Fast Start Paces Western New England Past Women's Lacrosse

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. –Junior Kaitlynn Stevens tied her season high with seven points and Western New England tied its season best with 21 goals during the Golden Bears' 21-3 victory over Wentworth in the Commonwealth Coast Conference women's lacrosse season opener for both teams on Wednesday at Golden Bear Stadium. The visiting Leopards drop even to 3-3 overall; WNE is now 8-0 on the season.

Junior tri-captain Jessica Scannapieco and sophomore Taylor Scialdone scored two goals apiece as WNE opened the contest on a 7-0 run during a span of 9:13 by the 20:15 mark of the first half. Scannapieco finished with three goals and five points, and Scialdone had two goals and four assists.

Junior Jessica Houghton (Billerica, Mass.) led Wentworth with two goals, a career-high 11 ground balls, three caused turnovers and three draw controls. Classmate Julie Azzinaro (Westerly, R.I.) scored the Leopards' other tally in the first half. Houghton put the visitors on the scoreboard with her team-leading 17th goal 20 seconds after Scialdone's second of the afternoon to make it 7-1.

Stevens had three goals and four assists, and senior tri-captain Kelsey Sherman (two assists) and sophomore Kelsey Armstrong also each recorded a hat trick.

The Golden Bears' offense generated 39 shots, including 33 on the cage, while the defense limited Wentworth to 16 and 12. Both teams committed 28 turnovers each. Western New England held a slim 42-34 edge in ground balls.

Scannapieco had seven of WNE's 17 draw controls. Houghton led the Leopards with three and Beverly Farris (Palmer, Mass.) had two as part of the team's nine.

Sophomore Bethany Peters (one goal, one assist) led WNE with five ground balls, followed by senior Janelle Gordon and sophomore Jill Truax with four apiece off the bench. Scannapieco had four as well.

Junior Emily Castleman started in goal for the Golden Bears and made seven saves to get the win (7-0), allowing two goals. Classmate Melissa Perry played the entire second half and saved two shots. For Wentworth, sophomore Hayley Patton (Cranston, R.I.) played the first 27:50 and stopped six shots while permitting 11 goals and junior Robyn Pacini (Stoneham, Mass.) had six saves and 10 goals allowed in the final 32:10.

Western New England led 13-2 at halftime and outscored the Leopards 8-1 over the final 30 minutes.

The Golden Bears continue their three-game homestand against CCC competition on Friday (4 p.m.) against Curry. On Saturday, Wentworth hosts Roger Williams.

(Courtesy of Western New England Sports Information)