The Central Connecticut women's lacrosse team earned a 9-6 victory over Sacred Heart on Thursday afternoon. The Blue Devils (5-5, 3-0 NEC) were led by four goals from freshman Falynn McCartney. Sacred Heart falls to 2-6 and 1-1 in NEC play with the loss.
The victory is CCSU's first over Sacred Heart in women's lacrosse.
Trailing 4-2 with three minutes left in the first half, the Blue Devils rallied to score seven straight goals over an 18 minute stretch covering the final moments of the first half and the beginning of the second period.
McCartney scored the final goal of the period to swing the momentum back to the Blue Devils before halftime. Following the break, freshman Elyse Malecki scored on a free position shot to tie the game with 26:34 left to play. Just 90 seconds later, McCartney gave CCSU a 5-4 lead with an unassisted goal.
Junior Amanda Toke extended the Blue Devil lead to 6-4 and with 18:01 left to play McCartney picked up her third goal of the game and her first career hat-trick.
Junior Claire Healy scored to increase CCSU's lead to 8-4 with 15:26 left to play and McCartney followed 39 seconds later with her fourth goal of the game. McCartney's goal gave CCSU a 9-4 lead.
Over the final 14:47 of the game the Blue Devil defense held strong against Sacred Heart's come back attempt. Sophomore goalkeeper Morgan Tullar posted four of her five saves in the second half, with three coming over the final 15 minutes of play. The Blue Devil defenders also blocked a pair of Sacred Heart shots late in the game.
The Blue Devil defense caused 14 of the Pioneers' 26 turnovers in the game. Sophomore Andrea Tarsi caused three turnovers and senior Caitlin Karner, junior Ashley Olhausen and freshman Madison Hughes all posted a pair of caused turnovers.
Senior Ali Roche posted a season-high seven ground balls in the game. Tarsi and Olhausen each contributed four ground balls in the victory.
Toke scored the first goal for the Blue Devils just 89 seconds into the first period. Following a Sacred Heart goal, senior Betsy Vendel scored to give CCSU a 2-1 lead. Toke and Vendel's goals were both on free position shots.
Following Vendel's goal Sacred Heart scored three straight times to take a 4-2 lead.
The Blue Devils had been 0-13 against the Pioneer's prior to the victory. CCSU and Sacred Heart have played every season since the CCSU lacrosse program began competition during the 2000 season.
CCSU used a 12-5 advantage in draw controls to push its offense throughout the game. Vendel led the team with four draw controls.
The Blue Devils return to action on Saturday against Quinnipiac. The game is scheduled for a a 1 p.m. start at Arute Field.