CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University field hockey team fell to Southern Maine, 3-1, on Saturday to end its program-best 11-game winning streak.
The defeat also marked Castleton's first-ever blemish in Little East Conference (LEC) play. The Spartans, in their first season in the LEC, drop to 10-1 in conference action and 12-3 overall. The Spartans can clinch the regular season conference title as well as the number one seed with a win next Saturday at Keene State (14-4, 10-1 LEC). The two teams are tied for the conference lead.
Southern Maine (9-7, 7-3 LEC) raced out to a 3-0 halftime lead behind goals from three different players. Abbie Staples, Samantha Ellis, and Maggie Redman notched one goal each for the visitors. Cydney Jeffrey scored her eighth goal of the season to account for the Castleton scoring. Tashia Pashby-Rockwood made five saves for the Spartans.
On a Husky corner, Staples inserted the ball before getting a pass from Dorina Sirois and firing it past Pashby-Rockwood at 17:36. Then, at 22:04, Ellis placed a reverse-stick attempt narrowly inside the right post to double the lead.
With 1:46 remaining the first stanza, Redman powered a rebound in the cage after Pashby-Rockwood made the original save on a shot from Ellis.
Despite outshooting the Huskies 6-1 in the second half, the Spartans comeback attempt fell short. Jeffrey scored the Spartan goal at 57:50 on a rebound after Allison Lowell's long hit was deflected by Southern Maine goalie, McKenzie Cormier.
Southern Maine won the shot battle, 11-9, while the teams split 12 penalty corners evenly on the afternoon.
Lindsay Pych was the starting goalkeeper for Southern Maine and earned the win by making one save. Cormier made a pair of saves in the second half in relief.
Prior to the game, Castleton field hockey honored the three graduating seniors who were playing in their last regular season contest at Dave Wolk Stadium: Sarah Wells, Gabrielle Ryan, and Iyanna Williams.
Castleton will return to action on Wednesday in its final non-conference contest of the season at Rensselaer.