by Tom Utescher

A pair of juniors pursue the ball; Chestnut Hill College’s Kelly Campbell (right), and East Stroudsburg University’s Sarah Studdiford, a Wyndmoor native who attended Springfield High School. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

As a low-scoring first period unfolded, it looked as though host Chestnut Hill College would enjoy a halftime edge over the women of East Stroudsburg University. The Griffins were holding a 2-0 lead in last Thursday’s non-conference lacrosse match with two-and-a-half minutes to go in the opening round, but the visiting Warriors went ahead with a three-goal burst before the break.

Chestnut Hill moved in front again early in the second half, but a 4-0 run by the visitors first tied the match at 5-5 and then gave the Warriors the lead for good. CHC (2-5 overall) didn’t fall too far off the pace, but eventually succumbed 12-9, unable to notch its third straight win after opening the 2013 season at 0-4.

The Griffins’ record within their own Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) remained 2-2, while East Stroudsburg claimed its first victory of the 2013 campaign.

The Warriors improved to 1-4 overall, while their status in the Pa. State Athletic Conference stayed unchanged at 0-1, thanks to a 9-6 loss to Kutztown University. East Stroudsburg had started its season with a pair of setbacks against two of Chestnut Hill’s peers in the CACC, Holy Family (11-12/OT) and Philadelphia University (10-16).

The Warriors’ roster includes a local product, Sarah Studdiford, a junior attacker who played at Springfield High School and was an All-Suburban One League selection in both lacrosse and field hockey. A Wyndmoor native, she has four older sisters who all played lacrosse at the old Springside School. She registered one assist in the Chestnut Hill game, and came into the contest with three goals on the season after starting every game for the Warriors as a sophomore.

After a lackluster start to their 2013 campaign, the Griffins of Chestnut Hill set the stage for last Thursday’s contest with back-to-back conference victories. They went into overtime to down host Post University, 12-11, on March 23, and then returned home on Tuesday of last week to whip Wilmington University, 18-8.

Two days later, CHC’s Christina Squillante broke the ice against East Stroudsburg with two-and-a-half minutes elapsed, and almost halfway through the opening period fellow senior Brianne Timony gave the Griffins a 2-0 advantage.

In other setbacks this season, the local stickwomen have gone through stretches when they’ve given up multiple goals in a brief timespan, and that’s the way the first half ended on Thursday. ESU freshman Lauren Nunes started in on a personal hat trick with a shot that split the pipes with 2:23 remaining, and 40 seconds later another rookie, Kaitlynn Wiltraut, rippled the Griffins’ net.

Next, Wyndmoor’s Studdiford set up a goal by senior Sarah Ginn, and the Warriors took a 3-2 lead just 22 ticks before the interlude.

CHC senior Lindsay Alexander went right down to score off of the draw that launched the second half, and two markers by Timony rounded out a 3-1 burst that had the hosts ahead, 5-4, with 21:23 remaining in the game.

The Warriors countered by ringing up four consecutive goals in three minutes, with a pair by Nunes finishing out the string. Emorie Keimig, the Griffins’ freshman center, pocketed the ball herself off of the following draw and went in to fire a sixth goal for Chestnut Hill. This was the beginning of another little 3-1 run for the hosts, and it had them back within one point of East Stroudsburg (8-9) with 12:38 left.

Once again, Chestnut Hill’s opponent was able to generate a burst of offense on demand, pumping in three straight goals. That made it 12-8 with five minutes left, and the only addition to the scoreboard came on an unassisted shot by Alexander in the final minute.

She finished with two goals, while Timony deposited a game-high four goals and single markers for CHC came from Squillante, Keimig, and junior Kelly Campbell. Nunes and junior Nicole Miller each recorded a hat trick for the victorious Warriors.

The two starting goalies, both seniors, each went the distance in the cage, with Chestnut Hill’s Jenn Delahanty logging 10 saves while visitor Amanda Simms made 13 stops.