Southern Maine Holds Off Western Connecticut 21-18

Southern Maine Holds Off Western Connecticut 21-18

Southern Maine Holds Off Western Connecticut 21-18
Jordan Reaches 200-Career Point Milestone

            GORHAM, Maine -- Freshman Lindsey Keenan (Naples, Maine/Lake Region) and senior Aliza Jordan (Gorham, Maine) combined for 16 points to lead the University of Southern Maine women's lacrosse team to a thrilling 21-18 victory over visiting Western Connecticut State University in Little East Conference action Saturday afternoon at Hannaford Field.

            With the win, the Huskies improved to 7-5 overall and 4-1 in Little East play with two games left to play in the regular season.  The loss snapped the Colonials' five-game winning streak, and leaves them with an 11-4 overall mark and a 4-2 record in conference play.

            Jordan added nine points to her team-leading season total of 70 scoring five goals and passing out four assists.  Late in the second half, Jordan became the second player in USM women's lacrosse history to reach 200 career points when she scored with 6:00 left to play.  In 45 career games, Jordan now has 201 points on 137 goals and 64 assists.

            Keenan shared game-high goal scoring honors finding the net seven times.  Sophomore Alex Farley (Buxton, Maine/Bonny Eagle) had two goals and one assist, and freshman Rachel Shanks (Naples, Maine/Lake Region) scored twice.

            WestConn senior Lauren Bradshaw (Bethel, Conn.) led all scorers with 10 points on six goals and four assists.  Junior Brooke Baldelli (New Fairfield, Conn.) shared game-high goal scoring honors with Keenan notching seven.  Sophomore Caroline Galligan (Marshfield, Mass.) add three goals and one assist.

            Senior Hala Van Nostrand (Granby, Conn.) and sophomore Mariah Vaillancourt (Lewiston, Maine/Edward Little) split the goaltending chores for the Huskies.  Van Nostrand played the first 51:47 and stopped nine shots.  Vaillancourt came on to play the final 8:13 and made two saves.  At the opposite end, WestConn sophomore Jennifer Sawicki (Westbury, N.Y./W.T. Clarke) registered nine saves.

            Leading 11-7 at halftime, the Huskies increased their lead to seven (14-7) on goals by Farley and Jordan on free-position conversion, and Keenan off a Farley feed, in the opening three minutes of the second half.

            The Colonials stage a furious comeback over the next 19 minutes, outscoring the Huskies 10-3, to tie the score at 17-17 on Bradshaw's unassisted marker with 8:13 to play.  Baldelli had four goals, and Bradshaw three, during the comeback.

            With the game on the line, the Huskies broke the tie on Farley's unassisted goal at 7:41.  Jordan converted on a pair of free-position shots to push the lead back up to three at 20-17 with 2:00 on the clock.

            Bradshaw gave the Colonials one last glimmer of hope with her goal at 1:26, but Keenan iced the game with a down goal off a feed from freshman Taylor Rinaldi (Freeport, Maine) with 31 ticks remaining.

            Western outshot Southern Maine 36-33, and both sides were credited with 16 ground balls.  The Colonials, led by Baldelli, won the draw control battle 22-16.  Baldelli had 10 draw controls and Bradshaw had seven. Senior Colleen Fleming (South Portland, Maine) led the Huskies with seven draw controls.

            Southern Maine returns to play on Wednesday (7 p.m.) hosting the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in a Little East Conference game.  Western Connecticut is back in action on Monday (5 p.m.) hosting Salem State University in a non-conference contest.