March 25, 2014

LIU Brooklyn Makes it Two in a Row, Beats Manhattan

from press release

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A scoring surge in the second half helped the LIU Brooklyn women's lacrosse team to a second consecutive win, as the Blackbirds dropped Manhattan, 15-8, on Tuesday afternoon at LIU Field.

In addition to scoring contributions from six LIU players, a complete defensive effort kept the Jaspers at bay. Sophomore goalkeeper Alexis Maldonado had 13 saves on the afternoon, while the Blackbirds outshot Manhattan, 30-26. LIU also led in ground balls and draw controls.

"I am so incredibly proud of this team," said head coach Allison Nuzzi. "They have been working hard and they had a total team effort from top to bottom from start to finish today."

The first half was a defensive battle between the two teams. Senior Shakoya Smith, who led LIU with four goals, started the scoring with 27:18 to play in the first half. The Jaspers tied it right back up at 1-1 just a minute later, however.

The Blackbirds had a couple of shots, but would not find the back of the net again until 21:38, when senior Trisha Yeoell sucessfully converted on a free position attempt. Another free position shot from Smith with 15:21 to play gave LIU a two-goal advantage.

Manhattan was able to score twice more in the first half, sending both teams into the break tied at 3-3.

Coming out of halftime, the Blackbirds looked to take control of the game. Freshman Mary McQueen scored less than three minutes in. Junior Brittany Rader quickly won the draw control, and took the ball down the field to find freshman Jenn Peters, who scored and sent the score to 5-3.

Manhattan attempted to cut into LIU's momentum, scoring on a free position shot with 25:42.  But the Blackbirds answered with four straight goals in a five minute period starting at 21:51 after a sucessful clear and three draw controls. They also did not allow a Jasper shot.

The Jaspers finally gained posession after the Blackbirds' ninth goal of the afternoon, and added three goals of their own to cut into LIU's lead.

With 14 minutes to play, the game became LIU's. McQueen widened the gap to three at 10-7, before a turnover and a foul inside the eight-meter gave the Blackbirds another free position attempt, and a goal from Peters 14 seconds later.

Manhattan won the draw control and attempted a shot, but a Maldonado save led to a sucessful clear, and senior Ashley Delaney found freshman Danita Stroup for a now 12-7 LIU lead. Another two draw controls allowed the Blackbirds to take their time, and result into two goals from Smith and Peters.

LIU Brooklyn scored once more with 4:31 to go, after a caused turnover and ground ball pickup from senior Jesenia Cantres put the ball back in the sticks of the Blackbirds. Peters assisted Stroup to five LIU a 15-7 lead.

Manhattan would score once more to close out the game at 15-8.

In addition to Smith's four goals, the trio of Peters, McQueen and Stroup each posted a hat trick, while Yeoell and senior Kimberly Kovar each added a goal. Freshman Priscilla Lawson-Pires had three caused turnovers, while Cantres won four draw controls. Senior Cailyn Cowan and freshman Tori Shinkowitz each picked up three groundballs.

"Over the past week, 50/50 balls were an area of emphasis for us, and we made a point to win in those categories," said Nuzzi. "Tori Shinkowitz played especially well winning key possessions for us all over the field. "Alexis Maldonado also came up with huge saves today and our defensive effort was completely contagious."

Up next, LIU Brooklyn heads into its Northeast Conference schedule. The Blackbirds begin league play in Loretto, Pa. on April 4 against Saint Francis U. at 3:00 p.m.

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