CASTLETON, Vt. – No. 4 seeded Husson University women's lacrosse team fell to No. 1 seeded Castleton 18-1 in North Atlantic Conference Semifinals on Sunday afternoon at Spartan Stadium.
Castleton outshot the Eagles 31-11 in the contest, putting 27 shots on goal while recording 22 caused turnovers to improve to 11-5 overall. The Spartans also won 17 of 21 draw controls as they advanced to their fifth consecutive NAC Title game. Husson, converted just 12 of 27 clears and picked up 18 ground balls as the team ended its season at 7-7.
Mattie Russell scored the lone the Eagle goal on four shots while picking up two draw controls and one caused turnover. Serian Williams added four caused turnovers and one ground ball while Lauren Coughlin picked up five ground balls.
Senior Brandi Whittemore paced the offense with four goals, three assists, four caused turnovers and three ground balls while Brianna MacKay scored a team-high five goals with one assist. Maria Ploof chipped in three goals and three assists while Grace Johnson had two goals, two assists and five draw controls. Tiffany Danyow was all over the field defensively, with ten caused turnovers, four ground balls and one goal.
Whittemore gave Castleton a 1-0 lead just 2:03 into the contest and MacKay added back-to-back goals less than two minutes later for the three-goal lead. The Spartans stretched their lead to 9-0 through ten minutes of play and Johnson pushed it to 10-0 with 14:22 left in the half. Husson scored its goal with 1:00 left as Meghan Els turned the ball over behind the net and couldn't get back in time to stop the Russell shot.
Whittemore opened the second-half scoring at 27:40, with goals by MacKay and Ploof extending the Castleton advantage to 13-1 with 20 minutes remaining. The Spartans scored five more times in the game, including goals from Ashley Pelkey and Katie Feeney in the final eight minutes for the 17-goal victory.
Els was impressive in net, making seven saves overall with a caused turnovers and two ground balls in victory. Kaitlin Dolloff took the loss in net as she allowed 18 goals and made one save.
Castleton will now advance to the NAC Championship game, which the Spartans will host on Saturday at 8 pm against either New England College or Colby-Sawyer. The Pilgrims and Chargers play their semifinal contest on Monday.