CASTLETON, Vt. – After an even first half, the Castleton University offense erupted for eight goals in the second half while holding Western New England at bay as the Spartans defeated the Golden Bears, 12-8, Tuesday evening in a non-conference women's collegiate lacrosse match at Spartan Stadium.
Erin Shuttle led the Spartan offense with four goals and one assist, while Hannah Braman and Emily Cross finished with three goals apiece. Megan Wood collected one goal, two assists, and a team-high six draw controls, and Emma Best contributed one goal, one assist, five groundballs, and three draw controls. Samantha Hebb made 12 saves in net for the Spartans.
Shuttle scored the first goal of the match less than three minutes into the contest, but Western New England answered right back as Kristen Breen scored 20 seconds later. Shuttle scored another goal to retake the lead, but Shannen Barrett scored with 17:07 left in the first half to tie the match at 2-2.
Wood converted a free-position attempt five minutes later, but Barrett set up Reilly Miller to create another tie at 3-3. Shuttle scored her third goal of the half with 3:40 remaining to put the Spartans back on top, but Lindsey Phillips scored with 31 seconds remaining to create a 4-4 tie at halftime.
Castleton took the lead for good just 33 seconds into the second half on a goal by Cross, and then Braman scored two minutes later to give the Spartans their first multiple-goal lead of the night. After Phillips scored 25 seconds later to cut the Spartan lead in half, Castleton pulled away with five unanswered goals, led by Braman with two of those tallies.
Phillips was the only Golden Bear with a multiple-goal match, finishing with four goals and one assist. Kaitlyn Marchant started in net for the first time this season, collecting 11 saves during the contest, while Barrett added one goal, two assists, three groundballs, and three caused turnovers.
Western New England (0-3) finished 18-for-23 in clear attempts, while Castleton finished 17-for-28, although the Spartans were 9-for-12 on second half clear attempts. The Spartans outshot the Golden Bears, 31-24, won more draw controls, 14-8, and caused 14 of Western New England's 21 turnovers.
The victory was the first for Mark Lange as head coach at Castleton, and it was the first win for the Spartans over the Golden Bears in at least the past 20 meetings, as Western New England had won 19 straight contests over Castleton since 1999.
Castleton (1-1) is scheduled to host Southern Maine Saturday, March 10, at Spartan Stadium starting at 12 noon, followed by a home contest against University of New England Monday, March 12, at 4 p.m.