CASTLETON, Vt. – Grace Johnson compiled a career-high five points to lead Castleton to its eighth straight victory this evening with an 11-7 decision over the Worcester St. (WSU) Lancers at Spartan Stadium in non-conference action.
The Spartans were outshot in the contest 29-28 and both teams scooped up 26 groundballs. With the win, Castleton improves to 9-2 (4-0 NAC) on the season, while the Wildcats suffered their third loss in their last four games to fall to 8-2 (1-1 MASCAC) overall.
Johnson delivered a quality performance with three goals and two assists to go along with two groundballs, while Maddy DaCosta added a hat trick of her own. Brianna MacKay, meanwhile, recorded two goals and one assist with four groundballs and three caused turnovers en route to the victory.
Jackie Lawlor and Kaila Chase paced the WSU attack with two goals apiece, whereas Jackie Connors finished the contest with one goal and one assist to go along with four caused turnovers in the losing effort.
The Lancers got on the board first when Chase scored 8:46 into the initial frame to hand the away side an early 1-0 lead. However, the Spartans responded with four straight goals of their own, including a pair from Johnson to claim a 4-1 advantage.
Johnson struck again at the 7:12 mark in the frame to complete the first half hat trick and extend the hosts' advantage to four. In the final 2:57 of the first, Chase grabbed her second score of the ballgame on a free-position attempt before Connors scored an impressive, unassisted goal with just 28 seconds remaining to cut WSU's deficit to 5-3 heading into the half.
Castleton came out of the break strong, as DaCosta found the back of the cage 43 seconds into the second frame to make it 6-3. The Lancers found an answer just over three minutes later when Lawlor notched her first score of the game to cut the hosts' advantage back to two. However, in a span of just 15 seconds, Brandi Whittemore and Kate Auer both scored to give the home side an 8-4 lead.
The two squads followed with one goal apiece before DaCosta and MacKay tallied back-to-back scores just a minute apart to hand the hosts an 11-5 advantage. The opposition showed their resiliency and fought back with a pair of goals from Alaina Martin and Lawlor to close the Lancers' gap back to four. However, the Spartans were able to shutout the opposition in the final 9:38 of play to secure an 11-7 victory.
Rachel Bombardier turned in a fantastic performance in the cage in just her third start of the season. The junior improved to 3-0 overall after producing a season-high 14 saves with a 66.7 save percentage. Her counterpart, Lea Robichaud, was just as impressive with 12 saves and a 52.2 save percentage in the losing effort.
Castleton is back in action twice this week, as it hosts Green Mountain College at 7 pm on Thursday before heading to Maine to face Maine Maritime on Saturday at 1 pm.