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High-flying first period sends NU women's lacrosse over Manhattan


NIAGARA UNIV. -- The Niagara Purple Eagles women's lacrosse team gave the senior class a thrilling Senior Day victory Saturday at Niagara Field. Taking on the Manhattan Jaspers, Niagara closed the first period on an 8-2 run to take a commanding 11-4 halftime lead. The Purple Eagles were able to hold Manhattan off and moved to 2-1 in MAAC play with a 13-10 victory.

Senior Hannah Vause scored the game's first goal 4:38 into the contest, converting off a feed from Samantha Brill. Alexis Morales and Manhattan's Kara Hodapp traded goals to put Niagara ahead 2-1 ten minutes into the game. After Shea Swartwout scored a free-position goal for the Purple Eagles at the 16:33 mark, Darby Nolan came back with one for the Jaspers a minute later. At that point, Niagara rattled off five straight goals in a stretch of 4:38 to take an 8-2 advantage. Morales completed her hat trick with two goals in the run, and Caroline Crump, Mackenzie Molodetz, and Rachel MacCheyne also helped Niagara seize the commanding lead. Manhattan's Talia Price broke the run with 2:56 left until halftime, but the Purple Eagles responded with three more goals. Audrey Fithall scored twice in 14 seconds, with Grace Hunt picking up the assists on both tallies, and MacCheyne set up Jillian Ford for a goal before a late Jaspers tally made it 11-4 at halftime. The Jaspers started off the second period looking to cut into the Purple Eagles' lead and outscored Niagara 3-2 over the first 15 minutes after halftime, with Morales and MacCheyne picking up the Niagara goals. Manhattan held Niagara in check after MacCheyne's goal with 15:44 to play, as goalkeeper Nikki Prestiano made six saves in the second period. The Jaspers drew within three after another free-position goal from Nolan with 52 seconds to play, but Niagara won the ensuing draw and closed the game out with a 13-10 victory.

Niagara returns to the road this Wednesday for a 4 p.m. matchup against the Siena Saints.
After Siena, the Purple Eagles will play their final two games of the regular season at Niagara Field, starting with an 11 a.m. matchup on April 15 versus the Monmouth Hawks.