The Central Connecticut women's lacrosse team came from behind to defeat Quinnipiac on Saturday afternoon. The victory gives the Blue Devils (6-5, 4-0 NEC) a program best 4-0 start to Northeast Conference play and sets a school record for longest winning streak, five games. The Bobcats fall to 3-7 and 1-2 in NEC play.
Sophomore Andrea Tarsi scored two goals that tied the score late in the second half and assisted on CCSU's game winning goal.
With 6:05 left to play senior Betsy Vendel found Tarsi cutting in front of the goal for a game tying score. Just 30 seconds later Tarsi was back at it, but this time she passed to senior Mackenzy Ryan who scored the game winning goal.
Over the final five and a half minutes the Blue Devil defense held off the Bobcats' efforts to tie the game. Quinnipiac's best chance to tie the game came with 1:26 left to play, but sophomore goalie Morgan Tullar knocked away the shot of Quinnipiac's Kyra Ochwat and freshman Madison Hughes picked up the loose ball to halt the Bobcats attack.
The Bobcats' final two shot attempts came in the final 14 seconds of play and both went wide of the goal, securing the CCSU lacrosse program's first victory over Quinnipiac.
CCSU trailed Quinnipiac 8-4 at the half, but the Blue Devils were able to limit their opponent to a single second half goal, while scoring six of their own.
Junior Amanda Toke started the Blue Devils' second half come back with a free position goal with 20:04 left to play. Less than a minute later Hughes scored an unassisted goal to cut the deficit to two goals.
With 14:33 left in the game, freshman Falynn McCartney scored an unassisted goal to make it a 8-7 game and minutes later Tarsi tied the game at 8-8 with an unassisted goal.
Quinnipiac responded with a goal less than two minutes later making it a 9-8 game, but CCSU was up to the task with a tying and winning goal in the final minutes of the game.
In the first half, Ryan assisted freshman Elyse Malecki on CCSU's first goal of the game, which tied the score at 1-1. Toke scored a pair of unassisted goals and Vendel added an unassisted goal in the opening period.
Quinnipiac closed the first half on a 4-1 run and the Blue Devils opened the second period with a 4-0 run.
Tullar improves to 6-5 on the season in goal. She made six saves and picked up two ground balls.
The CCSU defense was led by senior Ali Roche who recorded a team-high seven ground balls and caused three turnovers.
In addition to posting a hat-trick, Toke also caused three turnovers, controlled two draws and scooped up three ground balls.
Vendel scored a goal and had an assist to total two points and extend her school record career point total to 200. Vendel also pulled down six of Central's 11 draw controls in the game. CCSU held a slight 11-10 advantage in draw controls, but the Blue Devils had a 5-3 advantage in the second half.
The game winning goal scored by Ryan was the 100th of her career. She is the fifth Blue Devil player to reach triple-digit goals for her career and the third this season. Senior Meaghan McCurry and Vendel also reached 100 this season.
The five game winning streak breaks the previous record of four games set by the 2011 squad.
This season's 4-0 start tops the 2012 team's 3-1 start to NEC play for the best in program history.
The Blue Devils return to action on Friday, April 5th, against Bryant. That game is scheduled for 7 p.m.