WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore Sara Hennessey (Winchester, Mass.) scored a career-best six goals as the Holy Cross women's lacrosse team defeated Sacred Heart, 15-12, on Sunday at Holy Cross Field. With the win, the Crusaders have won three in a row and improve to 4-4 overall, while the Pioneers fall to 1-5 overall. Hennessey's six goals are the most by a Crusader in a game since Kristine Corkum scored six in the 18-11 victory versus Boston College on March 14, 2007. The Crusaders have won three straight games for the first time since 2008 and are off to their best start to a season since going 6-2 in 2007.
Hennessey had a strong overall contest as she also led the team with five draw controls and three caused turnovers. Senior Kayla DiBari (Holderness, N.H.) posted five points with two goals and three assists, while junior Taylor Zebrowski (Verona, N.J.) tallied two goals and two assists for four points. Freshman Laura Ryan (Stirling, N.J.) scored two goals including her first collegiate game-winner, while she tied junior captain Maddie Carrellas (Middletown, R.I.) for the team-lead in ground balls with four.
The Pioneers were led by Aurelie Pluijmakers who also scored six goals. Emily Pepe tallied two goals and three assists for five points, while Kate Kmiotek also posted five points with one goal and four assists. Samantha Villafranca led the team with seven draw controls.
The Crusaders moved out to a 3-0 lead with a goal by Zebrowski and two straight by Hennessey. Her second goal was assisted by Zebrowski. After the Pioneers answered with two goals, Hennessey tallied her third hat-trick of the season and the fifth of her career to give HC a 4-2 lead with 20:55 left in the first half. Katie Gerhard then made it a 4-3 contest when she scored off a pass from Pepe. After DiBari made it a two-goal game, Kmiotek found the back of the net off an assist from Pepe to make the score 5-4 with 12:49 remaining. But the Crusaders then netted five consecutive goals to take a 10-4 advantage. Hennessey increased the lead to 6-4 with a goal off a pass by sophomore Seton Hartnett (Westfield, N.J.), while DiBari then found the back of the net of an assist by Zebrowski. After Ryan posted a goal from a pass by DiBari, Zebrowski scored to give Holy Cross a 9-4 lead. Freshman Mary Klimasewiski (Cochester, Conn.) made it a 10-4 contest with a goal off an assist by Hartnett with 46 seconds left. Kelsey Russo ended the Crusaders' scoring streak when she netted a goal off a pass from Pepe with just 15 seconds remaining as the Crusaders took a 10-5 lead to the half.
After Gerhard scored off an assist from Kmiotek to cut the Crusader lead to 10-6 with 27:31 left in the second half, Hennessey netted a goal off a pass from DiBari and sophomore Corinne Caracausa (North Wales, Pa.) found the back of the net to make it a 12-6 game. After Pluijmakers tallied a goal off a pass from Kmiotek, Ryan scored the game-winner off an assist by DiBari and Hennessey netted her sixth goal of the game to increase the lead to 14-7 with 12:11 left. But the Pioneers then posted four straight goals including three by Pluijmakers to cut the Crusader lead to 14-11 with 6:17 remaining. Carrellas ended the streak with a goal with 5:42 left. Pluijmakers scored the last goal of the game and her sixth of the contest for the 15-12 final.
Sophomore goalie Sarah Weber (Summit, N.J.) made five saves to improve to 4-3 on the season, while Kelly Keenan posted six saves for the Pioneers. The Crusaders outshot the Pioneers, 33-21, while Holy Cross picked up 22 ground balls and Sacred Heart tallied 15. The Pioneers earned 15 draw controls and the Crusaders secured 13.
The Crusaders return to action on Saturday, March 24, when they travel to Hamilton, N.Y., to take on Patriot League opponent Colgate at Tyler's Field at 1:00 p.m.