Tiernan Records Hat Trick as Women’s Lacrosse Faces Molloy in ECC Opener

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. (Mar. 1, 2014) - Junior Michelle Tiernan (Farmingdale, N.Y. / Farmingdale) scored three goals and assisted on another as a late Lions rally pushed Molloy College past the Mercy College women's lacrosse team, 10-8. Junior Keri Watson (Massapequa Park, N.Y. / Massapequa) and freshman Melissa DellaRocca (Lindenhurst, N.Y. / Lindenhurst) both added two goals as the Mavericks fall to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the East Coast Conference. The Lions improve to 1-0 overall and 1-0 in the ECC.

The Lions were untested going into the game with the Mavericks, but they did get on the scoreboard first, taking an early 1-0 lead on a free position shot just three minutes in.  After a Lions foul, the Mavericks got on the board as senior Tracey Wandle (Rocky Point, N.Y. / Rocky Point) connected with Tiernan for the goal, tying the game up at 1-1 with 19:49 left in the first half.

Molloy responded by scoring their second goal of the day on a free position shot to take the 2-1 lead. Mercy would tie the game up again at 2-2 as DellaRocca scored the first goal of her collegiate career off a rebound from an initial shot by senior Kelsey Bub (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. / Walter Panas (Iona College).  Bub's shot was high but scooped up by Watson behind the cage, who fired it to DellaRocca for the goal.

Molloy took a 3-2 lead, scoring directly off a draw control. Mercy responded quickly by scoring off the draw control as well to tie the game up at 3-3.  Tiernan scored her second goal of the day off an assist from Bub to take the 4-3 lead with 11:45 left in the first. After a DellaRocca caused turnover got Mercy the ball back, Tiernan was fouled and earned a free position shot, which she converted for the 5-3 lead.

After Molloy cut the lead to 5-4 on another goal scored off the draw control, the Lions tried to tie the game but freshman Jillian Rocco (Dix Hills, N.Y. / Half Hollow Hills East) made a nice save between the posts. The Mavericks would have a successful clear attempt and sophomore Nicole Augustine (Kingston, N.Y. / Kingston) would earn a free position shot. Augustine missed, but the ground ball was picked up by Bub, who hit the cutting DellaRocca for a 6-4 lead, which the Mavericks held until halftime.

In the second half, Molloy made some adjustments and scored two unanswered goals to erase Mercy's two-goal halftime lead. Bub finally found the back of the cage, as Tiernan returned the earlier favor by assisting on Bub's goal that gave Mercy a 7-6 lead. Graduate student Callie Schwichtenberg (San Diego, Calif. / Granite Hills  forced a turnover, which was pickup by Rocco and rifled to Watson, who would convert on the ensuing free position shot for an 8-6 lead with 22:53 left in the game.

The Lions did not go quietly as they again erased a two-goal Mavericks lead for the 8-8 tie at the 19:49 mark. After a Mercy timeout, the Mavericks failed to score on a series of shots taken by Bub, Tiernan, DellaRocca and junior Nicole Kline (Deer Park, N.Y. / Deer Park). Two shots were saved by Molloy goalkeeper Caroline Winters, and the other two were wide and hit the post.

The Lions would score again and take a 9-8 lead with just 17 minutes to go. After a Lions foul, junior Marissa Kluber (Wading River, N.Y. / Shoreham-Wading River ) attempted to tie the game at nine with a shot from inside the circle, but Winters came up to make the save. Molloy scored again for a 10-8 lead and would salt the game on ball control.

For Mercy, Tiernan and DellaRocca both totaled four points on the day, while Watson and Bub both finished with three points each. On defense, Schwichtenberg had a big day, picking up eight ground balls and causing four turnovers, while senior Paige Siegler (Bellmore, N.Y. / John F. Kennedy) picked up four groundballs. Senior Maria Nardulli (Staten Island, N.Y. / St. Joseph by the Sea ) had a busy 18 hours, as she played her final game in a Mavericks basketball uniform at 5:30 p.m. the night before suiting up for Head Coach Dawn Anselmin and adding two caused turnovers and one ground ball.

Coach Anselmin and the Mavericks will open a six-game road trip on Wednesday, Mar. 5 as they travel to East Stroudsburg University to take on the Warriors at 4:00 p.m.