NEWPORT, R.I. -- Sophomore transfer goalie Nicole Elliott (Wayne, N.J.) made 16 saves and junior midfielder Molly Reinhold (Mystic, Conn.) tallied six points, including four goals, to lead the Simmons University women's lacrosse team to a 14-7 season-opening victory over host Salve Regina University this afternoon at Toppa Field in Newport, R.I. The Sharks improve to 1-0 on the season, while the Seahawks fall to 1-1.
Elliott stopped 16 of 23 shots to post a .696 save percentage and held Salve Regina to just two markers in the opening half. Her save total was the most ever in a Simmons debut in net, while ranking as the most stops in a victory and a season-opener at the Fenway school since Crystal Derosier (2012-15) stopped 21 shots in a 15-11 win over Regis College (Mass.) to open the 2014 season on March 1. Reinhold finished with four goals and two assists to go with three caused turnovers and a pair of ground balls.
The Sharks held a 30-28 shot advantage, including 22-11 in the second half.
First year midfielder Emily Boedeker (Portland, Maine) tallied four goals in as many shots to establish a school record for goals by a newcomer in a Simmons debut, while senior Kingsley Richards (Lexington, Mass.) registered a mutl-goal effort in the season opener for the second straight year with three markers in addition to three ground balls and a trio of caused turnovers. First year attacker Lauren Whitman (Mansfield, Mass.) recorded three points in her collegiate debut with two goals and an assist to go with four draw controls, two ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers and classmate Sidney Pilot (Pomfret, Vt.) led all players with five draw controls and added her first career goal, a ground ball and a caused turnover. Senior defender Kristen Mihalich (East Rockaway, N.Y.) aided the defensive effort with three caused turnovers and a trio of ground balls.
Senior attacker Stefanie Salsbury (Cranston, R.I.) led Salve Regina with three goals and added a ground ball, while sophomore midfielder Nicole Smith (North Attleboro, Mass.) led the defense with a game-high eight caused turnovers and four ground balls. Sophomore midfielder Stephanie Szelest (Bristol, R.I.) contributed with a goal, four ground balls, four draw controls and two caused turnovers.
The Sharks scored the first two goals of the match and never looked back, taking a 6-2 advantage into halftime. Reinhold and Richards each scored within the first three minutes of the game, before Boedeker converted a feed from Reinhold for her first collegiate marker with 22:14 left in the first half for a 3-0 lead. Senior midfielder Madison Hartt (Old Saybrook, Conn.) put Salve Regina on the board just 14 seconds later and senior attacker Maddie Villareal (Portsmouth, R.I.) scored on a free position shot to pull the home team to within 3-2 with 17:46 showing on the first half clock. The Simmons defense and Elliott tightened up and did not relinquish a goal for the remainder of the period, while Simmons put three more scores on the board in the final 12 minutes of the stanza. Reinhold and Boedeker each scored within a 91-second span and Whitman found the back of the net for her first career goal on a feed from first year attacker Samantha Hogan (Westborough, Mass.) with 7:49 to go in the half to make it 6-2.
The Sharks scored three of the first four goals to open the second session, including rookie markers from Boedeker, Pilot and Whitman, to take a 9-3 advantage with 25 minutes to play in the match. The Seahawks offense came to life with three unanswered goals, including two from Salsbury, who scored just 15 seconds after junior teammate Kaity Doherty (Portsmouth, R.I.) to cut the Salve Regina deficit to 9-6 with 18:37 remaining in the contest.
Richards stopped the Seahawks' scoring string with her second score of the afternoon, before Salsbury matched her on a feed from senior attacker Kiley Anderson (East Greenwich, R.I.) for Salve Regina's last goal of the day at 13:29 to make it 10-7. The Simmons defense closed out the second half in the same fashion as the first -- without allowing a goal in the final 13 and a half minutes, while the Sharks' offense scored four straight goals to secure the win. Richards and Boedeker each scored, before Reinhold tallied the final two markers of the day.
Junior starting goalie Christina Myers (River Edge, N.J.) stopped one of seven shots in the first 22:11 of action for Salve Regina, before giving way to first year Caroline Watson (Wrentham, Mass.), who turned away 12 of 20 shots in the final 37:49 in her collegiate debut.
The Sharks will have a quick turnaround, taking on University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on Monday, March 2 at Daly Field at 5:00 p.m. in Simmons' home opener, while the Seahawks travel to Dartmouth, Mass. to face the Corsairs as well on March 4 at 4:00 p.m.