Strong First Half Lifts UNE Past Women's Lacrosse

BIDDEFORD, Maine - Junior Hannah Tavella (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) scored five times to lead a balanced University of New England attack as the Nor'easters recorded a 17-6 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) women's lacrosse victory over Wentworth Institute of Technology in a steady drizzle under the lights Wednesday (Mar. 27) at the Big Blue Turf.

Big Blue (3-4, 1-0 CCC) has now won its last three contests, while the Leopards drop to 1-3 overall (0-1 CCC).

Tavella -- who converted all five of her shot attempts -- was one of 10 UNE players to find the back of the cage. Sophomores Gina Newsome (Danbury, Conn.) and Nikki Smith (Shapleigh, Maine), along with first-year Macki Hill (York Beach, Maine), added two scores apiece.

Junior Johanna Currier (Holderness, N.H.) tallied one goal, one assist, five draw controls, and two caused turnovers in support. Senior Nicolle Steel (Ocean City, N.J.) came off the UNE back line to score as well, and picked up a team-high four ground balls.

The Nor'easters won the draw control battle by a 15-9 margin, aided by another three from junior Cassidy Ruocco (Dover, N.H.).

For Wentworth, sophomore Jessica Houghton (Billerica, Mass.) had two goals to go with game-highs of six ground balls and three caused turnovers. Classmate Alexandrea Banks (Ellington, Conn.) controlled a team-best five draws.

UNE notched the first seven goals of the contest, before Houghton got the visitors on the board midway through the 1st period. The hosts managed to extend the gap to 11-1 shortly after, and settled on a 12-4 cushion at halftime.

Big Blue out-shot the Leopards, 17-10, in the opening stanza. The match ended with just a difference of four (26-22) in the shots category.

Both squads continue CCC play on Saturday. The Nor'easters, who received three saves from first-year goalie Courtney Kendall (Waltham, Mass.), entertain Roger Williams University at noon.

Wentworth, which got six saves out of first-year Hayley Patton (Cranston, R.I.), is back in Boston for a 11 a.m. date with Nichols College.