NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – Southern Vermont College held on through the waning minutes Thursday night to secure an 11-9 non-conference women's lacrosse victory over Mass. College of Liberal Arts at Shewcraft Field.
After going up 5-0 to start the game, SVC took just a 7-6 edge to the intermission. While the match was close the rest of the way, Southern Vermont never relinquished the lead and added an insurance tally late in the contest.
The Mountaineers (2-5) are back in action on Saturday with a 1 p.m. New England Collegiate Conference matchup at Dean College.
With the win, SVC ties the young, all-time series at 2-2. In a sport typically decided by multiple goals, Thursday was only minutes away from being the third-straight game between Southern Vermont and the Trailblazers to end in a one-score difference; the average separation in the series now is just two goals.
Mountaineer freshman Alex Safford (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) chalked up seven goals on 12 shots to lead all players. She now has a new 10th-best single-season scoring mark for the program with 21, and she moves into fifth on the school's all-time goals list with the performance.
Senior captain Paige Vitale (Port Jervis, N.Y.) notched four ground balls while adding two draw controls and a game-best three caused turnovers, and sophomore Juliena D'Alessio (Berlin, N.Y.) tacked up a pair of caused turnovers in addition to scooping up a game-high five ground balls. Senior captain Stephany Ferreira (Shelton, Conn.) registered four ground balls, two draw controls, and a goal in the win.
SVC senior netminder Kristiana Goldup (Schuylerville, N.Y.) turned in a seven-save effort through all 60 minutes of the win (1-1).
The Mountaineers looked like they were going to run away with it after scoring the first five goals of the game. Safford came around from the left side and flicked a low shot to beat the keeper and get on the scoresheet at the 23:57 mark. MCLA tried to trim its deficit after the ensuing draw, but Goldup came up with a pair of point-blank saves to keep SVC ahead 2-0.
Safford completed the natural hat trick soon after when she started from behind the goal, spun through a pair of defenders, and slotted into the back of the cage. Senior Natalie Rose Canterbury (New Hartford, Conn.) then made it 5-0 as she popped out from behind the net on the left side and fired it into the top-right corner of the frame.
The Trailblazers came surging back, however, to stay in it as they scored the next four goals. Tallies went back-and-forth through the rest of the stanza as an MCLA goal with 5:11 left in the half made way for a 7-6 difference at the break.
Safford potted the first two scores of the second period to give her team a three-goal cushion, but the hosts then came back with a 3-1 run to cut it down to a 10-9 contest. Scoring became a premium through the rest of the game with the next 10 minutes going without a tally as SVC clung to its one-goal advantage.
Finally, with 1:59 left on the clock, Safford sent home her 21st score of the year to give the Mountaineers a piece of insurance. Coming out of a Southern Vermont stoppage, MCLA won the draw and went down the pitch; Goldup, however, came up with a huge save to preserve the two-goal separation and allow her team to bring it back the other way while running out the remaining time.
– #LetsGoSVC –