CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University women's lacrosse team begins its final regular season stretch of three games in five days with a home game against the Lyndon Hornets Thursday, April 19, at 7 p.m. at Spartan Stadium, followed by a road contest at Maine-Farmington Saturday, April 21, at 12 noon.
Castleton reached the .500 mark overall at 6-6 for the first time since March 6 with a 22-2 victory over Thomas College last Saturday. The Spartans are in first place in the North Atlantic Conference standings with a 4-0 league mark, extending their regular season conference winning streak to 50 games.
Emily Cross has collected 31 goals and 25 assists for 56 total points, tied for the lead in the NAC in assists as well as 45th in the country in assists per game (2.08). She is also fifth in the league in points and eighth in goals. Erin Shuttle leads the Spartans with 39 goals, currently fourth in the conference.
Defensively, Samantha Hebb is third in the NAC in goals against average (10.45), fifth in save percentage (.452), and sixth in total saves (94). Castleton has played strong defense in front of Hebb, led by Emma Best with 25 caused turnovers and Katie Feeney with 20 caused turnovers, fourth and fifth respectively in the league so far this season.
Lyndon is 4-5 overall, with all four wins coming against teams outside the NAC. The Hornets earned their fourth victory with a 21-15 win over Dean this past Tuesday. However, Lyndon is 0-4 in league play after a 17-2 loss to Maine Maritime last Saturday.
Mikayla Hodge, the NAC Player of the Year in women's basketball, has made a smooth transition into the spring, leading the Hornets with 36 goals, eight assists, 44 total points, 32 ground balls, and 54 draw controls. Taylor Cavaliero has scored 21 goals, and Elizabeth Start has contributed 11 goals, seven assists, 26 ground balls, 30 draw controls, and 10 caused turnovers. Paige Daley has started six games in net for Lyndon, collecting 31 saves with a 12.50 goals against average.
Last season, in Lyndon's first year of varsity competition in women's lacrosse, Castleton earned a 21-1 victory. The Spartans spread the offense around, as 14 players earned at least one point with eight of them collecting multiple points. Hodge scored the lone goal for the Hornets.
Maine-Farmington enters Saturday's game with a 5-8 overall record after consecutive victories over Becker (20-3) and Thomas (15-3). The Beavers are tied for fifth in the NAC standings with a 2-3 league mark. As a team, UMF is averaging 9.85 goals, 27.2 shots, 25.2 ground balls, 11.7 draw controls, and 9.5 caused turnovers per game.
Carly Raymond is one of the Beavers' top players, collecting 34 goals, 24 assists, 49 ground balls, 65 draw controls, and 20 caused turnovers so far this season. Keilly Lynch leads the team with 35 goals, Sierra Gilley has earned 19 goals and 11 assists, and Isabella Monbouquette has contributed 18 goals and 10 assists. Heather Boland has played every second in net for the Beavers, posting a 10.54 goals against average and a .465 save percentage with 119 saves.
This will be the 10th meeting all-time between Castleton and Maine-Farmington, with the Spartans winning the previous nine contests. Last season at Spartan Stadium, Castleton scored eight of the first nine goals on its way to a 17-4 victory. Cross finished with five goals and four assists to lead the Spartans, while Rhi Jackson led UMF with four goals.
After Saturday, Castleton will wrap up the regular season at New England College Monday, April 23, starting at 4 p.m. in a game that will have a major impact on the NAC regular season standings and tournament seeding.