CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University women's lacrosse team fell late on Tuesday evening in non-conference action to Smith College as the Spartans lost 14-9 to the Pioneers at Dave Wolk Stadium.
Trailing by just one goal at the half, Castleton (3-4) was outscored by a 7-3 margin over the final 30 minutes of play as Smith moved its record to 7-1. The Pioneers held a 31-19 edge in shots and a 29-23 advantage in ground balls while converting on 22-of-26 clears. Castleton converted 22-of-33 clear chances, but turned the ball over 34 times to Smith's 27.
Erin Shuttle registered four goals for Castleton to lead the attack, while Erin McKenna and Megan Wood added two scores apiece. Shuttle also had six ground balls and three draw controls, while Emma Best had an assist and four draw controls on the day. Five different Spartans caused three turnovers apiece. Samantha Hebb shouldered the loss, allowing 13 goals in 54 minutes of action before giving way to Raven Payne.
Clelie Fielding netted four goals for the Pioneers, though Reese Gittleman led the way with five points from three goals and two assists. Maddie Ryan added a hat trick of her own and Emily Biggs had two goals and an assist. Alyssa Schams stopped five shots with nine goals allowed in her sixth win of the season.
Smith jumped out to a 2-0 lead early on, striking twice in the first three minutes of play. Ryan netted her 12th goal of the year to open the scoring before Fielding doubled the lead 90 seconds later. Castleton rattled off back-to-back goals to even the score at 2-2, as Shuttle and Morgan Derosia found the back of the cage to level the game.
The Pioneers re-gained the two-goal edge minutes later, as Biggs and Fielding pushed Smith ahead, 4-2. McKenna answered with two goals of her own, drawing Castleton back level behind an assist from Wood and a free-position goal. After the sides traded goals to make it 5-5, Fielding scored twice more for the Pioneers to put Smith up, 7-5. Wood answered with a late goal for the Spartans, finding the back of the cage with just 24 seconds to play before half to make it 7-6.
Smith pushed its lead to two goals once more early in the second half, but Castleton rattled off back-to-back scores as Shuttle netted her third and fourth goals of the night to draw the game even, 8-8. That was the last time Castleton could bounce back, however, as Smith potted three consecutive goals in a 2:15 span to go up 11-8, a lead it would not relinquish. Derosia stopped the run with 11:11 to play on an assist from Megan Krumm, but Smith closed out the game with three unanswered goals to claim a 14-9 victory.
Castleton opens Little East Conference play on Saturday at UMass-Dartmouth at noon.