Lax Succumbs to Emmanuel in Second Half, 17-14; Giarrusso Sets Ground Ball Mark

Lax Succumbs to Emmanuel in Second Half, 17-14; Giarrusso Sets Ground Ball Mark

BOSTON, Mass. - Sophomore midfielder Ana Giarrusso (Hingham, Mass.) tallied four goals and set the school record for ground balls in a season to lead the Simmons College women's lacrosse team in a 17-14 loss to visiting Emmanuel College this afternoon at Daly Field in Brighton, Mass. The Sharks fall to 7-11 overall and 3-6 in league play, while the Saints improve to 6-9 and 5-4. 

Simmons will now head to Newton, Mass. on Wednesday, May 3 as the number six seed to take on third-seeded Lasell College at 3:00 p.m. in the opening round of the GNAC Championship Tournament. Emmanuel travels to Newton as well to play as the fifth seed vs. number four Mount Ida College at 4:00 p.m. on the same day.

EC dominated the second half possession to overcome a one-goal halftime deficit, winning 13 of 17 draw controls in the period and outshooting Simmons, 20-9 in the second stanza. 

Giarrusso now has 56 ground balls to eclipse the former season standard of 53 set by Megan Coffey in 2012. She finished with four ground balls, two draw controls and two caused turnovers. Junior attacker Kasey Fries (Bridgewater, Mass.) also netted four goals and came up with two ground balls. Sophomore defender Mallory Cottam (Hope, R.I.) netted three goals, won a pair of draw controls and recorded a ground ball, while classmate Elena Bragg (Belmont, Mass.) finished with three points, including a goal, six draw controls, four ground balls and three caused turnovers. Junior goalie Chyenne Yeager (Indiana, Pa.) stopped eight shots for Simmons.

Senior attacker Emily Baker (Stratham, N.H.) led the Saints' offense by matching her season high with eight points on six goals and two assists to go with four ground balls to her point total for the Saints, while senior midfielder Savannah Lundwall (Fiskdale, Mass.) owned the draw, recording a career-high 15 draw controls to go with three goals, two assists, six ground balls and two caused turnovers. First year middie Kylie Rice (Bethlehem, Conn.) turned in a career day with a personal-high of three goals and three assists in addition to three draw controls and a caused turnover. First year attacker Allison Hutchings (Billerica, Mass.) contributed with four points on two goals and two assists as one of five players with multiple goals for the visitors and also picked up a ground ball and caused a turnover. Sophomore goalie Bethany Bonilla (Milton, Mass.) earned the victory with six saves. 

Lundwall scored just 64 seconds into the second half to pull Emmanuel even at 8-8, but Giarrusso responded with a pair of free position markers to give the Sharks a 10-8 margin. Baker and Rice each scored for the Saints, before Hutchings scored her eighth goal of the season to cap a three-goal string and give Emmanuel its first lead of the afternoon at 11-10 with 18:41 to play in the second half. Cottam took advantage of the Saints being a player down with her second goal of the day at 16:18 to pull Simmons even at 11-11, but Emmanuel scored five of the next six goals in just under eight minutes to take its largest lead of the contest at 16-12. Lundwall paced the run with a pair of goals and Rice capped it at the 8:39 mark. 

Cottam and Bragg each found the back of the net for the final goals of the day for the home team to pull it to within 16-14 with three minutes left, but that was as close as the Sharks got for the remainder of the match as Baker scored the final marker of the day for the Saints with 2:11 to play. 

The Simmons defense held Emmanuel to just one goal in the first seven-plus minutes of the game, while the offense scored six times for a 6-1 lead with Fries and Giarrusso each scoring a pair of goals during the opening barrage for the Sharks. 

Simmons looked to be in control, until the Saints ripped off three goals in 30 seconds, including two in a span of 10 ticks, to cut the deficit to 6-4 with 11:58 showing in the first period. Senior attacker Amanda Cook (Saco, Maine) awakened the Emmanuel offense with the first two goals of the burst. Fries came back with a goal at 9:11 for a 7-4 Sharks' lead, but the Saints answered with a goal each from Rice and Hutchings to make it 7-6 with 5:59 to go in the half. Fries halted the visitors' momentum again with her 47th goal of the year to give Simmons an 8-6 lead at 5:12, before Baker scored the final marker of the period with 2:04 left to make it a one-goal game at 8-7.