Westfield Mass. - Westfield State University pulled away late in the first half on their way to a 17-7 victory over Western New England University Thursday night.
Westfield (2-0) led a balanced attack with 12 different players scoring points in the win.
It was a back and forth start to this one with the two teams exchanging the first seven goals of the game, but the Owls strong offense and goalkeeping proved to be too much for the Golden Bears.
Senior midfielder Sidney Lambert (Hanover, Mass.) didn't waste any time getting things going, scoring her first goal less than two minutes into the game.
Western New England (0-3) senior Kristen Breen (Ellington, Conn.) matched that with a score of her own at 23:47 to even the score at 1-1.
Westfield State junior Maddie Barkus (Marshfield, Mass.) and Western New England junior Ariella Ruggiero (Valhalla, N.Y) went on to exchange goals within 15 seconds of each other to keep the score tied at 2-2.
Westfield senior captain Marissa Nimeskern (Hanover, Mass.) broke the tie at 18:50 off a smooth assist from Lambert, but freshman Samantha Vitka evened things back up for the Golden Bears just two minutes later (3-3)
Freshman midfielder Victoria Paras (Medford, Mass.) netted the first goal of her collegiate career on a beautiful underhand snipe to give the Owls the lead back 4-3 at 15:42.
Westfield never looked back after that, scoring the next five goals to end the first half and head into the break with an 9-3 cushion.
The Golden Bears scored back to back goals early in the second half to put the score at 10-5, but that was as close as they would get it.
Lambert notched four goals to go along with two assists, while Tonelli had three goals and two assists in the win.
Junior Sam Donohoe (North Middlesex/Pepperell, Mass.) also chipped in with three goals of her own. Maria Woodall (King Phillip/Norfolk, Mass.), Sam Simonetty (Arlington/Pouquag, N.Y.), and Emma Duffy (Braintree) combined to make six saves in goal for the Owls.
Western New England was led by senior Kristen Breen (Ellington Conn.) who finished with four goals for the Golden Bears. Ariella Ruggerio (Westlake/Valhalla, N.Y.) added two goals and an assist, while Kaitlyn Marchant finished with 12 saves in goal.
Westfield State dominated shots and shots on goal, putting up 34 and 29 in comparison to Western New England's 18 and 11.
The Owls will head down to Florida for a three game road trip next week before returning home on March 20th for a matchup with Connecticut College.
-- written by sports information intern Nick Dolan