Holmdel, N.J. - The St. John Vianney girls lacrosse put on an offensive clinic of transition passing and scoring on Thursday afternoon against Colts Neck.
Five players for the Lancers scored three or more goals in the contest, led by Alexis Lauricella’s team-high six goal performance to help St. John Vianney tally a season-high 22 goals in a 22-12 win to improve to 5-2 on the season.
“We’re a good team and we’re here to play,” said St. John Vianney girls lacrosse interim coach Samantha Arlotta. “We’re an underdog team that’s coming up that nobody wants to see. We’re a good team.”
It was Colts Neck, not St. John Vianney that started the contest rolling. The Cougars jumped out to a 4-0 lead, all thanks to lead-scoring Sarah Shaughnessy.
Shaughnessy had a hat trick and more before the 12 minute mark of the contest to give Colts Neck an early four-goal advantage.
Colts Neck held a 5-1 lead after a Kellie Russo goal with 11:30 to go in the first half.
A slow start and down four, St. John Vianney got its offense clicking on all cylinders in a hurry.
Back-to-back goals by Lauricella got the Lancers rolling, with Victoria Shenk following it by knocking in her first goal to cut the Colts Neck lead to 5-4.
Lauricella notched a hat trick to tie the game with 7:49 to go in the first half, while Hannah Vates gave St. John Vianney its first lead three minutes later, knocking home the Lancers’ fifth straight score with her second tally of the half.
The run kept going for St. John Vianney right off the next draw as Lauricella found Ellie Mrusek for the sixth goal in a row for the Lancers.
Shenk made it seven straight goals for the Lancers with 3:29 to go in the half, scoring her second goal of the game off a free possession to put St. John Vianney up 8-5.
“A big thing we work on in practice is moving the ball in transition,” Arlotta said. “We’re very big on getting the ball across the field and getting everyone to touch the ball. It’s great when the ball flows through the entire team. That’s what girls lacrosse is.”
All of a sudden, now trailing, Colts Neck came all the way back to tie the game with Shaughnessy leading the charge. The senior scored back-to-back goals to give her six in the half and tie the game at 8-8 with 1:21 left in the first half.
St. John Vianney matched the Cougars’ run in the final 1:21 of the first half. Vates set up Mrusek for her second goal to give St. John Vianney back the lead, while Shenk scored her third goal of the contest to make it 10-8 with 52 seconds to play.
Shenk set up the big dagger for the Lancers to finish the half with 40 seconds remaining. Off the free possession, Shenk dished a great pass to Vates by the net and the senior gave the Lancers three players with a hat trick in the first half and a 11-8 halftime lead.
“It was a great decision by (Shenk),” Vates said. “She had the option to go to goal, but was selfless and decided to pass it from how Colts Neck was lined up. It was a great pass by her. I was able to get it in and help us get a nice lead going into halftime. It was a great momentum changer for us.”
Shaughnessy helped pull Colts Neck within two at 12-10 within the first five minutes of the second half on her game-high seventh goal of the contest. She now has a team-leading 44 goals scored on the season.
That was as close as the Cougars got as St. John Vianney continued to roll like a scoring machine in the second half, topping their first half run of seven straight goals with eight.
Lauricella picked up where she left off in the first half by tallying back-to-back goals to put the Lancers up 14-10.
After Caryn McGrory drove all the way down from midfield to the net to bang in her second goal of the half, Vates followed with her fourth goal of the contest to put St. John Vianney up 16-10 with 17:26 left to play.
McGrory tallied the fourth hat trick of the day for St. John Vianney off an assist by Vates to make it five straight goals. Vates added in her fifth to make it make it six straight Lancer goals and increase the St. John Vianney lead to 18-10.
Lauricella notched her sixth goal of the game with 12:06 to play to make it a nine-goal lead for the Lancers.
The sophomore now has a team-leading 37 goals on the season and added in two assists in the win.
“I’m just really thankful for my teammates,” Lauricella said. “We all have great communication with one another. We trust each other. Wouldn’t be able to do this without them.”
Mrusek made it five players with hat tricks on the day for the Lancers to make it 20-10 with a little over 11 minutes to play. McGrory scored her fourth goal of the game off a great feed by Shenk to finish off St. John Vianney’s fifth win of the season.
Shenk and Vates each finished with a team-high five assists in the win for St. John Vianney.
Haley Petrowski added in a goal and an assist for the Lancers. St. John Vianney goalkeeper Madeline DiMezza had a game-high eight saves in net.
St. John Vianney has scored double-digit goals in all of its five wins this season. The Lancers haven’t lost a game when they score 10 or more goals.
St. John Vianney will host Middletown South on Saturday.
Russo scored two goals for Colts Neck. Teammates Kayla Wade, Gabby Cataldo and Kaitlin Thomas each scored a goal.
Colts Neck drops to 5-4 on the season.
The Cougars will look to get back on track this Tuesday when they face Middletown South in a Shore Conference A-North Division matchup.
Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports