March 2, 2011

Manhattan Downs Wagner in Home Opener

from press release

RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Senior attacker Phelicia VanOverbeke and freshman Maria Toscano each had three goals and sophomore goalkeeper Julia DiBernardo made 11 saves to propel the Manhattan women's lacrosse team to a 12-7 victory over Wagner in their home opener Wednesday afternoon.

On a chilly day at Gaelic Park, the Lady Jaspers (1-1) fought back from an early deficit and put together a run of six unanswered goals midway through the first period to send the Seahawks (0-2) home with a loss.

"We came out with great intensity and learned from our first game at Stony Brook," first-year Coach Victoria Latino said. "Our freshmen stepped up, our seniors stepped up; we had great leadership on the field and played awesome today."

Taking over the reigns as head coach after spending four years in Riverdale as a player, Latino picked up her first collegiate coaching victory in the triumph over the Staten Island-based college.

A game of offensive runs, Wagner struck first, scoring three of the game's four goals to begin play. The Seahawks gained a 1-0 advantage when Erika Bulken recorded an unassisted goal at the 21:58 mark of the period. The Lady Jaspers would quickly respond when senior midfielder Tara Convery tied the game at 1-all with 21:13 remaining.

After two goals by Seahawks Annie O'Connor and Lauren Petrick made it 3-1 Wagner at the 16:34, Manhattan would dial up their play, with five different players accounting for six tallies. Beginning the comeback was VanOverbeke, who beat Seahawks' goalkeeper Marcela Hernandez one-on-one to cut the score to 3-2 with 15:44 remaining. In a strong effort, Hernandez recorded 13 saves.

Making a case for MAAC Rookie of the Week honors, Toscano followed up VanOverbeke with two of the next three goals. The freshman tied the game on an assist from VanOverbeke to lock it at 3-all and after fellow newcomer Carly Eskenazi (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon) gave Manhattan a 4-3 lead, she tallied an unassisted goal to make it 5-3 Lady Jaspers with 11:01 left in the period.

Finishing the first period of play, junior midfielder Elizabeth Dugan found the back of the net with 2:31 remaining to give Manhattan a 6-3 advantage heading into the break.

In the second period, Manhattan and Wagner would go goal for goal in the contest's final 30 minutes. After tallies by VanOverbeke and Seahawk attacker Leea Sinay in the opening five minutes made it 7-4 Lady Jaspers, the Kelly green and white would put the game beyond reach with one more scoring burst.

Previewing the future of the Manhattan's women's lacrosse program, Toscano added her third goal and newcomer Kelsey Rehain chipped in with back-to-back goals to push the lead to 10-4 at 18:58 of the period.

Wagner would answer back with three goals, including two more from O'Connor, but VanOverbeke and Convery added a pair late to guide Manhattan to the 12-7 victory.

An exciting 60 minutes of lacrosse, Manhattan held crucial advantages in shots (34-28), groundballs (33-28), turnovers (20-26) and free-position shots (3-8/0-8).

The Lady Jaspers will hit the road Saturday for a matchup with Sacred Heart in Fairfield, Conn. First draw is set for 3 p.m.

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