The Huskies stepped up and got their first win of the season after a convincing 15-2 win over the New England College Pilgrims. After starting their season 0-3 with a slew of close losses to University of New England (7-8) and Wheaton College (9-10), USM started their home campaign with a much needed win.
The Huskies’ offense was spearheaded by graduate student Rachel Shanks. The all-time leading scorer for the program netted her first goal three minutes into the match with the same amount of time passing before she got her second. USM continued Shanks momentum when both freshmen Cierra Hill and sophomore Emily Cloutier responded with goals of their own within the next three minutes. The first quarter ended with the Huskies up 3-0, and junior Cece Racine making 5 saves off of just as many shots.
When all was said and done the Huskies would end the first half with a 9-1 lead over the Pilgrims after a late goal in the second quarter from New England’s Cassie Kelly. During halftime, USM made a goalie change when sophomore Lydia Laslavic took the field.
The Huskies were dominant in the third quarter with Shanks and freshman Julia McKenna scoring back to back goals. New England College struggled to keep possession after numerous turnovers caused by several Huskies. USM would pick up goals from Cloutier and junior Kiaya Gatchell to finish the third quarter up 13-1.
The Pilgrims scored their second of the day off a goal from Mackenzie McDonald five minutes into the fourth quarter. The quarter would remain relatively low energy for the Huskies until freshmen Molly Black and Raegan Bechard scored back-to-back goals with less than five minutes remaining to make the final score 15-2.
This win lifted the Huskies to 1-3 for the season. They went on to play two more games over spring break. They dropped their first game to Smith College 4-8 on Thursday, March 16 after Smith outscored them 4-1 in the first half. Hill led the scoring effort with two goals of her own, while goalkeeper Racine recorded 11 saves throughout the match.
Two days later, USM hosted Bridgewater State University. The game was closely contested until the fourth quarter when the Bears outscored the Huskies 4-2. USM ended up dropping the match 11-14. Cloutier earned herself a hat trick in the first quarter alone. Gatchell also contributed two goals for the Huskies. Racine had her second consecutive game with 11 saves.
The Huskies will finish March with three more non-conference games, having hosting UMaine Farmington on Tuesday, March 21, which resulted in a 19-2 win for the Huskies. USM will then travel to Worcester State University on Friday, March 24, and return home Wednesday, March 29, to face Wellesley College. USM will begin Little East Conference play on Saturday, April 1, at Castleton University.