|Elena Gallo||Christine Olert||Halle Conklin|
SCRANTON - In her final home regular season game of her career, senior Elena Gallo (East Meadow, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) poured in a game-high six goals as The University of Scranton women's lacrosse team sewed up the second-seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference Championships with a 21-16 win over Moravian on Saturday at Weiss Field.
The win was also a historic one for the 18th-ranked Royals, as it pushed Scranton's record to 15-2 overall, the most victories Scranton has collected in a season in program history. The Royals also finished the Landmark Conference regular season with a 6-1 record with the win, as well.
Moravian dropped to 12-5 overall and 5-2 in the Landmark with the defeat.
To start the game on Saturday, it was close between the squads in the first 10 minutes, as the game was knotted up at 3-3 after a goal by Moravian's Liz Bill. But, Scranton went on to score five of the next six goals to open up an 8-4 lead with 10:52 left after senior Christine Olert (Katonah, N.Y./Somers) scored.
After scoring two of the next three goals to open their biggest lead of the half at 10-5 with eight minutes left in the period, Scranton failed to score the rest of the way, as Moravian tallied the final three scores of the first half to slice the Royals lead down to 10-8 entering intermission.
Out of the break, however, Scranton came out firing, as they scored three straight goals to increase their lead back to five at 13-8.
After a Moravian goal made it 13-9, the Royals proceeded to go on a back-breaking 4-0 spurt to open their biggest lead of the contest at 17-9 with 19:14 left. The run was punctuated with a goal by another senior, as Kaitlyn Murphy (Somers, N.Y./North Salem) scored to put the Royals up eight.
Once Scranton opened an eight-goal lead on Moravian, the Greyhounds were unable to get within striking distance to the Royals lead the rest of the game, as the Scranton defense held strong throughout the rest of regulation to coast to a five-goal victory on the afternoon.
On the offensive end in the win, Gallo saved her best offensive performance of the 2019 season for the right time, as she tallied six goals. Meanwhile, fellow senior Olert ended the game with four goals, as did freshman Halle Conklin (Point Lookout, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial). Conklin also posted a game-high nine draw controls, scooped up four ground balls and caused four turnovers in the win, as well.
Elsewhere, sophomore Jill Henson (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy) continued her strong season on the offensive end with three goals, while sophomore Raegen Dunn (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township) had a pair of goals to round out the double-digit goal scorers on the game for Scranton. Rounding out the scoring sheet for Scranton was Murphy (who also had two assists) and junior Shannon Warburton (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh).
On the defensive end, junior Becca Russo (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) had seven draw controls and four ground balls, while in goal, sophomore Lauren Devlin (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) made nine saves in net for the Royals to preserve the win.
Before the game, six Scranton seniors were also honored for their contributions to the program: Olert, Murphy, Gallo, Gabby Lins (Ocean Township, N.J.), Claire Eberle (New Providence, N.J./New Providence), and Cait Kollar (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson).
Scranton will now head back to the Landmark Conference playoffs for the fourth straight season, as they'll play third-seeded Moravian yet again on Wednesday at Weiss Field. Action in the semifinal match will get underway at 4 p.m.
More information on the 2019 Landmark Conference Women's Lacrosse Championships will be posted throughout the week at athletics.scranton.edu and on Twitter @RoyalAthletics.