Lax Wins NEC Opener Against Bryant

Junior Mackenzy Ryan had four goals.

The Central Connecticut women's lacrosse team defeated Bryant, 11-5, on Sunday afternoon at Arute Field.  The Blue Devils (1-1, 1-0 NEC) used strong defense to defeat the Bulldogs (0-2, 0-1 NEC) who were held to just five goals.

The Blue Devil offense started the game quickly, scoring a pair of goals in the first four minutes.  Senior Ashley Perkoski and junior Mackenzy Ryan teamed up for the first two goals, with Ryan scoring both times.

In between a pair of Bryant goals, junior Betsy Vendel passed to junior Meaghan McCurry for Central's third score of the day.

Central closed the half on a 4-0 run that gave the Blue Devils a 7-2 lead at halftime.

Vendel passed to senior Ashley Mara for the first goal of the stretch.  Then, Perkoski went back to work feeding Ryan and Vendel for goals.  The final score of the half again came from Ryan, her fourth of the day, but this time with Vendel picking up her third assist of the period.

The Blue Devils extended their run to seven straight goals, with three scores to start the second half.  Mara picked up two more goals and Perkoski got her first goal of the season.  Perkoski, Vendel and McCurry each recorded an assist during that stretch.

After allowing a goal to the Bulldogs, Central answered with a goal by McCurry, Vendel picked up her fifth assist on the play.

With an 11-3 advantage the Blue Devil defense went to work protecting the lead.

Senior goalkeeper Erin DeLancey made nine saves on the day, with seven of those coming in the second half as Bryant tried to get back into the game.

Junior defender Ali Roche caused a pair of turnovers and picked up three ground balls in the game to help the defense.

The five goals allowed in the game are the fewest the Blue Devils have surrendered since beating St. Francis (PA), 17-3, during the 2008 season.

Vendel and Perkoski shared a game-high six points and five assists, each had a single goal.  Ryan finished with a game-high four goals, she was second on the team with four points on the day.

Mara and McCurry each posted three points in the game, Mara on three goals and McCurry on two goals and an assist.  Mara also had a game-high four draw controls.

The victory is the first in the career of first year head coach Kelly Nangle.  Also, the victory puts the Blue Devils at 1-0 in NEC play for the first time since the 2006 season.

The Blue Devils return to action on Sunday, March 4, at Iona.