CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University women's lacrosse team opens its eight-match home schedule for 2018 with a three-game homestand, beginning with a contest against Western New England Tuesday, March 6, at 4 p.m. at Spartan Stadium.
The Spartans are coming off a loss at SUNY Canton in their season opener this past Saturday. Emily Cross led the Castleton offense with three goals and one assist, while Erin Shuttle finished with two goals and one assist. Samantha Hebb started in net for the Spartans and made 13 saves, her eighth career match with at least 10 saves.
Western New England is 0-2 so far this season, losing home games to Springfield College and Smith College. Kristen Breen leads the Golden Bears offensively with one goal and one assist, while Reilly Miller and Marissa Staffu have also scored goals so far this season for Western New England. Shannon McFadden has started both games in net, posting a 15.34 goals against average and a .364 save percentage.
Since 1999, Western New England has won all 19 meetings between the teams. In a thrilling match last season in Springfield, Mass., the Golden Bears took a 7-2 lead 10 minutes into the second half before the Spartans rallied with five straight goals, three of them by Grace Johnson, to tie the match with 9:46 remaining in regulation.
After Western New England retook the lead, Megan Wood took a feed from Cross and converted to tie the match at 8-8 with six minutes left. Julia Winer set up Lauren Hurley two minutes later to put the Golden Bears back on top, and then the home team held off the Spartans for the 9-8 victory. For Castleton, Hebb finished with 17 saves, still a career high, while McFadden collected 11 saves for Western New England, the last save on a free position shot with 16 seconds remaining in regulation.
After Tuesday's contest, Castleton remains home for two matches in three days, facing Southern Maine Saturday, March 10, at 12 noon and University of New England Monday, March 12, at 4 p.m.