CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University women's lacrosse team dropped a late decision on Saturday afternoon, falling to the University of Southern Maine in Little East Conference action by a final score of 13-12 at Dave Wolk Stadium.
Erin Shuttle joined an elite group of Spartans in the game's opening half, becoming the 14th player in program history to score 100 career goals in a Castleton uniform. The junior hit the mark in just 41 career games, good for an average of 2.40 goals per game in her career to date.
The Huskies scored twice over the game's final three-plus minutes, overtaking Castleton with the game-winning goal with just 22 seconds left on the clock. The Spartans are now 5-5 overall and 1-1 in LEC play, while Southern Maine improves to 4-4 on the year with a 2-0 mark against LEC competition.
Castleton racked up 16 draw controls to USM's 11 on the day, though the Huskies held a 29-24 edge in shots, a 17-13 edge in ground balls and turned it over 21 times to Castleton's 25. The Spartans cashed in on 5-of-10 free position shots, while USM converted 3-of-7. Both teams cleared successfully 17 times in the contest.
Shuttle led the way with a five-point outing, scoring four times overall and assisting on another. Erin McKenna also scored four times, while Emma Best added two goals and Morgan Derosia chipped in with a goal and two assists. Megan Wood also added a goal for the Spartans, while Shuttle and Calista Carl tied for a team-high three ground balls each. Megan Wood racked up nine draw controls, while McKenna caused three turnovers defensively. Raven Payne shouldered the loss, stopping four shots and allowing three goals in 25 minutes of action in the second half. Samantha Hebb made five stops with 10 goals against in the game's first 35 minutes.
Aliza Jordan filled the scoresheet with three goals and two assists for USM, while Colleen Fleming had three goals and an assist for a four-point day for the Huskies. Lindsey Keenan added a pair of goals and a helper, while Allison Irish scored twice. Morgan Eliasen assisted on a pair of goals. Dorina Sirois led all players with five ground ball pickups, with Jordan leading the way by racking up six draw controls. Jordan and Fleming each caused three turnovers in the contest for the Huskies. Hala Van Nostrand earned her fourth win of the year by stopping seven shots in the contest, allowing 12 goals in the full 60 minutes.
The game opened with a flurry of goals, as Irish scored for the Huskies just 16 seconds into competition to make it 1-0 in favor of the visitors. Shuttle responded swiftly, knotting the game up at 1-1 just 21 seconds later with an unassisted score for Castleton. Goals from Best and McKenna pushed Castleton up 3-1 just minutes later, but Southern Maine responded with four unanswered goals to tale a 5-3 lead at the midway point of the first half. Castleton drew even, as Shuttle and McKenna scored back-to-back goals three minutes apart to make it a 5-5 game, before the Huskies jumped back on top 7-5 with scores from Taylor Rinaldi and Fleming. Shuttle pulled Castleton within one heading into the break, finishing a free-position shot for her 100th career score with four minutes on the clock to make it 7-6.
The Huskies quickly extended that lead to 10-7, its largest lead of the game, less than four minutes into the second half as Jordan, Irish and Keenan scored in succession out of halftime. Shuttle stopped the bleeding with her fourth goal of the contest, but Keenan found the back of the net again to make it 11-7. Wood drew Castleton back within three, 11-8, kicking off a five-goal run for the Spartans that featured two scores from McKenna and one each from Best and Derosia to put Castleton ahead, 12-11, with 12:05 to play.
The lead held until late in the contest, when Fleming knotted the game up with 3:15 to play for USM. With the clock ticking down and overtime on the horizon, Jordan sealed the contest in regulation for the Huskies, carrying the ball across the offensive zone before beating Payne in the top-right corner to make it 13-12 in favor of the visitors with just 22 seconds remaining.
Castleton returns to action on Monday evening at 4 p.m. against SUNY Canton at Dave Wolk Stadium.