The Central Connecticut women's lacrosse team fell to Monmouth by a score of 9-7 on Sunday afternoon at Arute Field. The Blue Devils (9-8, 7-2 NEC) led 5-3 at the half, but Monmouth came from behind to earn the victory. The Hawks (11-6, 9-0 NEC) earned the Northeast Conference Regular Season Title with the victory and they will host the NEC Tournament.
Senior Mackenzy Ryan led the Blue Devils with four points in the game.
Monmouth opened the game with a free position goal 89 seconds into play. The Blue Devils countered with a free position goal by freshman Falynn McCartney with 20:06 left in the period.
The Hawks followed two minutes later with another free position goal to take the 2-1 lead.
A minute later Ryan passed to senior Betsy Vendel for a goal with 17:08 left in the period that tied the score at 2-2. The same duo went back to work just two minutes later to give the Blue Devils their first lead of the game. Then with 8:47 left in the period junior Amanda Toke extended CCSU's lead to 4-2 with a free position shot.
Two minutes after Toke's goal, Monmouth interrupted CCSU momentum with a goal by Cassie Campasano.
However, CCSU was able to land the final point of the first half as Toke cleared the ball and went straight to the goal for a score. CCSU's 5-3 lead held for the remaining 2:24 seconds of the period.
Monmouth took control of the game in the second half with a 5-0 run to open the period. The Hawks had four different goal scorers during the run, which built a 8-5 lead with 12:49 left in the game.
The Hawks were able to keep the Blue Devils off the board for over 22 minutes to start the second half, but Ryan snapped the streak with a beautiful unassisted goal with 7:49 left to play. Ryan started on the near side of the field, cut toward the middle, then spun back toward the outside before shooting and scoring.
Minutes later, Ryan picked up her third assist of the game by passing to junior Claire Healy for a goal.
Healy's goal made it an 8-7 game, but the Hawks answered quickly with a free position goal by Cassie Campasano. That goal put Monmouth back in front by two goals with just 2:37 left in the game.
Ryan finished with a team high four points, three assists and a goal. Vendel and Toke both scored two goals and were also active in the midfield. Toke secured four ground balls, caused a turnover and controlled a draw, while Vendel had four draw controls.
McCartney also had a strong game with three ground balls, three draw controls and a caused turnover, in addition to her goal.
With her first goal of the game Vendel reached 50 points for the season, she is the only CCSU player to record 50+ points in each season of her career.
Sophomore goalkeeper Morgan Tullar made 12 saves in the game, with seven coming in the second half. She falls to 9-8 on the season.
Monmouth's Cassi Campasano recorded a hat-trick in the game.
The Blue Devils will be the #2 seed in the NEC Tournament and will play #3 Bryant on Friday. The game time is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. start. Monmouth will host the tournament and will play #4 seed Mount St. Mary's. The winners of the semifinal contests will play for the Championship on Sunday.