The Canisius College women’s lacrosse team opened Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) action with a 16-5 win over Iona on Saturday afternoon at the Demske Sports Complex. The reigning conference champion Golden Griffins improve to 7-3 overall and 1-0 in the conference, as the Gaels drop to 2-9 on the season and 0-1 in the MAAC.
“This was a great team win for us with definitely a lot of positives,” said head coach Scott Teeter. “We played hard for 60 minutes in all areas from Kayla [Scully] out to our attack.”
Senior Morgan Leonard led the Griffs’ offense with four second-half goals. The Griffs had four players tally three points on the afternoon including junior Maria Kotas, senior Lindsey Morgan, and sophomores Meghan Cuddy and Tori Quinn. Morgan, Cuddy, and Quinn each had a pair of goals on the afternoon with Kotas registering two assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Kayla Scully compiled seven saves in the Griffs’ victory to earn her sixth win of the season.
Exchanging goals to open the contest, the Griffs would score the next 11 goals. After the Gaels scored at 3:05 of the first half, the Griffs held Iona off the scoreboard for over 36 minutes until the visitors scored 9:57 into the second half.
Quinn, sophomore Whitley Perry, and freshman Caroline Ogden each scored a pair of goals in midst of the Griffs’ 11 unanswered goals.
The Griffs captured a 2-1 lead on an Iona turnover off a failed clear at 6:34 of the first half. Recovering the loose ball at the right side of the night, Cuddy fed a pass to Ogden in front of the net with the freshman sending in her seventh of the season.
Plucking a high-arching pass out of the air by Maria Kotas, Quinn muscled her way through the Gaels’ defense to score her first of the game at 9:55 of the half to give the Griffs a 3-1 lead. Five of the Griffs’ next six goals came off individual efforts to take a 9-1 edge.
After being held scoreless in the first half, Leonard scored her first goal at 6:07 in the second half. With 10 minutes off the clock in the second half, the Gaels tried to muster a rally with three unanswered goals in a span of just over four minutes to cut into the Griffs’ 12-4 lead.
Leonard brought the Gaels’ rally to a halt with three straight goals, including two goals within 48 seconds of one another for a 15-4 Griffs’ lead. The Griffs and Gaels added a goal each in the final four minutes of play before the final horn sounded, giving the Griffs a 16-5 win to open conference play.
Holding the Gaels to single digits in shots in both halves, the Griffs finished with a 32-15 shot advantage over the Gaels. The Griffs possessed 15 of the 23 draw controls in the contest. In the second half, the Griffs only committed three turnovers.
After five straight home contests, the Blue and Gold will travel to Niagara on Wednesday evening with the game slated for 7 p.m.