Lacrosse Storm Back to Defeat Sweet Briar in Opener

Ali Cucinotta, courtesy of Carl Lewis
Ali Cucinotta, courtesy of Carl Lewis

AMHERST, Va. - The NC Wesleyan College women's lacrosse team rallied from an early deficit to come back and defeat Sweet Briar College (Va.) 15-11 in their season opener in Amherst, VA on Wednesday night.

Sweet Briar (0-1) got out to a 6-2 lead 20 minutes into the game before the Bishops came storming back scoring four straight goals to go into the half tied at 6. Freshman attacker Winter Hardison scored 4 first-half goals while junior midfielder Ali Cucinotta added two.

In the second half, SBC would take their last lead at 9-8 with just under 20 minutes to play before Wesleyan scored 4 straight goals again including 7 of the next 8 goals to take a commanding 15-10 lead and go on for the win.

Hardison finished the game with 7 goals and 3 draw control wins while Cucinotta scored 5 goals and added 3 assists while winning a team-best 9 draws and causing 4 SBC turnovers. She also recorded 5 ground balls in the win. 

Also scoring goals for the Lady Bishops were sophomore midfielders Lindsay Abernathy, Madeline Graham, and Maddie O'Neill. The trio also all recorded two ground balls apiece and each caused a turnover. Sophomore defenders Aydriyan Upchurch and Karlee Bjurstrom also combined to force 4 turnovers and record 3 ground balls.

Freshman goalie Izzy Espoile made 13 saves on 24 shots on goal as the Bishops outshot the Vixens 35-32 overall and 19-13 in the 2nd half.

The Lady Bishops, now 1-0, return to action on Saturday when they travel to Virginia to battle Randolph College at 5:00 PM.