MANSFIELD, Conn. – The Castleton women's lacrosse team held a lead at halftime, but Eastern Connecticut State University stormed back in the second half to down the Spartans 22-12 in Little East Conference action at Rick McCarthy Field Saturday.
The Spartans fall to 5-8 overall and 1-3 in LEC play, while Eastern Connecticut improves to 3-10 overall and 2-1 against league opponents.
Castleton held a 21-15 edge in draw controls and a 21-18 advantage in ground balls, but the Warriors outshot the Spartans 37-27 and committed just 17 turnovers to Castleton's 26. The Spartans converted 10-of-18 clears, while Eastern went 20-of-26 clearing the ball. Both sides scored on 50 percent of their free-position shots.
Emma Best racked up four goals and an assist to lead Castleton, with Megan Wood adding three goals and a helper on the day. Erin Shuttle scored twice, while Morgan Derosia and Megan Krumm added a goal and an assist apiece. Erlande Georges picked up a team-high four ground balls and Wood added a team-best five draw controls. Samantha Hebb shouldered the loss with just four saves and 16 goals against in 48 minutes before giving way to Raven Payne.
Madison Renaud led the way with seven goals and an assist for Eastern, followed by Tristan Kijak and Sydney Hogan with seven-point days for the Warriors. Kijak scored six goals with an assist and Hogan added five scores and two assists. Kijak also collected six ground balls and caused four turnovers on the afternoon. Olivia Donahue stopped nine shots in the win for the Warriors.
Best opened the scoring on the day with a goal less than two minutes into action, but the Warriors answered with four consecutive scores to take a 4-1 edge nine minutes in. Castleton responded with three goals of its own to level the score at 4-4, as Best, Wood and Erin McKenna notched tallies in the score column. After the Warriors regained a 5-4 lead, Wood knotted it at 5-5 before Best completed the hat trick to make it 6-5 Spartans.
Krumm made it a two-goal cushion, 7-5, but Hogan pulled the Warriors back within one with just less than 10 minutes to play in the opening half. Shuttle made it a two-goal lead for Castleton once more with a free-position goal, but back-to-back scores from the Warriors erased the advantage and leveled the score at 7-7 with 3:23 to play in the half. The Spartans were not finished, as Shuttle got on the board and gave Castleton a 9-8 lead heading into halftime as she scored with just four seconds left on the clock.
The Warriors came out of the break firing, scoring three times in the first six minutes to go ahead 11-9. After Wood made it a one-score game, the Warriors added two more goals to push the advantage to 13-10. Derosia stopped the brief run, but Eastern rattled off seven straight scores to move ahead 20-11. Best netted her fourth goal of the game with 6:29 left, but the Warriors capped the scoring with two more goals from Renaud and Hogan to make it 22-12.
Castleton returns to action on Wednesday evening against Keene State at Dave Wolk Stadium for its annual One Love/Friends of Victoria game. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.