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Johnson, Easterday Power Bonnies To Season-Opening Win

Johnson, Easterday Power Bonnies To Season-Opening Win

HARTFORD, Conn. — Destinee Johnson and Ashley Easterday combined for nine goals to power the St. Bonaventure women's lacrosse team to a season-opening win over the Hartford Hawks, 16-8.

Johnson was the key catalyst early for the Bonnies offense. The senior attacker tallied five goals, four in the first half, and led all scorers on the day with seven points.

Junior attack Ashley Easterday was crucial down the stretch. She scored four goals on the day, three in the second half, to secure the Bonnies victory.

It was also the first win for new Bonnies head coach Jason Levesque at the helm of the program.

"I think we had a strong start as we were anxious to see a different colored jersey on the other side," Levesque said. "We came out a little flat in the second though as they wrestled away the momentum and jumped on us early, but we regrouped after the time out and did a good job getting back into the driver's seat so to speak.  Overall, I'm extremely proud of the effort and resiliency of our group today." 

St. Bonaventure (1-0) kicked off the scoring action early when Destinee Johnson, off a feed from Ashley Easterday, put the Bonnies up 1-0 just three minutes in.

The Hawks (0-1) quickly responded back, evening the score at one apiece, but the Bonnies answered in a big way. They went on a 5-0 run to push the score to 6-1 with 15 minutes to play in the first half.

Over that scoring stretch, Ashley Easterday, Nora Anderson Erika Sherwood all netted their first goals of the season, and Johnson added her second and third of the day. 

Johnson registered a hat trick just 15 minutes in, the 3rd hat trick of her career, and the fastest she's ever achieved that feat.

A second goal by Hartford at the 15 minute mark was quickly answered by a 3-0 Bonnies scoring run via Johnson, Anderson and Madison Mundenar

At halftime, the Bonnies held a 9-3 lead.

The Hawks would make it interesting after the break. They opened the second half on a 3-0 scoring run to cut SBU's lead to three, 9-6.

A few minutes of back-and-forth between the two sides, featuring the first career goal for Caroline Yoder and Johnson's fifth, put the score at 11-8 heading into the final 18 minutes. 

From there, the Bonnies never looked back. They closed on a 5-0 run thanks to three straight Easterday goals, a second for Yoder and the first career goal for Teri Manzelli with 57 seconds remaining in the game. 

The Bonnies outshot the Hawks 36-24 and had 24 shots on goal to the Hawks 15. Defensively, the Bonnies caused 12 turnovers.

SBU also cleared at a near-perfect rate, converting 17 of 19 opportunities.

In net, Savannah Clarke had seven saves and a save percentage of 46.7 percent.

The Bonnies are back in action this Sunday at Central Connecticut State in New Britain, Conn.