By Corey Pollnow
Last Friday, Mackenzy Ryan scored the game winning goal with five seconds left in the second half to propel the Central women’s lacrosse team to a 9-8 victory at Bryant. With the win, CCSU improved to 5-0 in the NEC standings where they are tied with Monmouth for first place and are on a five-game winning streak.
“The girls are winning and enjoying the experience, they want to be there out with each other,” said Head Coach Kelly Nangle. Part of the experience is pulling pranks. Nangle says that one of her players stole a teammate’s Blue Chip card and moved all of her furniture into one of the girl’s garages off-campus.
Central looks to continue its winning streak this weekend when they play at Wagner on Friday and at LIU Brooklyn on Sunday. The following weekend the women will wrap up the regular season with a home stand versus Mount St. Mary’s and Monmouth.
Central’s goalkeeper Morgan Tullar leads the NEC in goals against average with 9.09 per game and she also leads the conference in save percentage – 47 percent.
“In the past six games we’ve had six different people score hat tricks,” said Nangle, who is pleased with the team’s chemistry and how more than one player has stepped up on several occasions.
Earlier in the season the women suffered three losses by one goal in each of them, but they’ve weathered the storm and now are winning the close games. “The more experience we get the better,” said Nangle, who believes that her team is hard to plan against because it has a variety of players that can score.
On March 30, Central was down 8-4 versus Quinnipiac at half time and came back to win 10-9; Amanda Toke had three goals on four shots and Ryan once again scored the game winning goal. “We have a great group of seniors and it all stems from that. They’ve been here through the ups and downs and have set the tone and the rest of the girls are following suit,” said Nangle, who’s in only her second year with the women’s lacrosse program.
With Nangle calling the shots for the past two seasons as head coach, the women’s lacrosse team has seen a dramatic turnaround in conference play. In 2010 and 2011 the team went 1-8 and 2-7 respectively in the NEC, since the athletic department hired Nangle the team has gone 10-4 in conference play.