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Valentine Scores Four Goals in Firebirds Loss at Bridgeport

Valentine scored five goals along with one assist, and six groundballs.
Valentine scored five goals along with one assist, and six groundballs.

BRIDGEPORT, CT – Sophomore midfielder Vanessa Valentine scored four goals for the visiting University of the District of Columbia women's lacrosse team, but the Firebirds were defeated, 17-7 by the University of Bridgeport in East Coast Conference action Thursday afternoon at Knights Field.

Valentine, who struck once in the first half and scored a hat trick in the second half, now ranks 2nd on the team with 16 goals this season. She also had a game-high four draw controls and four ground balls today.

Senior midfielder Aaliyah Carter, who scored the game's first goal just 22 seconds into the action, finished with two goals scored on five shots. She also had three ground balls and two draw controls.

Freshman midfielder Kianna Franklin, who leads the team with 18 points on 17 goals and one assist, added one goal for the Firebirds today. She has now scored at least one goal in five straight games, and in 10 of 11 games this season.

Sophomore midfielder Amy Rock, who tied for the game-high with three assists this afternoon, also had a game-high six ground balls and a team-high two caused turnovers.

Defensively, freshman goalkeeper Jada Foy stopped 11 of 28 shots faced in a complete game effort.

The Purple Knights (8-4, 2-3 ECC) featured eight different goal scorers, including Arianna Weingrad and Barbara Orsini with four goals apiece. Rebecca Rieg added three goals, and Lauren Mengel, Shannon Colligan and Courtney Forry each had three assists. Thirteen of Bridgeport's 17 goals were assisted.

UB starting goalkeeper Cheyanne Gangel earned the victory as she stopped four of six shots faced in the first half. Relief goalkeeper Rebecca Salinas stopped six of 11 shots faced in the 2nd half.

The Firebirds (1-10, 0-7 ECC) won 12 of 26 draw controls and 20 groundballs, they were successful on 14-of-18 clear attempts, and they were only whistled for 12 fouls. The Purple Knights, however, out-shot UDC 37-22, and held the Firebirds scoreless (0-for-5) on free-position shots.

Carter gave UDC a 1-0 lead less than 30 seconds into the game, but Bridgeport answered with seven straight goals, including two by Weingrad. Valentine then scored off of an assist by Rock at the 13:16 mark, but the Purple Knights tacked on two more goals and led 9-2 at halftime.

UDC came out strong in the second half, scoring back-to-back goals to pull within five, 9-4 with 26:10 still remaining in regulation. Valentine scored an unassisted goal 46 seconds into the period, and Franklin tallied off of another assist by Rock at 26:10. Bridgeport, however, would then put the game away as the Purple Knights scored five straight goals to go up, 14-4.

The Firebirds continued to battle as Carter and Valentine scored back-to-back goals at 15:19 and 11:32 to make it 14-6, but they would never get any closer than that. Bridgeport outscored UDC 3-1 the rest of the way, and went on to win by 10.

UDC will conclude its 2017 season on Saturday, April 22nd as the Firebirds visit ECC foe Queens College at 12 p.m.