Henniker, N.H. - Kim Gosselin and Kate Auer each notched career-high scoring performances as the Spartans pummeled New England College 19-3 on Wednesday to claim their third straight North Atlantic Conference regular season crown.
Gosselin dished off three assists and scored three goals to tally a career-best six points. Auer put up five goals and handed out four assists for nine points, the most points since her Castleton debut in 2012 when she notched seven. Jennilee Mark scored three goals as Castleton earned their 21st straight victory over a NAC opponent.
The Spartans were dominant early, jumping out to a 4-0 lead on a pair of goals from Auer, and one apiece from Mark and Gosselin in the first ten minutes of play. The Pilgrims attempted to respond, leaning on Gabriella Bigos, who scored a pair of goals to cut into the Spartan lead.
With a three-goal lead halfway through the first half, Castleton finished the frame on a 5-1 run to take a 10-3 lead into the break. Auer and Jenna Bostwick buried consecutive free-position shots, Auer assisted on a pair of goals to Mark and Gosselin, and then Gosselin scored unassisted with 4:31 remaining. The Pilgrims' Brittany Montieth scored with just under three minutes left to put an end to the Spartan run before the halftime whistle.
In the second half, the Spartan defense silenced the Pilgrims, shutting them out for the entire 30 minutes. The stellar defense translated into good offense as well, as they team rattled off nine goals in the frame. Shelby Smyth, Maddy DaCosta, Sarah Clark, Blake Wardwell, and Grace Johnson all got involved in the Castleton cannonade, scoring once each as the team ran away with a 19-3 victory.
Emilee Maher led the Spartan defense by scooping six ground balls. Sarah Clark claimed five ground balls and was one of four Spartans to share the team lead with two caused turnovers on the day. In net, Rachel Bombardier earned the win making seven saves while allowing just three goals in the first half. Meghan Els came in for the second frame and made four saves while shutting out the Pilgrims.
Gabriella Bigos scored a pair of goals for the Pilgrims while Eleni Hatsis led the defense. Hatsis scooped up a pair of ground balls and earned a game-high four caused turnovers, but it wasn't enough to stop the potent Castleton offense. Mackenzie Meegan made eight saves, but allowed 19 goals to take the loss.
Castleton improves to 6-6 on the year and improves to 5-0 on the season. They remain the only undefeated squad in the NAC and claim the right to host throughout the playoffs for the third straight season. The squad will play again on Saturday, April 19 when they take on Husson at 3:00pm in their final regular season game.