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College Lacrosse: Battista leads Niagara to consecutive wins

Maria Battista of Hamburg has scored eight times in consecutive wins for Niagara University. (Photo courtesy of Niagara University)
Behind an eight-goal spurt from Maria Battista of Hamburg, the Niagara University womenís lacrosse team has won a pair of 9-7 games, including beating rival St. Bonaventure on March 12 for the first time in program history, after starting the season 0-5.

Trailing 7-6 with less than a minute remaining in the contest, the Purple Eagles tallied three quick scores, two from Battista, to pull ahead by two goals and garner consecutive wins for the first time since the 2009 season. Battista, a junior, scored a career-high five goals. She started the comeback tying the game with 43 seconds left and after the game-winner was scored with 25 second left, she scored again before the final buzzer.

The Frontier High School graduate, was among overtime scorers and netted three goals in the teamís first win of the season, 9-7 over Detroit Mercy on Thursday (March 7). After teammate Danielle Maio gave Niagara an 8-7 lead in overtime, Battista secured the win, adding a goal off of a free position shot to put Niagara up by two. Battista and Maio are now tied for the team lead with eight goals.

Other locals playing for Niagara include junior attacker Moira Foley of Hamburg, a Hamburg High School graduate, and on defense, senior Cassie Johnson of Lakeview (Frontier High School) and freshmen Elizabeth Benedict of Eden (Nichols School) and Aryien Stevens of Lawtons (Lake Shore High School).

Albany upended the Purple Eagles 19-6 earlier in the season and has begun with a 3-2 mark, which also includes a latest win, 19-1 over Manhattan on Monday (March 11). A member of the Albany womenís lacrosse team is freshman Amanda Obenshain of Hamburg, who is playing on attack

Joelle Kaczmarek of Hamburg (Frontier High School) has also begun her collegiate career this spring, playing for St. Bonaventure.
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