LEICESTER, Mass.- It was a combination of Southern Vermont College players who came together to defeat Becker College 15-13, on Thursday evening in New England Collegiate Conference women's lacrosse semifinal playoff action at Alumni Field. Despite converting on seven out of ten free position shots, the Hawks finish off their season with a record of 8-10. The Mountaineers' record improves to 7-10.
SVC junior Mel Orrell (Gloucester, Mass.) scored the first goal six minutes into the game; less than a minute later, Aubrey Vierstra (Saugerties, N.Y) tallied another on a pass from Paige Vitale (Greenville, N.Y.) to put the Mountaineers up 2-0. They held onto their lead for the next six minutes until Becker senior Kailee Ruyack (Beacon, N.Y.) took matters into her own hands, beating her defender 1-on-1, getting things started for the Hawks. For the next 14 minutes, Becker dominated the game, scoring eight unanswered goals, including three more from Ruyack. Southern Vermont was able to sneak in two more quick ones in the last minute of the half, bringing the halftime score to 8-4.
SVC didn't waste any time in the second half as Emily Lesure (Cohoes, N.Y.) scored her second goal of the game, only 50 seconds in. The two teams traded goals for most of the half, with The Mountaineers gaining a little bit, but never quite closing the gap completely – until 5:44 remaining, when Orrell scored the second of two back-to-back goals to tie the game at 13-13. SVC pulled ahead at 4:18 when Lauren Nesshoever (Chittenden, Vt.) scored on a man-advantage opportunity. With 2:27 remaining in regulation, Stephany Ferreira (Shelton, Conn.) sealed the deal with the final goal of the game.
SVC was led by Nesshoever, who scored five goals, while Lesure contributed four tallies. The real spark behind the Mountaineers proved to be Orrell who not only had three goals, including two crucial ones in the end of the game, but had six caused turnovers, won six draw controls, and picked up six ground balls.
Becker was led by Ruyak, who converted 100% of her shots on goal, finishing with six. Erika Galdamez (Concord, Calif.), and seniors Rachel Welling (Charlestown, N.H.), and Victoria Belcher (Seekonk, Mass.) each contributed two goals apiece.
SVC goalie Kelsey Carrera (Queensbury, N.Y.) earned the win with seven saves; Nikolle Storey (Cumberland, Maine) braved the loss with 14 saves.
Southern Vermont will travel to play Regis College in the NECC Championship on Saturday, April 30, at 1:00 p.m.