Castleton, Vt. - The Spartans fought hard, but could not muster enough offense to compete with the No. 12 Ephs. Castleton fell 16-4 to Williams on Thursday night at Spartan Stadium.
Bridget Malicki finished with two goals and four assists and Maeve Mulholland added a hat trick to propel the visiting Ephs to the victory. Kate Auer finished with two goals and an assist for the Spartans.
In the first half, the Spartans fell behind after a flurry of early goals from the Ephs. Malicki led Williams on a 6-0 run to begin the game. The attacker scored the team's first goals and then assisted on a pair of goals to put the Ephs ahead 6-0 with 11:22 remaining in the half.
Castleton got on the board with 10:34 remaining to make it 6-1. Kate Auer penetrated behind the net drawing a second defender and then found Blake Wardwell streaking to the net. Wardwell buried the goal to cut into the Williams lead, making it 6-1.
Williams responded with three straight goals, two of them from Hilary Cook, to extend their lead to 9-1 with 3:01 remaining in the first half. The Spartans scored in the final minute of the first half though, with Emilee Maher driving the full length of the field and finding Auer for the goal. Castleton went into the break trailing 9-2.
In the second half, the Spartans played evenly with the Ephs for the first 12 minutes. Williams scored a pair of goals to go up 11-2, but Castleton responded with a pair of scores of their own to bring the lead back down to seven. Kate Auer converted a nifty backhanded shot with 20:37 left to play and then Brianna MacKay followed up with a goal from Brandi Whittemore, making it 11-4 with 18:52 left.
The Spartans continued to press the Ephs, but Williams' offense was too much to handle. The visiting squad rattled off five consecutive goals to end the game, earning the 16-4 win.
Along with her three points, Auer earned five draw controls and a ground ball. Wardwell led the Castleton defensive effort with a team-best three caused turnovers. She also scooped five ground balls and earned three draws.
Rachel Bombardier was stellar in net for the Spartans. Despite allowing 16 goals, the Spartan goalie made 19 saves, scooped seven ground balls and forced three turnovers. Ali Piltch earned the win in net for the Ephs, making three saves on the afternoon.
Castleton falls to 2-5 on the year, and will return to action on Saturday afternoon. The Spartans will take on Green Mountain College as the away team in a game that will be held in Spartan Stadium at 3:00pm on Saturday, April 5.