FLUSHING, N.Y. – Led by junior Mary Pat Gibble's first four-goal game of the season, the Queens College women's lacrosse team rolled past the Firebirds of District of Columbia (UDC), 15-5, for its first East Coast Conference (ECC) win of the season in drizzling conditions Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Knights improved to 2-10 (1-5 ECC), while the Firebirds dropped to 1-11 (0-8 ECC) on the season.
The Knights jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back, as junior Nicole Moniello found the back of the net with 28:30 showing on the clock. Following a Firebirds foul on sophomore Lauren Gentile to earn a free position shot, Gentile swiftly doubled the advantage 2-0 with 23:19 remaining in the first half. However, Vanessa Valentine answered back for the Firebirds following a Knight turnover to cut into the lead, 2-1.
Following a 10-minute goal drought, the Knights rallied for a 5-0 run, led by freshman Aleah Abdellatif's two goals, to close out the half with a 7-1 lead.
Queens began the second half with fast intention, running away with the game, as the Knights poured in another three quick goals, with Gibble starting the scoring to complete her second goal of the game with barely a minute gone by. Following a draw control by senior Melanie Kahn, sophomore Patriece Ausili fired a shot only to be blocked by Firebirds goalie Jada Foy, but following a rebound catch on the shot, Ausili found the back of the net the second time around for her second goal of the game. 30 seconds later, Kahn won another draw control and found Abdellatif, who completed the first hat trick of her young career, as the Knights continued to pour on the goals to take 10-1 lead with 27:24 still remaining in the second half.
Aaliyah Carter stopped the bleeding for the Firebirds as she found the back of the net to cut into the deficitm 10-2. The Knights then scored the next three goals, including two by freshman Lauren Hilke, to give Queens a commanding 13-2 lead. After UDC scored three straight goals, Gibble completed her four-goal effort with a free position shot with two minutes remaining on the clock. Ausili then completed her fifth hat trick of the season (third in a row) to close out the scoring, as the Knights picked up their first ECC win under first-year head coach Meaghan Smith.
Gibble led the Knights' attack with four goals and an assist, while Ausili scored three goals with four ground balls and three draw controls. Abdellatif registered her first hat trick of the season on six shots on goal. Hilke scored twice, and the other goals came from Walker, Gentile and Moniello. Kahn matched her season-high with five draw controls, while junior Stephanie Neuner finished a season-high five ground balls.
Senior goalie Basma Attieh (2-10) earned the win on the day, saving seven shots, while her counterpart Fay took the loss, facing 38 shots and saving 15. The Knights held the advantage in grounds balls (14-8) and draw controls (13-9), while outshooting the Firebirds 38-16.
The Knights wrap up non-conference play on Tuesday afternoon, April 25, as they travel to Nyack, N.Y. to face the Warriors of Nyack College at 3:30 pm.