by Navindra Persaud
The Central Connecticut women’s lacrosse team dominated the Howard Bison, 22-7, on a cold and wet Saturday afternoon, in only the fifth meeting all-time between the two schools.
“I really think we just found our rhythm,” said sophomore attacker Elyse Malecki. “We really do have a great offense that just connects. We find each other and it was really about finding that moment where we click. Once the first couple of plays started happening, we started rolling with that momentum.”
The Blue Devils (3-6) were able to score eight unanswered goals, led by three from freshman Alexandra Hooker, until freshman mid-fielder Tianna Clark scored the first goal for the Bison (0-7) with 12:30 left to go in the first half.
“We had some great cuts, great feeds and we were just working well with each other on ball and off ball. I think we really needed that today,” said Malecki.
At the half the Blue Devils lead the Bison 15-5. Malecki, who finished with four goals and three assists, and Hooker led the scoring for Central in the first half with four goals each. Hooker finished the game with five goals, a team high, shooting 5-5 on the day.
In the second half, Central outscored the Bison 7-2 with a combination of the defense and offense clicking for the team. Morgan Tullar, the junior goalkeeper for Central, was able to tally up seven saves in the contest.
Senior Meaghan McCurry finished the game second in points, tallying three goals and three assists.
“We were just finding each other very well. We worked a lot this week on just being dynamic and effective off the ball, and we were doing that,” said head coach Laura Campbell.
Central played exceptionally well off the ball, denying passes and forcing 19 turnovers by Howard against Centrals 13.
Campbell said that the ball carriers were finding their way, and that the team had put a little more emphasis on their shooting, an area she though the team needed a little more work on, along with finding the net and being crafty with their shots.
“It was nice to see,” said Campbell when asked about the performance from the younger players on the team.
“I think our younger kids are good. We have lots of threats and it was really nice to see them step up today. I think that’s going to be really important going into conference play that we can tap into that depth.”
Malecki and Hooker proved that they were able to score, and could serve as a great help to captain and leading scorer Amanda Toke, who scored a goal and added three assists in the win over Howard.
“I think something that we have been emphasizing all year is just getting better every day, to raise the bar and not really ever being satisfied,” said Campbell. “We have a good, solid defense core, good offense core and good transitional stuff that we are executing. It’s just the little things right now that we have to fix.”
Malecki added that fast breaks were a huge factor in the teams’ success and creating opportunities for goals to be scored. She also praised her teammates for making really good cuts so that she was able to feed them the ball.
“I wanted to help my team as best as I could get into the offense and push those fast breaks,” she said.
The Blue Devils come out of what was their third straight home game with a 3-6 record. This game marks the last non-conference game of the season.
“I think we’re just going to ride this momentum,” said Campbell. “We’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing. We really needed this win, especially going into conference, and I just hope we can keep playing off of that and fix the little mistakes that we had today and capitalize on the great things.”
The Blue Devils will begin Northeast Conference competition on the road Friday April 4 at Mount St. Mary’s.