SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Castleton University women's lacrosse team suffered its first loss of the season on Wednesday evening, falling to Western New England by a final score of 14-8 at Golden Bear Stadium in Springfield, Mass.
The Spartans, who returned to action after more than two weeks off, sit at 1-1 following the loss. Western New England picked up its first win of the season to move to 1-3 overall.
Western New England controlled the score sheet on the day, scooping up 26 ground balls to Castleton's 20 in the contest while winning 15 of the game's 24 draws. The Golden Bears pulled the trigger on 37 shots, while the Spartans managed just 23—16 of which were on target. Both teams netted a pair of free-position goals, while foul calls were nearly even as Castleton was called for 16 fouls and WNE 17.
Emma Best netted her third career hat trick and second career four-point game on the day, contributing three goals and an assist for the Spartans. Erin Shuttle added two goals for the second time in as many games for Castleton while Erin McKenna collected her first two-goal game of the season. McKenna stood out defensively as well, causing six turnovers, collecting seven ground balls and adding a pair of draw controls. Abbie Lesure added a goal for Castleton in her debut while collecting three ground balls and two draw controls. Samantha Hebb stopped 10 shots in goal for Castleton in her first loss of the season.
Hannah Jarvis and Eileen Ruby each had big days for the Golden Bears, racking up six points apiece. Jarvis scored four times with two assists, while Ruby netted five goals with a helper. Kristen Breen scored twice with two assists while three others added a goal apiece for WNE. Madison Lemire led the way with seven draw controls, five ground balls and three caused turnovers for the defense, while Kaitlyn Marchant won her first game of the season with eight saves in goal.
Western New England jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the first six-plus minutes of action, as Jarvis scored twice in that span for the Golden Bears. McKenna got Castleton on the board to cut it to a 4-1 game with an assist from Best before Jarvis completed the hat trick midway through the frame to make it a 5-1 game. Castleton cut the gap to just two goals, 5-3, when Shuttle and Best rattled off back-to-back scores, the latter of which came on a man-up opportunity. After nearly nine minutes of scoreless action, the Golden Bears found the back of the net once more before the half to send the game into the break with a 6-3 score.
Castleton drew within one less than five minutes into the second stanza, as Lesure netted an unassisted goal with 27:50 on the clock and Best notched her second of the game with 25:42 to play in the half on an assist from Shuttle. WNE followed that with a 4-0 run, however, pushing the lead to 10-5 in favor of the hosts. Shuttle stopped the run with a free-position goal, but Western New England followed with two more goals to make it 12-6. McKenna potted her second goal of the game with a free-position shot with 6:06 to play, the Golden Bears fit in two more goals before Best capped the scoring with 12 seconds on the clock to complete the hat trick and give the game a 14-8 final score.
Castleton is back in action on Friday at Union. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.