ELON, N.C. – Behind an eight-goal outburst in the first half, Elon University women’s lacrosse rolled to a 13-5 victory over reigning Big South champion Winthrop on Wednesday night, Feb. 15, at Rudd Field.
The victory moves Elon to 3-0 and marks the second consecutive 3-0 start to a season for the Phoenix. Winthrop, playing its season opener, falls to 0-1.
Elon was led by Stephanie Asher and Abby Godfrey, who each scored three goals on the evening. Asher also added three draw controls. Sloane Kessler assisted on four goals while scoring once on her own. Three of her four assists came on Elon’s first four goals of the game. Anna Vitton scored on both shots she attempted while picking up two ground balls and two draw controls. Melissa Birdsell, seeing her first collegiate action, scored two second-half goals.
On defense, both Bridget Lamb and Shannon Horan grabbed a team-high four ground balls and each added two draw controls. Seeing her first action of the season in the cage, Tori Cipollone relieved Rachel Ramirez and picked up a career-high three ground balls in 15 minutes.
Winthrop was led by Ellie Marindin, who scored twice and converted the Eagles only free position shot attempt of the game. Madison Cassidy topped Winthrop with four ground balls while Nicole Beatson grabbed a team-high three draw controls.
Out of the gate, Elon jumped quickly on Winthrop with Asher tallying 35 seconds in. In just the second home game of the season, Elon has now scored in the opening 35 seconds in both contests. After Godfrey made it 2-0 just over six minutes in, Marindin scored the Eagles’ only goal of the first half with 22:47 to go in the frame.
From there, Elon went on a 9-0 run that spanned the next 35:30 of game action to jump from a 2-1 lead to an 11-1 advantage. The Eagles did outscore Elon 4-2 in the final 17:17 of the game, but the damage had already been done with the Phoenix rotating in new faces the remainder of the evening.
In all, Elon dominated the Eagles with a 32-12 shot advantage, a 13-7 draw control advantage and a 22-16 edge in ground balls. The Phoenix completed 13 of its 14 attempted clears while Winthrop cashed in on 13-of-18.
Elon will continue its three-game homestand on Sunday, Feb. 19, when it hosts Triad rival High Point. Opening draw is set for 1 p.m. at Rudd Field. Elon is 2-1 against the Panthers, meeting every year to date in Elon’s team history. Against Big South opponents, the Phoenix is now 12-3 after beating Winthrop and has won nine in a row against members of the conference.
With a win Sunday, the Phoenix would match the best start in program history. In 2016, Elon opened the campaign 4-0 before dropping its next two to Vanderbilt and Albany.