BENNINGTON, Vt. – Southern Vermont College powered its way back to the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's lacrosse semifinals for the second-straight year as the third-seeded Mountaineers defeated No. 6 Bay Path University 21-7 Wednesday evening in a first-round playoff match at Everett Field.
SVC scored the first five goals of the game and never looked back—taking a 13-3 lead into halftime. Southern Vermont extended its separation in the final 30 minutes for the decisive victory and a chance to continue the season.
The Mountaineers improve to 8-5 on the year—breaking the program record for the most wins in a campaign. SVC will head to No. 2 Elms College on Thursday for a 6 p.m. semifinal showdown; the Blazers defeated Southern Vermont 17-7 in the two sides' regular season matchup on April 8.
Bay Path finishes the year at 5-7 overall.
The trio of SVC senior captains accounted for 17 of the hosts' scores with Emily Lesure (Cheshire, Mass.) and Mel Orrell (Gloucester, Mass.) each potting six while Lauren Nesshoever (Chittenden, Vt.) was right behind with five. Lesure and Orrell had five ground balls, apiece, as Orrell caused four turnovers and had a pair of assists.
Nesshoever snagged a game-best eight draw controls while Mountaineer sophomore Aubrey Vierstra (Saugerties, N.Y.) chalked up a goal, two helpers, two ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers. Freshman Juliena D'Alessio (Berlin, N.Y.) scooped up a game and career-best six ground balls, and she added a caused turnover to her line in the win.
Bay Path junior Kaylee Herring (Worcester, Vt.) led the visitors with three goals while adding four draw controls and two ground balls. Classmate Elena Helming (Maplewood, N.J.) scored twice and tallied six draw controls and two ground balls as senior Brenna Roy (Stafford Springs, Conn.) had another two goals and three ground balls.
SVC junior keeper Kristiana Goldup (Schuylerville, N.Y.) improved to 6-5 in net for the Mountaineers while making three saves through the first half; that puts her alone at first in team history for the most wins between the pipes in a single season. Wildcat freshman counterpart Kristina Tran (Agawam, Mass.) made some great saves in goal for the visitors—totaling 12 stops in the loss (2-4).
Orrell was the first to get on the scoresheet when she netted an unassisted tally just 1:05 into the game. The senior captain added another nearly two minutes later before Vierstra followed with one off a pass from Nesshoever only 15 seconds after.
Mountaineer junior Paige Vitale (Port Jervis, N.Y.) fed sophomore Sofia Sorriento (Troy, N.Y.) for her 20th goal of the year, and Nesshover then made it a 5-0 lead at the 23:09 mark. Roy capitalized on a free position opportunity to get her team on the board—only to see Sorriento connect on one of her own to get it back. Southern Vermont then opened it up with seven unanswered scores as Orrell added four to her line while Lesure found the back of the cage two more times.
Helming and Herring would both notch a goal in the final 10 minutes of the half while the clock stayed ticking for the Mountaineers to go into the intermission ahead 13-3.
Roy answered a Nesshoever score with a goal off a free position opportunity in the early going of the second stanza, and Lesure then registered a true hat-trick with her first being assisted by Vierstra as Southern Vermont pushed it to a 17-4 advantage. Herring fired home her 50th goal of the year—only to see Nesshoever respond with back-to-back scores before Lesure put home her 46th of the season on a free position shot.
SVC chalked up its final goal of the day at the 10:45 mark when junior Meagan McSweeney (East Falmouth, Mass.) beat the Wildcat keeper for her second of the year. The Mountaineers surrendered a goal to both Helming and Herring in the last 10 minutes, but those would be insignificant in the final tally as Southern Vermont secured a spot in the semifinal round.
– #LetsGoSVC –