BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College women's lacrosse team returned to varsity status after five years as a club team with an 11-10 win over Hood College at Rocco Calvo Field Saturday afternoon as the Greyhounds held off a late charge by the Blazers after the Hounds had stretched the lead to three goals with 9:33 to play.
"I'm thrilled we came out with the win today," commented Head Coach Kristen Schuster. "Being such a young team there are definitely some things we need to work on for the future, but for the Greyhounds to open their program's return with a victory is something that they had worked hard for all preseason. We'll be back at work Monday getting ready to face our next opponent on the road and I'm sure having a game and a win under our belt will help us prepare for the road ahead."
Freshman midfielder/attack Jillian Picciuto led the Greyhounds with a hat trick on Saturday while freshman midfielder Alexia Johnston netted a team-high four points on two goals and two assists. Freshman midfielder Eileen Rolwood added two goals and an assist while freshman attack Jessica Pisano had two goals. Freshman midfielder Kyleigh Miller and sophomore attack Kyleigh McGovern each had a goal for the Greyhounds while freshman defender Melissa Webber and freshman midfielder/defender Bailey Reyes each had one assist.
Freshman goalie Kelley Gavin made seven saves for Moravian while sophomore midfielder Alexis Kersten led the squad with five ground balls and three caused turnovers. Picciuto and Johnston each contributed four ground balls with Picciuto adding five draw controls. Junior defender Maria Maka had three ground balls as Moravian scooped up 26 loose balls while causing 11 turnovers.
After falling behind by a goal, Moravian would take a 2-1 lead on a goal by Pisano just four and a half minutes into action. The Blazers would pull in front by a goal once again before three straight tallies from the Greyhounds, the final by Picciuto with just under eight minutes remaining in the first half, put Moravian up 5-3. Hood scored with just 25 seconds left in the first half and headed to the intermission with a 7-6 lead.
The Hounds scored the first two goals of the second half with Johnston putting Moravian up 8-7 with just over 19 minutes remaining. After the Blazers tied the match again, the Blue and Grey scored three times in a three-minute window to take an 11-8 lead on Rolwood's second goal with 9:33 remaining. Gavin would make two saves on free position attempts in the final five minutes as Moravian held on the win.
The Greyhounds will now hit the road for three straight contests beginning on Wednesday, March 2 in a match at King's College beginning at 4:00 p.m.