KINGS POINT, N.Y. (April 14, 2018) –. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy women's lacrosse team overpowered Skyline Conference opponent Old Westbury, 19-7, on Saturday afternoon at Brooks Stadium. The Mariner's fifth-straight victory moves them to 8-2 (3-0 Skyline), while the Panthers fell to 2-9 (1-2 Skyline).
USMMA had two players reach career milestones on the day, as junior Meredith Willard (Portland, Maine) reached the 150 point plateau with a game-high nine points and classmate Jessica Reilly (Sayville, N.Y.) recorded her 100th career point after her eight-point performance.
Five different Mariners had multi-goal games on the afternoon, including four hat-tricks. Willard recorded had six goals and three assists and Reilly found the back of the net five times, while pitching in three assists.
Junior Maura Malone (Yorktown, Va.) had six points with three goals and three assists to go along with three caused turnovers, freshman Grace Neary (Highland Falls, N.Y.) recorded her first career hat-trick and classmate Kelly Midas (Clarksville, Md.) added two tallies and an assist.
Reilly led all players in the game with seven draw controls, grabbed a career-high 12 groundballs and matched a career-best with nine caused turnovers.
The Mariners were dominant on defense forcing 18 Old Westbury turnovers for the game. Junior goalie Hannah Gizzi (Finksburg, Md.) forced three turnovers, grabbed eight groundballs and stopped five shots. Senior Rebecca Bessler (Kent, Wash.) had two caused turnovers and gobbled up in two groundballs. Sophomore Cristina Biendicho (Panama City, Panama) caused a turnover and gathered two GBs, junior Elizabeth Livi (Fair Lawn, N.J.) had three groundballs, while seniors Sarah Milafsky (Aurora, Colo.) and Michelle Perri (Miami, Fla.) snatched two apiece.
Old Westbury opened the scoring at the 28:46 mark on a goal by senior Hallie Johnson. The Mariners would go on a 5-0 run over the next 4:41 to take to a commanding 5-1 lead. Senior Danielle Weir's free-position goal at 22:00 brought Mariners' lead down to three, but USMMA would score eight of the next nine goals to lead 13-3 at halftime.
The Panthers scored four of the first six goals of the second half to cut the hosts' lead to 15-7, but Merchant Marine used four straight goals to pull away.
For the Panthers, Weir led the way with three goals and tied a team-high with five draw controls to go along with five groundballs. Johnson and junior Natasha Trueman both found the back of the net twice and senior goalie Ashley Gugliuzzo made 11 saves in a losing effort.
The Mariners' next game will be against rival SUNY Maritime this Wednesday, April 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Brooks Stadium. Live stats and a live video feed of the game will be available with links on the USMMA Women's Lacrosse Schedule Page.
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