CASTLETON, Vt. – Coming off its first win of the 2018 season, the Castleton University women's lacrosse team welcomes two schools from Maine over a three-day span, facing Southern Maine Saturday, March 10, at 12 noon, and University of New England Monday, March 12, at 4 p.m.
After a season-opening loss at SUNY Canton, Castleton broke away from a halftime tie to defeat Western New England Tuesday, 12-8. It was the first victory for the Spartans over the Golden Bears in at least 20 meetings, as Western New England had defeated Castleton 19 consecutive times since 1999.
Offensively, Emily Cross and Erin Shuttle lead the Spartans with six goals apiece, while Megan Wood has collected one goal, two assists, nine groundballs, six draw controls, and three caused turnovers so far this season. Samantha Hebb has started both matches in net for Castleton, posting a 12.24 goals against average and a .510 save percentage.
Southern Maine started its season last Saturday with a 17-6 loss to University of New England. The Huskies were picked to finish sixth in the Little East Conference preseason poll after compiling an overall record of 7-9 last year, including a 1-5 mark within the conference.
Allison Irish led the Huskies against UNE with three goals, while Alex Farley finished with two goals, two groundballs, and two draw controls. Colleen Fleming and Aliza Jordan led Southern Maine with five draw controls apiece. Defensively, Mira Kuni caused three turnovers, and Hala Van nostrand made 13 saves in net for the Huskies.
This will be the 15th meeting between Castleton and Southern Maine since 2001, with the Huskies holding a 9-5 series advantage. Last season in Gorham, Maine, Southern Maine jumped out to a 9-3 lead, withstood a Castleton rally that closed the score to 12-10 with 14 minutes left in regulation, and scored the final three goals to cap a 15-10 victory. Lauren Lessard scored five goals and Sam Campbasso collected four goals and four assists for the Huskies, while Tiffany Danyow scored four goals and Cross added three goals for the Spartans.
The University of New England will bring a 1-1 record into Monday's contest, following its victory over Southern Maine with a loss to nationally ranked Bowdoin. The Nor'easters were picked to finish in third place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) preseason poll after going 10-8 overall and 6-2 within the league last year.
Keara Dwyer leads the Nor'easters with six goals, with Molly Camelo earning five goals, four groundballs, seven draw controls, and four caused turnovers so far this season. In net, Maritza Nary has played the first half in each game, posting a 13.00 goals against average and a .435 save percentage. Taylor Hopkins has taken over at halftime in both games and compiled a 15.00 goals against average with a .250 save percentage.
This is believed to be the fourth meeting between Castleton and UNE, with the Nor'easters winning the previous three games. Two years ago at Spartan Stadium, UNE won in overtime, 12-11. Last season in Biddeford, Maine, the Nor'easters opened a 6-2 lead at halftime on their way to a 13-9 victory. Hannah Braman led Castleton with three goals, while five different Huskies scored two goals apiece to pace the home team.
After Monday's game, Castleton heads south to face Worcester State Thursday, March 15, at 4 p.m. before returning home and opening conference play next Saturday, March 17, against Lyndon at 3:30 p.m.