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O'Neill, Pierce lead women's lacrosse against No. 5 Trinity

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Senior attacker Caite Irvine (Westwood, Mass.) totaled six goals and one assist to lead No. 5 nationally ranked Trinity College to a 14-8 victory over the No. 20 Bates women's lacrosse team in NESCAC women’s lacrosse action Saturday afternoon. Trinity improves to 5-0 with its 19th consecutive regular-season victory, while the Bobcats fall to 3-3 with their first loss in three games.

Irvine scored back-to-back goals with just under 10 minutes left in the first half to offset back-to-back tallies by Bates sophomore midfielder Wally Pierce (Weston, Mass.) earlier in the half and give Trinity a 4-2 lead.

A goal by Bobcat senior attacker Joan O'Neill (Westwood, Mass.) with 4:40 left in the half cut the Bantam advantage to 4-3, but Trinity closed the first frame with a 3-0 spurt started by a free-position tally by junior midfielder Megan Leonhard (Summit, N.J.) with 3:41 on the clock. Trinity senior co-captain midfielder Liz Bruno (Andover, Mass.) fed junior attacker Hadley Duncan (Rye, N.Y.) and Irvine on the final two goals before the break for a 7-3 Bantam lead.

Pierce and Irvine traded goals on free positions for the only goals of the first 15 minutes after halftime.  Trinity then took advantage of a Bates yellow card with a pass from sophomore attacker Shea Kusiak (Longmeadow, Mass.) to Duncan, who turned a shot high past Bates senior goalie Leah Elsmore (Broadview Heights, Ohio) with 14:58 on the clock. O'Neill answered with two straight goals for the Bobcats, giving her a hat trick in all six games so far this season, but Trinity scored five times over a 3:01 period to turn a 9-6 lead into a 14-6 advantage with seven minutes left in the contest.

Duncan scored four times, while Bruno notched one goal and three assists, and Leonhard tallied two goals for the Bantam offense. Trinity junior goalie Olivia Whitney (Danvers, Mass.) made seven saves, while classmate Mallory Hinman (Longmeadow, Mass.) added a game-high five caused turnovers and three ground balls.

O'Neill and Pierce led Bates with five points apiece -- on four goals and one assist and three goals and two assists, respectively -- while Pierce also had four draw controls. Elsmore and junior Eloise O’Connor (Loudonville, N.Y.) combined for five Bobcat saves.

O'Neill's assist increases her Bates career record in that category to 54. She is up to 174 career points, only eight shy of the team record held by Molly Wagner '08.

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