CASTLETON, Vt. – In a game dominated by offensive prowess, the Castleton women's lacrosse team couldn't keep up with unbeaten Western New England, falling 21-12 to the Golden Bears on Monday afternoon.
The Spartans allowed 13 goals in the opening 30 minutes and were outshot 24-9 but came back with five of the last seven goals of the game as they dropped to 3-6 on the year. Western New England improved to a perfect 12-0 with the win as they harassed Castleton into just 12-for-23 on clear attempts and forced 30 turnovers overall.
Maddy DaCosta led the Spartan attack with a career-high five goals on just five shots. Kate Auer was also impressive with a game-high seven draw controls to go along with four goals and one assist. Tiffany Danyow caused four turnovers and picked up three ground balls.
Six different players recorded at least three points for the Golden Bears, led by Bethany Peters. The sophomore scored five times and dished off two assists for seven points while Kaitlynn Stevens add three goals, four assists, four caused turnovers, five ground balls and six draw controls. Taylor Scialdone chipped in with five goals and one assist for six points.
WNEU struck first at 28:31 but Auer sored just over a minute later to tie the contest. The Golden Bears countered with a pair of goals for a 3-1 lead with 24:28 left but again Castleton came back on scores from DaCosta and Brandi Whittemore.
Tori Cirocco gave WNEU the lead for good at 20:38 as part of five consecutive goals by the Golden Bears. Kim Gosselin ended the run with 11:50 left, but three more scores pushed it to an 11-4 lead for WNEU with 5:54 remaining. The teams traded goals over the final three minutes and Castleton trailed 13-6 at the break.
The Golden Bears went on a 6-1 run over the first 15 minutes of the second half to take control, 19-7. Three straight by the Spartans made it 19-10 with 8:56 left. WNEU scored back-to-back goals for the 11-goal advantage but DaCosta added two in the last 3:30 for the 21-12 final.
Rachel Bombardier took the loss for Castleton as she played the first 37:04 in net, making eight saves while allowing 16 goals. Meghan Els made three saves and allowed five goals in relief. Emily Castleman earned the win for WNEU despite allowing goals on nine of the 11 shots she faced on net.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday at 7 pm when they host Colby-Sawyer in Spartan Stadium.