Career highs lead Pioneers to 22-10 win at Emmanuel

Career highs lead Pioneers to 22-10 win at Emmanuel

FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. --- Juliette Cusano and Rachel Holmes each scored a career-high six goals as Tusculum University defeated Emmanuel College 22-10 in non-conference women's lacrosse action Tuesday afternoon.

Brittany Lowery also set a career high with five goals and two assists and Bailey Lowery dished out a career-best five assists as the Pioneers outscored the Lions 10-5 in the first half and 12-5 in the second half to give interim head coach Joelle-Sara Prata her first career victory. The 22 goals were one shy of the program single-game record and are tied for the third-most in a single game in school history.

Cusano also had two assists for a career-best eight points, while Holmes had an assist and matched her career best with seven points for the Pioneers, who outshot the Lions 38-22 in the victory. Emily Youngblood had three goals, Eliza Ryan scored two goals and an assist and Jessica Spiegel had three assists for Tusculum (1-5).

Aleah Marijanich led Emmanuel (0-3) with six goals and an assist, Megan Shortt had two goals and an assist and Hanna Hernandez scored twice for the Lions, who committed 21 turnovers as a team in the contest.

Tusculum opened the scoring just 29 seconds into the first half on a goal by Ryan, and Youngblood pushed the Pioneers ahead 2-0 with 25:32 left in the half. After Hernandez cut the lead to 2-1 just 17 seconds after Youngblood's goal, the Pioneers received goals from Cusano, Holmes and Ryan to go up 5-1 with 19:18 left in the half.

Marijanich scored twice for the Lions to bring Emmanuel within 5-3 with 17:20 to go, but Cusano, Brittany Lowery and Holmes teamed up to make it 8-3 Tusculum with 10:58 left in the half. Short trimmed the margin to 8-4 with 10:40 remaining, but goals from Holmes and Youngblood extended the Tusculum lead to 10-4 before Hernandez closed the first-half scoring for Emmanuel with 5:09 remaining as the Pioneers led 10-5 at intermission.

The Lions' Marijanich scored her third of the game 30 seconds into the second half to pull the Lions back within 10-6, but Holmes and Cusano extended Tusculum's advantage to 12-6 with 22:54 left. Marijanich would score three of the next four goals for the Lions, the last coming with 13:38 left which pulled Emmanuel within 15-10. But, Tusculum would score the final seven goals of the afternoon as Brittany Lowery scored three times, Cusano twice and Holmes and Youngblood once apiece during the run.

In addition to her eight points, Cusano had six draw controls and two ground balls for the Pioneers. Brittany Lowery had five draw controls and two ground balls, while Hailey Sanders led Tusculum with four ground balls and two caused turnovers.

For Emmanuel, Marijanich had eight draw controls with Shortt adding six. Shannon Sapp had a team-high four ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers on defense for the Lions.

Kate Pipkin played all 60 minutes in goal for the Pioneers and had six saves, while Tiana Machado made 10 saves between the pipes for the Lions.

Tusculum will open its South Atlantic Conference schedule on Saturday at 4 p.m. as the Pioneers host Lenoir-Rhyne at Pioneer Field.