CORTLAND, N.Y. – Castleton trailed 7-2 early on in the first half and was never able to overcome its deficit, as the second-ranked Cortland St. Red Dragons captured a 21-4 victory over the Spartans in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday afternoon.
With the loss, Castleton's 16-game winning streak is snapped, and the squad finishes the season with a program-best 17-3 mark. Cortland St., meanwhile, improves to 18-1 on the season and advances to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
Grace Johnson paced the Spartan attack with a first half hat trick, while Kate Auer collected two points (1g, 1a) and eight draw controls. With this performance, the senior attack finishes her senior campaign with a program-record 98 points (68g, 30a). For the Red Dragons, Tara Monaghan led the offense with six goals and one assist, whereas Nicole Bello added four scores of her own.
Cortland St. got off to a quick start in the contest with three straight goals before Johnson found the back of the cage off a feed from Maddy DaCosta to make it 3-1 just over five minutes into the game. The Red Dragons found an answer at the 22:39 mark, as Bello scored the first of four straight Cortland St. goals with an unassisted attempt.
With 17:04 remaining in the first, Johnson recorded her second score of the day off of a free-position attempt to close the gap back to five at 7-2. After back-to-back Red Dragon scores, Johnson completed the hat trick with her 30th goal of the season to make it 9-3.
However, Cortland St. finished the first half on a 5-0 run in the final 9:46 of play to take a commanding 14-3 lead heading into intermission.
The Red Dragon attack didn't stop after the break either, as it opened the second half with five goals in the first 6:53 of play to push its advantage to 16. Auer scored her 68th goal of the season at the 21:13 mark in the second half, but Cortland St. responded with two goals of its own en route to a 21-4 victory.
Rachel Bombardier (7-1) suffered her first loss of the season after producing five saves with 14 goals allowed in 30 minutes of action. Her counterpart, Jacyln Beshlian, stopped four of the eight shots that she faced to improve to 15-0 on the season.