the pipes, Taylor Emmerson (Colchester, Conn.) stopped eight of the 23 shots she saw on the evening.
Freshman Allie Goddard (Acton, Mass.) picked up her first-career goal just 1:12 into the contest to give the Pride an early 1-0 edge, but the Warriors answered just 40 seconds later when Katie Burke (South Windsor, Conn.) evened the score at one with an unassisted strike. From there, a free-position goal from Raniolo sparked four unanswered goals for the Pride, including strikes from Goddard, Bianca Raniolo (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) and Corsano to make it a 5-1 contest just 12:44 into the game.
Mraz would take a pass from Burke with 11:22 left in the half and found the back of the net to make it a three-goal game, but back-to-back goals from sophomore Kayla Schroeher (Riverhead, N.Y.) pushed the Pride's lead up to five with 6:21 left in the half. Schneider would find twine 29 seconds later to make it 7-3, Springfield, at the half.
Springfield pumped in three goals to begin the second half, including strikes from Heather Raniolo, Kristen Steidler (Somers, Conn.) and Corsano to make it 10-3, followed by a pair of free-position conversions from Heather Raniolo to make it 12-5 midway through the stanza. Bianca Raniolo, Goddard and Corsano all struck within a span of 3:30 to make it 15-7, Springfield, with 8:36 to go, but the Warriors would register four-straight goals to end the contest, 15-11.
Springfield will continue its non-conference schedule on Saturday, February 27 when it take on cross-town rival Western New England at Golden Bear Stadium at 1 p.m.