BOILING SPRINGS – Saint Francis (Pa.) used a 13-1 run in the first half to build a lead and captured a 19-3 win over Gardner-Webb Tuesday in the home opener for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Gardner-Webb (0-3) jumped out to a 2-0 lead quickly, getting goals from Cassidy McDowell (27:05) and Amanda Steinmuller (24:15) in its first regular season game in Ernest W. Spangler Stadium this season.
The Red Flash (3-1) bounced back, however, with Holly Lawrence powering a flurry on her own, scoring a pair of unassisted goals in an eight-second span to tie the game. Lawrence scored again at 21:45 to give Saint Francis the lead for good.
After three more goals by the visitors pushed the lead to 7-2, Steinmuller took a pass from McDowell at the 17:46 mark to pull Gardner-Webb within four.
Saint Francis answered with six goals over the final 12:39 of the half to go up 13-3 at intermission. The Red Flash scored three goals in the first five minutes of the second half to put the game away
Gardner-Webb managed 11 shots in the game, with Steinmuller and Abby Hanscom each recording four. McDowell had three points (goal, assist) on just two shots. Maddie Stephens had the other shot for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Colleen Conn and Lindsay Lippert each had two ground balls and Emma Rose led the way with five draw controls. Stephens had a trio of draw controls for Gardner-Webb, which trailed just 11-10 in that category.
Gardner-Webb turned the ball over 21 times, which led to several transition opportunities for the Red Flash. Saint Francis outshot the Runnin' Bulldogs by a 37-11 margin, with 32 of those on goal.
Lawrence led the way with six goals and five draw controls, while Sydney Davis scored four goals and fed three assists. Jessica Fischetti added a goal and two assists and Blair Rosenberg added a pair of assists.
Sarah Mahon also had a nice day on offense with three goals on four shots.
Gardner-Webb will be back in action on Friday night, hosting VCU at 6:00 pm in Ernest W. Spangler Stadium. The game will serve as Freshman Night for the Runnin' Bulldogs.