Castleton, VT – Top seeded Castleton posted an 18-2 victory over visiting Husson University in the semifinals of the North Atlantic Conference Women's Lacrosse Tournament on Tuesday evening.
Castleton advanced to its third straight NAC Title game by scoring seven times in the opening ten minutes to end any chance of an upset. The 8-6 Spartans will now host second-seeded Thomas on Saturday for a chance to represent the conference in the NCAA National Tournament.
Co-interim Husson head coaches Penny White and Emily Child said of the Eagles' performance, "the team played a hard fought game today, and we couldn't be more proud. This team has faced so much adversity this season, and today further proved that point. Hayley Thibeau started in goal for us today, as our starting goalie has been sick. Hayley played a fantastic game with lots of encouragement and support from her teammates. The Eagles ended their season today with great effort, and a reason to keep their heads held high. Our seniors Caitlyn Stauffer, Kim Gambon, Kayleigh Piccirillo and Amanda Burns' presence will surely be missed next year."
Leading the potent attack for Castleton on Tuesday was newly minted NAC Player of the Year Kate Auer. The junior scored a team-high four goals and dished off three assists while also registering three ground balls, three draw controls and two caused turnovers. Maddy DaCosta added four goals on five shots. Sophomore Rachel Bombardier was impressive in net, shutting out Husson in the first half by making six saves in earning the win.
For the Eagles, Alissa Fallon (Kennebunk, ME) and Michaela Bicknell (West Addison, VT) each scored once. Rashell Saucier (Washburn, ME) picked up a game-high six draw controls while also grabbing four ground balls and causing three turnovers.
Kim Gosselin put Castleton on the board at 29:25 with an unassisted goal and then fed Auer for the 2-0 lead three minutes in. Five more goals over the next seven minutes made it 7-0 and the Spartans scored five goals over the final 20 minutes of the half to take a 12-0 advantage into the break.
Bicknell put Husson on the board at 28:21, but goals from Auer, DaCosta and Grace Johnson pushed the lead to 15-1 with 23:50 left. Chantel Wilkin made it 16-1 with 20:59 remaining. DaCosta and Sarah Clark concluded the scoring with eight minutes left and the Eagles added their second goal in the last 75 seconds for the 18-2 final.
Gosselin finished the game with three goals and one assist while Grace Johnson scored twice with an assist. Emilee Maher led the defense with four caused turnovers and also had a pair of ground balls.
Hayley Thibeau (Gardiner, ME) took the loss for Husson after allowing all 18 goals and making six saves. Meghan Els played the second half in net and allowed two goals while stopping five shots.
The Spartans will now face off against Thomas Saturday evening in the NAC Championship at Spartan Stadium. Husson ends the season 3-10, with its second semifinal appearance in the past two seasons.