NEWTON, Mass. – Senior Nikki Pignone (Ipswich, Mass.) and sophomore Megan Horrigan (Wakefield, Mass.) each scored hat tricks and junior Sam Taylor (Hanover, Mass.) added a goal and three assists Saturday afternoon, leading the Lasell College field hockey team to a 10-2 triumph over Johnson and Wales University at Grellier Field.
The Lasers advance their record 5-4 overall and 3-0 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC), tied up with Saint Joseph's College of Maine for first place in the conference. JWU slides 1-5 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
Pignone started the scoring early with her first goal in the first two minutes with an assist from Horrigan. Less than a minute later, Horrigan tipped in a shot by Taylor for her first goal, securing a 2-0 lead for the Lasers.
Junior Mindy Esposito (Sunderland, Mass.) pushed the ball into play on a penalty corner and put the ball in off a rebound shot from Taylor. The duo didn't stop there as Esposito took another corner penalty, assisting Taylor who shot the ball in passed the JWU goalkeeper for a 4-0 lead after 15 minutes of play.
Sophomore Erin Esty (Gorham, Maine) knocked a goal in unassisted at 16:43, putting the Wildcats on the board. Horrigan responded with two goals in a row off rebounds, giving Lasell a 6-1 lead at the end of the first half.
Pignone knocked in two more insurance goals at 38:44 and 40:07, getting assists from Taylor and senior Julia Franzik (Wallingford, Conn.) Senior Cailin Flannery (Medford, N.J.) and sophomore Rebecca Duke (Ijamsville, Md.) also scored one goal apiece for the Lasers; Flannery got a cross pass from Taylor at the top of the arch and took the ball in, shooting the ball in the right side of the goal. Duke rounded out the scoring with her first goal of the year in the final minute.
Freshman Jillian Miele (Wilmington, Mass.) also scored a second-half goal for the Wildcats.
The teams were tied 9-9 for penalty corners, while the Lasers out-shot the Wildcats 32-9.
Freshman goalie Sofia Rodriguez (Peabody, Mass.) made six saves, three in each half, to post her first career victory for Lasell. JWU rotated three goalies in; sophomore Grace Pendergast (Berlin, Mass.), held down the goal for the first half, making nine saves, while senior Claire Nolan (West Bridgewater, Mass.) started in the second half and was shortly swapped with junior Ellen Depasquale (Vernon, N.Y.), who made eight saves.
Lasell will face Worcester Polytechnic Institute next on Tuesday, September 25 at 4 p.m. on Grellier Field. The Wildcats will host Wheaton College on Tuesday, September 25 at 7 p.m. under the lights.
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