CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Southern Vermont College women's lacrosse team's season came to an unfortunate end Thursday night as the third-seeded Mountaineers were downed 14-11 by No. 2 Elms College in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) semifinal showdown at Leary Field.
SVC started the game with a 5-1 run, but the Blazers would close out the half by scoring four of the last five goals to cut the Mountaineers' lead to a 7-6 margin going into the break. EC got the first two goals of the second stanza to pull ahead, and scoring was traded over the next 10 minutes as Southern Vermont had answers for each of the hosts' goals.
EC finally got two straight for a 12-10 edge going into the latter half of the period, and that score stood until SVC notched one at the 7:22 mark. That would be as close as the Mountaineers could get, however, as Elms recorded a tally just 16 seconds later before running time off the clock. The Blazers put home an insurance goal as Southern Vermont pushed to get back in it at the other side—all but ending the night to earn a spot in Saturday's championship round.
SVC finishes 2017 at 8-6 overall for its first-ever season record above the .500 mark coming in just the program's third year as a varsity squad.
The young Southern Vermont-Elms rivalry heated up with Thursday marking the third-straight year that one team has ended the other's season in a playoff matchup. Play was aggressive and tensions were high as five yellow cards were issued throughout the evening.
Mountaineer senior captain Lauren Nesshoever (Chittenden, Vt.) had three goals and three ground balls while fellow senior captain Emily Lesure (Cheshire, Mass.) scored another three goals and added an assist and two caused turnovers to her line. Additional senior captain Mel Orrell (Gloucester, Mass.) grabbed a game-best 11 ground balls, and she also registered two goals, five draw controls and four caused turnovers in the effort.
Southern Vermont junior goalie Kristiana Goldup (Schuylerville, N.Y.) came up with a handful of great saves for the Mountaineers—stopping a total of 11 Blazer shots during the loss (6-6).
Turnovers highlighted the early going as the two teams combined for 12 in the first 10 minutes. During that time, Sorriento flung a shot into the back of the cage to put her team on top 1-0. The Mountaineers maintained that upper hand over the next six minutes until Elms tallied the equalizer. Orrell would notch back-to-back scores to reach 45 for the season, and Nesshoever got a free position shot to go only 12 seconds later to make it a 4-1 game.
Nesshoever beat the EC keeper again at the 10:55 mark, and Lesure then answered a Blazer score with one of her own. Elms kept pace by scoring with just over three minutes to go in the half, but SVC junior Paige Vitale (Port Jervis, N.Y.) dropped a pass over the top to the front of the goal where Lesure caught it before depositing a shot into the back of the net. The hosts would finish the period on a strong note—scoring twice in the final 1:35 of the half to sit behind just 7-6 at the intermission.
EC carried its momentum into the second frame—scoring the first two goals of the half to take its first lead of the night. Lesure found sophomore Stephany Ferreira (Shelton, Conn.) who put it home for her ninth of the year and an even score, but Elms got it back less than a minute later to go back on top.
Sorriento tied the game once again when she got her 23rd of the year to go—only to see the Blazers respond soon-after. Lesure took the ball off a restart and crossed the field before firing a shot into the back of the cage for her 49th of the season; Elms would then answer, however, with two-straight scores to go up by a pair.
Nesshoever cut it to a one-goal game as she converted on a free position shot—that being her 50th of the year—only to see EC bounce back with one at the other end only 16 seconds later. The Blazers utilized their late possessions to run time off the clock, and they allowed SVC to take just three shots the rest of the way. Elms added a final score for good measure as EC defeated the Mountaineers in an NECC home playoff game for the second time in the last three years.
– #LetsGoSVC –