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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – The Emmanuel College Women's Lacrosse Team opened up the 2014 campaign with a 16-12 win over the University of Saint Joseph on Saturday afternoon.  After having their first non-conference game postponed last Thursday, the visiting Saints rolled to a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) victory in Saturday's contest played on the turf at Central Connecticut State University.

The Saints, who were picked 5th in the GNAC pre-season coaches' poll held a 9-5 lead over the host Bluejays, who were tabbed 8th by the conference coaches.  After an evenly played second half, which saw each team net seven goals apiece, the visitors pulled out the four-goal victory in the season opener for both teams.

Rookie attack Emily Baker (Stratham, N.H.) led the Saints with three goals and an assist.  Sophomore Kristen Tuleja (Mansfield, Mass.) and freshman Abaigeal Merrigan (Rye, N.H.) each had two goals and an assist for the Saints with Tuleja earning a team-best six draw controls. Amanda Cook (Sake, Me.), Madison Altweis (Southington, Conn.) and Alexia Basile (West Hartford, Conn.) all added two goals each for Emmanuel.

Dayna Gambino (Newington, Conn.) had five goals and three assists for a solid eight-point outing to lead USJ. Erika Leitao (Southington, Conn.) chipped in with two goals and two assists for the Blue Jays. Justine Mojsa (Newington, Conn.) earned match-highs of eight draw controls and five ground balls, while Francesca Mastria (Higganum, Conn.) also picked up five ground balls for the Blue Jays.

A pair of Gambino goals trimmed an early Emmanuel lead to 5-4 with 13:45 to play in the half. The Saints then went on a decisive run with Cook, Baker, Merrigan and Savannah Lundwall (Fiskdale, Mass.) all scoring goals to help Emmanuel to 9-5 halftime lead.  EC led by at least three goals for the entire second half, en route to the victory.

Sophomore goalie Lauren White (Lynnfield, Mass.) earned the win, the 10th of her collegiate career. White played the full 60 minutes and stopped three shots in the victory.

Emmanuel returns to action this Tuesday, March 18th, hosting Johnson & Wales in a 7:00 PM GNAC game.

- Release courtesy of USJ Sports Information