CASTLETON, Vt. – A pair of hat tricks from Mariah Lesure and Brandi Whittemore led Castleton to victory on Wednesday afternoon, as it defeated the Plymouth St. Panthers 13-11 at Spartan Stadium in non-conference action.
The Spartans were outshot by the opposition 30-28 and failed to hold the edge in draw controls (18-8), but they were able to finish two-of-their-four free position shots en route to snapping their four-game losing streak to the Panthers. With the win, Castleton improves to 3-2 overall, whereas Plymouth St. now holds a 4-3 record in the losing effort.
Offensively, Lesure finished with a team-best four points (3g, 1a) in the contest followed by Whittemore and Maddy DaCosta, who totaled three points apiece. Grace Johnson added two goals in the affair to help Castleton capture its second straight victory on the season.
The Panthers got off to a quick start, as Amy MacDonald, who finished with a team-best five points (3g, 2a), scored her first goal of the game just fifty seconds into the contest, but the Spartans responded with a goal of their own from DaCosta less than two minutes later to even the game at one.
After falling down 2-1, Castleton fought back with a pair of goals from Lesure and Brianna MacKay to seize their first lead of the contest, 3-2. The two squads proceeded to trade goals before the Spartans scored three times in the final 13:32 of the first to head into the break holding a 7-4 lead.
Coming out of halftime, Plymouth St., once again, got off to a strong start with a pair of goals from Kaitlyn Wilder and Shannon Connerty to cut the hosts' advantage back to one at 7-6.
Following a pair of scores from each team that made the score 9-8, the Spartans found the back of the cage three times in a span of one minute to grab their largest lead of the contest at 12-8. The Panthers were able to outscore the hosts 3-1 in the final 5:51 of regulation, but it wasn't enough, as Castleton held off the late surge to claim a 13-11 victory.
In the cage, Meghan Els turned in another solid performance for the Spartans with 13 saves and a 54.2 save percentage to record her third win of the season. Casey Curran, meanwhile, suffered the loss after teaming with Meg Brault to produce 11 saves in the contest.
Castleton hits the road this weekend for a pair of contests in Maine, as it faces the Thomas (Me.) Terriers on Saturday at 1:00 pm in North Atlantic Conference play before finishing off the roadtrip with a non-conference game on Sunday against the Southern Maine Huskies.