BENNINGTON, Vt. – In what could likely be the final collegiate contest played on the Southern Vermont College campus, the hosting Mountaineers defeated Bay Path University 15-8 in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's lacrosse first-round playoff contest at Everett Field.
Fourth-seeded SVC went on a 6-1 run through the opening frame to bring a one-goal advantage into the break, and the hosts then tallied the first four goals of the second half for some breathing room. The fifth-seeded Wildcats were held to just two scores in the final 30 minutes as Southern Vermont claimed its fourth-straight appearance in the NECC semifinal round.
The Mountaineers (4-9) will head to top-seeded Becker College on Thursday for a 2 p.m. showdown and the right to play in the title game.
SVC senior Aubrey Vierstra (Saugerties, N.Y.) tied her career-high of four goals while adding an assist, three caused turnovers, and a game-high eight ground balls to her line. Freshman Marisa Moy (Wrentham, Mass.) posted three goals, three ground balls, and a team-best five draw controls while sophomore Alex Safford (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) had another three goals and five ground balls. Freshman Julia LaFiora (Philadelphia, Pa.) registered two goals, two assists, three draw controls, and a pair of ground balls in the win.
Southern Vermont senior keeper Sydnee Julian (Mexico, N.Y.) made seven saves in net to pick up the victory (4-9) while tying the game-high of eight ground balls.
SVC was 21-23 on clear attempts while forcing the Wildcats to commit nearly twice as many turnovers (37-20) to successfully clear only 17 of their 34 chances.
BPU scored the first two goals of the day—one coming with a Wildcat serving a penalty—before the visitors went on top 3-1 at the 15:52 mark. Southern Vermont pushed its offense into gear in the second half of the stanza, however, and rattled off three-straight scores to pull ahead; Moy potted the last two of that stretch. Vierstra would then record back-to-back tallies during another 3-0 Mountaineer spurt, but Bay Path was able to score twice in the final three minutes to make it a one-goal game at the break.
After play resumed, the first 10 minutes was all-SVC as the Mountaineers garnered some separation. Four Mountaineers beat the Bay Path netminder to make it an 11-6 difference, and goals went back-and-forth before Southern Vermont closed it out with three unanswered tallies. Freshman Megan Macdonald (Poughquag, N.Y.) had the first of those when she ripped a shot from about 40 feet out into the top-left corner of the cage; both Safford and senior Naya Cerda (West Islip, N.Y.) put one home in the waning minutes to put it out of reach for the Wildcats.
– #LetsGoSVC –