Category Archives: Lacrosse

Women’s Lacrosse Earns Second Seed in NEC Tourney

By Corey Pollnow

The Central Women’s Lacrosse Team wrapped up the regular season at Arute field last weekend with a 5-4 loss to Mount St. Mary’s and a 9-7 loss to Monmouth to finish the season with a 7-2 record in the NEC and 9-8 overall.
Sunday’s game versus Monmouth was pivotal, with the winner of the game earning home field advantage for the entirety of NEC tournament. The Blue Devils registered a 5-3 lead versus Monmouth at halftime but couldn’t hold on in the second half, losing 9-7.
“There are 20 or 30 minutes a game where we aren’t playing well. We need to put 60 minutes of a game together.”
Claire Healy scored her 19th goal of the season with three minutes remaining in the second half to reduce the CCSU deficit to 8-7, but Monmouth’s Cassie Campasano would seal the victory for the Hawks one minute later on a free position shot.
Monmouth scored four unanswered goals to open the second half while holding Central silent for 22 minutes, until Mackenzy Ryan scored with eight minutes remaining in the game. Betsy Vendel, the team’s leading scorer had two goals in the first half, but was held scoreless in the second period.
Friday’s matinee versus Mount St. Mary’s ended in similar fashion to the Monmouth game. Central attempted to overcome a multiple goal deficit in the second period, but came up short, losing 5-4. Amanda Toke scored her 24th goal of the season with 1:37 left in the second half to reduce Mount St. Mary’s lead to one goal, but the women were unable to find the equalizer in the waning moments.
CCSU will enter the NEC tournament as the second overall seed and will take on Bryant on April 26 at 2:30 p.m. The winner will play in the finals on April 28 versus the victor of the Monmouth versus Mount St. Mary’s game.
Central’s previous matchup on April 5 versus Bryant ended in a thrilling last second victory for CCSU when Mackenzy Ryan scored with five seconds remaining in the game.
Coach Nangle has been pleased with the defense’s play and that is in large part because she employed a zone defense last season due to the team having difficulty matching up man to man with their opponents.
“It’s really difficult to run zone defense at the collegiate level,” said Nangle. “The whole defense from last season returned and the girls have owned it.”
Although the offense has struggled at times this season, Coach Nangle won’t be making dramatic changes heading into the post-season and said, “We may shake some stuff up, but really we have to execute the stuff we have in place and put the ball in the net.”
Prior to Sunday’s game versus Monmouth, the seniors – Ryan, Vendel, Caitlin Karner, Ali Roche and Amy McInerney – were greeted and honored by their family, friends and teammates.


Women’s Lacrosse Earns NEC Tourney Berth

By Corey Pollnow

Last weekend the Central women’s lacrosse team improved to 7-0 in the NEC standings (9-5 overall) and earned its first berth into the NEC tournament with victories at Wagner and LIU Brooklyn.

Friday, the Blue Devils defeated Wagner 11-9 and Sunday they beat LIU Brooklyn 18-8. Betsy Vendel, a senior, combined to score seven goals on 11 shots in the two games and leads Central with 29 goals and 45 points for the season. She also leads the team with 35 draws won and has four game winning goals.

“We went into this weekend focused on winning both games and clinching [an NEC tournament berth],” said Head Coach Kelly Nangle. “Now next weekend we have the opportunity to win and host the NEC tournament.”

With 11:35 remaining in the second half versus Wagner, Falynn McCartney scored to tie the game at nine apiece. Betsy Vendel scored two goals in the last 10 minutes to propel CCSU to its sixth conference win. Nangle was pleased with the comeback victory and said, “We were down a lot of the game. We came back, fought through it and got the win.”

Claire Healy finished the game with a hat trick and Nangle says she’s pleased that Healy has stepped her game up recently.

“She’s a junior and the last few games she’s been playing a lot smarter and it’s perfect timing,” said Nangle.

Mackenzy Ryan and Elyse Malecki scored hat tricks in a game CCSU won with relative ease versus LIU Brooklyn. Morgan Tullar had 10 saves on 18 shots and remains atop the conference in goals against average – 9.02 – and save percentage – 47. Although Central won by 10, Nangle said there is always room to improve.

“We’ll be looking to clean things up. Both the games this weekend weren’t necessarily the prettiest games and were looking to improve every day,” she said.

Central’s defense looks to continue its streak of playing well by breaking up its opponent’s possession by forcing teams into long possessions and then moving out quickly in transition to capitalize on its run-and-gun style of offensive play.

In their most successful season ever, the women are on an eight-game winning streak and are tied with Monmouth for first place in the NEC standings. They’ve persevered through injuries through the entire season and will close the season out with a two game home stand versus Mount St. Mary’s on Friday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at noon versus Monmouth. If the Blue Devils win against Monmouth, the NEC playoffs will be hosted at Central.

Women’s Lacrosse Remains Undefeated In NEC

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.

Women’s LAX Loses Versus Longwood

By Danny Contreras

The CCSU Women’s Lacrosse team lost an exciting match to Longwood University this past Friday 11-10.

CCSU senior Betsy Vendel scored three times and assisted another goal as she chased the all time CCSU points leader. Though she impressed, her efforts were not enough to defeat Longwood, who entered the second half with a four-point lead over the Blue Devils at 7-3.

The Lancers scored the first goal of the second half to put themselves further ahead at 8-3. CCSU responded with three goals, but were once again disheartened by another Longwood goal.

With the score at 9-6, the Blue Devils found the net three more times to tie the game at 9-9 with less than 15 minutes to play.  Longwood scored twice late in the half to clinch the victory, although CCSU scored once more to create a nervy ending to the match.

Though the match was lost, the team showed incredible courage and promise for the future of the squad. Freshman Elyse Malecki scored three times in the game while Claire Healy and Andrea Tarsi both added to the tally. Defender Morgan Tullar made five saves to keep CCSU in the game. Even in a  tough loss, Vendel made the best of it with an amazing performance.

The loss puts CCSU at 1-3 this season and the Lancers at 4-0. They return to the field on March 16 against LaSalle, away. The Blue Devils will return home on March 28 to face NEC rivals, Sacred Heart.

Last season the Blue Devils had a break out season. They finished 5-4 in the NEC and missed the NEC tournament by just one game.  The Blue Devils had an amazing season at home going 6-1 with their lone loss on Senior Night against Holy Cross.

Kelly Nangle served her first year as head coach at Central last season. The team set records for wins in the NEC, 5, and tied the school’s record for most regular season wins at seven.

The Blue Devils are set to make an impact in the NEC and become one of the premier women’s lacrosse programs.

Men’s Lacrosse Looks for Strong Start to Fall Season

By Matthew Aveni

The Central Connecticut men’s lacrosse team walked off the field last season losing in the PCLL Conference playoffs to Worcester Poly Tech.  This season the Blue Devils seek to build off of last year’s playoff run and start the season off with a strong fall season.

The Blue Devils are led by their head coach Philip Orzech and senior captain’s Brian Ricardi and Steve Monteiro.  Entering this season they are an experienced team with many returning starters and players who can fill up the starting lineup.

“We have great coaching.  Each practice Coach Orzech gets the best out of each and every one of us and his expectations are high for our team this year. If we listen to his coaching and fulfill his game plan we should put up a tough fight in all of our games,” said senior Captain Brian Ricardi.

There are two seasons for the lacrosse team in the fall and in the spring. The fall schedule is for preseason games and exhibition games where the Blue Devils hope to fill the few holes in their starting lineup.

“We have an experienced team coming into the fall.  It’s nice because we can work out many of the positions that need to be filled in the fall, so when spring regular season comes around we will hopefully have a feel of how we play together,” said Ricardi.

Since many schools in and around the state of Connecticut do not have the funding for lacrosse teams, many of the schools have club teams.  Central will play important games against the likes of UCONN, Stonehill, Southern Connecticut, University of New Haven and their rival The United States Coast Guard.

“We always get hyped up when we play UCONN because they always have a good team, but when we play The Coast Guard the team always seems a little bit more focused.  Year in and year out they always have a top team,” said Ricardi.

Last season the Blue Devils finished with a (4-6)(3-4 NEC) record.  The goal every year for the men’s lacrosse club team is to make the playoffs and with their division. This year the goal seems to be in reach with the experience they have and the new players they have joining the team.  The experience should benefit the team.  They have many leaders on and off the field that will represent our school proudly.

“Last year we had some success and we barely made the playoffs.  This season I hope to build on what we started last year except take it a step further and win the PCLL.  It will be hard but if we work hard enough and pay attention to detail we can get it done,” said Ricardi.

With the fall lacrosse season coming up quick the team is practicing three to five times a week and is getting ready for their first exhibition game against the University of Connecticut.