CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University women's lacrosse team dropped its regular-season finale on Saturday afternoon, falling to the Little East Conference's top seed, Plymouth State, by a final score of 13-11.
Castleton concludes regular-season action with a record of 6-11 overall and 2-5 in LEC play and now await seeding and matchup information for the Little East Conference Tournament. Plymouth State sits at 9-5 overall and finishes its LEC slate a perfect 7-0, earning a first-round bye and hosting duties for the LEC Tournament's semifinals and finals.
Castleton collected 15 draw controls on the day to Plymouth's nine, but the Panthers held an edge in nearly every other category, leading 34-25 in shots, 23-16 in ground balls and turning it over just 16 times to Castleton's 19. Both teams scored three free-position goals. Plymouth State converted on 15-of-18 clear attempts, while Castleton was 12-for-20.
Seniors Erin McKenna, Megan Wood and Kirsten Kruk all scored in their final home game, with Wood adding a pair of assists and nine draw controls as well. Emma Best led the way with four goals and an assist for five points, while Morgan Derosia's two goals and two assists gave her a four-point afternoon. Erin Shuttle also scored twice for the Spartans. Samantha Hebb racked up 11 saves in goal, the seventh time this season she has had a double-digit save total.
Kimberly Zuccaro led the Panthers with four goals, while Elizabeth McLaughlin and Veronyca Daniels had three goals and an assist each. Sydney Dubois added two goals for the Panthers. Meghan Allard got the start in goal, but after allowing six goals in 13 minutes, gave way to Emilee Wargo. Wargo stopped six shots and allowed five goals over the final 47 minutes to earn the victory.
Castleton jumped out to an early lead, as Shuttle opened the scoring just 2:29 into the contest. McLaughlin knotted it up at 1-1 less than one minute later, but a pair of goals by Castleton put the Spartans back ahead, 3-1, as Best and Shuttle scored consecutively. After Daniels made it 3-2, Castleton rattled off three straight goals to take a four-goal lead. Best scored to make it 4-2, before Derosia's man-up goal made it a 5-2 game. Best found the twine again—registering a hat trick in just 13 minutes—to make it a 6-2 game. Plymouth State responded with six unanswered goals to end the half, taking an 8-6 lead into the break as five different goal scorers put the Panthers on top.
Castleton came out of halftime firing, leveling the score at 8-8 just 50 seconds into the frame. Best notched her fourth goal of the game before Wood scored to tie it for Castleton, but the Panthers posted a three-goal run that put the game out of reach. Derosia made it 11-9 with a free-position goal, but Dubois made it a three-goal lead once more with a score of her own for Plymouth State.
After more than six minutes of play without a score, McKenna drew Castleton closer once more, 12-10, but Zuccaro's fourth score of the game pushed the gap back to three, 13-10. Kruk capped the scoring with just her second goal of the year, scoring with one minute left on the clock to give the game its final score of 13-11.
The Spartans honored their graduating senior class of McKenna, Kruk, Wood, Katie Feeney and Hebb prior to the contest.