Women's Lacrosse Runs Past Johnson & Wales in NCAA Tournament First Round, 17-8

Women's Lacrosse Runs Past Johnson & Wales in NCAA Tournament First Round, 17-8

HARTFORD, Conn.—Senior Francesca Giovanucci (Easton, Mass.) and junior Charlotte O'Halloran (Middletown, R.I.) each scored four times and Babson College used a 12-goal run that spanned parts of both halves to defeat Johnson & Wales University, 17-8, in an NCAA Tournament First Round game on Saturday afternoon at Sheppard Field.

Babson (14-5), which has won 11 of its last 12 games, picked up its first NCAA Tournament victory since 2010, while Johnson & Wales sees its historic season come to a close with a record of 16-5.

Junior Julia Harrigan (Portsmouth, R.I.) had three goals, senior Emily Bresnahan (Wenham, Mass.) added two markers and O'Halloran led all players with a pair of assists. Senior Katie McKenna (Sandwich, Mass.) scored once and contributed five draw controls, two ground balls and two caused turnovers, while classmate Delaney Carroll (Acton, Mass.) added four ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Junior Gabreille Vasile (Milford, Mass.) scored three goals for the Wildcats, who were held over eight goals below their season average. Senior Lydia Knapp (Glens Falls, N.Y.) led all players with nine draw controls in the loss.

The teams were deadlocked at 4-4 with less than 10 minutes to go in the first half when the Green and White pulled away with 12 straight goals. O'Halloran and Bresnahan buried consecutive free-position shots to make it 6-4 at the 8:29 mark, and Harrigan and O'Halloran scored just 10 seconds apart to extend the margin to 8-4 with 7:05 to go until halftime. Bresnahan and McKenna both scored in the final five minutes of the period to give the Beavers a 10-4 advantage at the break.

Giovanucci scored twice in the first 4:27 of the second half and Harrigan tallied twice in 49 seconds to make it 14-4 with 24:11 to go in the contest. Sophomore Taylor Thorbahn (Duxbury, Mass.) and first-year Taylor Herrmann (Mahwah, N.J.) extended the lead to 16-4 with 18:55 remaining before Knapp stopped the run with the first of four late free-position goals for Johnson & Wales with 12:01 left.

Senior goaltender Stevie Burger (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) made a season-high seven saves for Babson, while junior Marianna Consiglio (New Fairfield, Conn.) turned away six shots for the Wildcats.

The Beavers finished with the edge in shots (25-19), draw controls (14-13) and ground balls (17-7), and forced Johnson & Wales to commit 13 of its 18 turnovers in the first half.

Babson returns to action on Sunday when it takes on 10th-ranked Trinity at 1 p.m. in Hartford.

GAME NOTES
•    Saturday's matchup was the Beavers' first against Johnson & Wales and the first in program history against a GNAC opponent.
•    Babson is now 4-5 all-time in six NCAA Tournament appearances, which includes a 4-1 mark in first round games.
•    With four goals and two assists on Saturday, O'Halloran is now tied for seventh in single-season program history with 72 points.
•    The Beavers' 14 wins are their most since posting 15 victories in 2010 and just two shy of the school record set back in 2008.

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