After defeating UMass Dartmouth 14-9 in their first Little East Conference game of 2011 on Saturday, the USM women’s lacrosse team encountered a monster on Wednesday, losing 20-6 to 20th ranked Bates College at Garcelon Field in Lewiston.
The Huskies struggled to contain a powerful Bobcat’s squad who took control of the physical game in the second half.
Bates Junior Joan O’Neill led all scorers with five goals including three in the first half, while USM senior Mary Vaughn (Brunswick) and freshman Jackie Kelly (Brunswick) each added two goals apiece for the Huskies.
Despite going down 4-0 early in the first, USM kept their composure through the elements and battled back to score five times, and bring the score to 8-4 at halftime. The Huskies’ first goal came directly off the draw when Kelly came out with the ball and cut through the Bobcats defense for an unassisted tally to put her team on the board.
USM freshman phenom Rosie Forster (Andover, Mass.) continued the early comeback, netting her team-leading 17th goal of the season. The two teams traded goals over the next ten minutes, but the Bobcats added two more late in the half to increase their lead.
Though Bates is a non-conference match-up for the Huskies, they had looked forward to the challenge of a team of their caliber. “Its always good to get to compete with the Bates and the Bowdoins and Colbys that are in the area and to get a chance to play against national caliber teams,” said sophomore defender Katie Grenier (Oakland). “We played a really good first half today. We’ve just got to try and put our better halves together.”
Kelly closed the gap in the third minute of the second, striking first to bring the deficit to three goal. Bates answered in time with five unanswered goals of their own to put the game out of reach for the Huskies.
Through all of the 44 shots Bates was able to get on net, sophomore goaltender Samantha Kiesel (Lakeville, MA) made 18 saves while being under fire from up close in the first half. Bates used a trio of goaltenders to shut down USM.
With the loss, the Huskies fall to 2-7 on the year but look to rebound when they travel to M.I.T. on Saturday for another non-conference contest at 4 p.m.