UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Utica College women's lacrosse team defeated visiting Hartwick College 16-9 in Empire 8 Conference action on the turf at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Three different players scored at least five points for the Pioneers, including leading scorer Megan Kane (Staten Island, NY/Tottenville), who tied her career-high with five goals. Sophomore Courtney Wheeler (Ava, NY/Rome Free Academy) scored a career-high six points (five goals, one assist) and junior Morgan DuPont (Wynantskill, NY/Averill Park) tied the school-record with a career-high five assists for the second consecutive day. DuPont finished with a season-high seven points (two goals, five assists).
Utica has now won five of its last six games and improved to 5-2 overall, while evening its record at 1-1 in conference play. The Hawks dropped to 4-7 on the year and 0-3 in the conference.
DuPont now ranks second on the College's all-time list with 51 career assists. She is just six shy of Tammy Kohanski's '11 school-record of 57 career assists. DuPont's 21 assists this season leads the conference and she now needs one more assist this year to set a new program-record for assists in a single season. Megan Kane (Staten Island, NY/Tottenville)'s 79 career goals rank ninth on the College's all-time list.
The Pioneers jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first 7:38 of the contest behind three goals from Wheeler and one each from Megan Kane (Staten Island, NY/Tottenville) and Colleen Dowling (Fairport, NY/Fairport). Wheeler's three goals were consecutive and came just 1:22 apart. Four of Wheeler's five goals on the afternoon came off of free position shots.
Both teams netted four goals apiece in the final 17:33 of the first half and the Pioneers held a 9-4 advantage as the halftime horn sounded.
The Pioneers basically put the game away with the first five goals of the second half in a span of 7:45. Megan Kane (Staten Island, NY/Tottenville) and freshman Rebecca Plunkett (Kings Park, NY/Kings Park) each netted two goals in the early second half spurt, while Wheeler snuck in her tenth of the season in the span as well.
Hartwick put a scare in the Pioneers by scoring five of the game's next six goals to cut Utica's ten goal lead to 15-9 with 2:53 left in the contest. However, it proved to be too late as UC netted the game's final tally with 1:21 left to give the Pioneers a seven goal victory.
Lauren Rosenberg led the Hawks with four goals on the afternoon, while Whitesboro, NY native Emily Jweid added two goals and two assists.
Patricia Kane (Staten Island, NY/Tottenville) collected a season-high five draw controls for the Pioneers, while Mary Morgan Marafino (Monroe, NY/Central Square) and goalie Erin Jacobson (Staten Island, NY/Curtis) each posted four ground balls. Jacobson finished the day with a career-high 12 saves as she earned her fifth win of the season for Utica.
UC outshot Hartwick 27-21 and earned a 38-32 advantage in ground balls. The Pioneers also won 15-of-26 draw controls.
Utica's Rebecca Plunkett (Kings Park, NY/Kings Park) continued her impressive freshman campaign with three goals and one assist to give her 23 total points this season. Two-sport athlete Colleen Dowling (Fairport, NY/Fairport) (field hockey, women's lacrosse) came off the bench and added one goal and one assist, while senior Julia Primps (Ossining, NY/Ossining) also added a helper.
The Pioneers are in the midst of a four game home stand and will return to Gaetano Stadium next Saturday when they take on St. John Fisher College at 1 p.m.