RINDGE, N.H. (February 27, 2019) – It took the offense a while to get warmed on a frigid New Hampshire day, but once the Franklin Pierce University women's lacrosse team got the engine running on Wednesday afternoon, the Ravens made things downright toasty at Sodexo Field. Franklin Pierce poured in 12 second-half goals to erase a 9-7 deficit and pull away for an 18-12 win over visiting Southern New Hampshire in Northeast-10 Conference play. Freshman attack Savannah Ernst (American Fork, Utah) waged her own personal battle against the elements, as she heated things up with eight goals and three assists for 11 points.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 3-0 (2-0 NE10), while SNHU opens its season at 0-1 (0-1 NE10). For the Ravens, it is the first time they've opened the league schedule with back-to-back wins since 2012.
The first half was extremely back and forth, with neither team ever leading by more than a goal. The game was tied at 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5 and 6-6, before senior attack Kristin Wilder struck for SNHU with 24 seconds remaining in the period to give the Penmen a 7-6 lead heading into halftime. Ernst had two goals and an assist in the first half for the Ravens, while junior attack Bella Lima (Hudson, Mass.) contributed a pair of goals as well. Wilder bookended the stanza with goals for SNHU, as part of her six-point afternoon (5-1-6).
SNHU would also strike for two of the first three goals of the second half, to take a 9-7 lead on Wilder's third goal of the day, with 19:38 to play. From there though, Franklin Pierce would seize control of the game. The Ravens won five of the next seven draw controls, and used the possessions to run off the game's next seven goals, surging to a 14-9 lead, which forced a SNHU timeout with 10:29 to play, following Lima's fourth goal of the afternoon. Ernst figured in on five of the seven goals in the run, with four goals and an assist.
The game would even out again over the final 10 minutes, with Franklin Pierce holding a 4-3 advantage down the stretch to close out the 18-12 win. SNHU had closed the gap to 14-11 on back-to-back goals from Wilder, but sophomore attack Caroline Lounsbury (Franklin, Mass.) and Ernst scored twice each, as the Ravens put home four of the game's final five scores.
For Ernst, the 11-point outing represented the second-best single-game scoring output by a freshman in program history, trailing only Jordan Baillargeon '11, who notched 13 points (10-3-13) against Norwich on April 10, 2008. It was just the seventh 10-point game in program history, and the first since Briana Sweeney '17 tallied 11 points (6-5-11) at Nyack on March 4, 2017.
Though it is obviously early in the season, Ernst has 23 points through the team's first three games, which already puts her more than a quarter of the way to the program's single-season scoring record, set by then-freshman Lauren Stille '11 in 2008, with 87 points (73-14-87). Ernst would need to average 4.6 points per game over the remaining 14 games to claim the record.
Behind Ernst for the Ravens offensively, Lima and Lounsbury put home four goals each, while junior attack Sarah Heckman (Atkinson, N.H.) added a pair of goals off the bench. Ernst rounded out her stat line with four ground balls, four draw controls and a pair of caused turnovers on the day. Freshman midfielder Jenna Cimbron (Bristol, R.I.) snagged four draw controls as well, while freshman goalkeeper Megan Bacik (Huntington Station, N.Y.) collected a game-high six ground balls.
Wilder did the heavy lifting for SNU with her six points, while freshman midfielder Kelsey Long added a trio of goals and freshman midfielder Erin Gorton went for 1-2-3 with seven draw controls, which matched junior midfielder Merry Harrington for the game high. Sophomore defender Abby Crowell picked up four ground balls and caused a pair of turnovers for the Penmen.
Bacik (3-0) finished with 13 saves against 25 shots on goal to pick up the win in the Franklin Pierce crease. Senior netminder Leah Olansky (0-1) logged the opening 46:25 and suffered the loss for SNHU, after posting seven saves against 19 shots.
The Ravens return to the field on Friday, March 8, when they remain home to host New Haven in an NE10 contest. Game time is set for 4 p.m. at Sodexo Field.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (https://www.fpuravens.com). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce lacrosse apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (https://www.fpuravens.com/store).