Comeback Bid Falls Short as Southern Maine Tops MIT, 15-11

Sophomore Emma Kane
Sophomore Emma Kane

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Despite rattling off three straight goals late in regulation to cut its deficit in half, it would not be enough as the MIT women's lacrosse team fell to the University of Southern Maine, 15-11, on Saturday afternoon. Freshman Nadia Wallace (Rochester, N.Y.) produced a game-high four points on three goals and an assist for the Engineers (0-1) while junior Rosie Forster (Andover, Mass.) paced the Huskies (1-0) with a hat-trick.

Senior Meghan Wright (Devon, Pa.) opened the game with back-to-back goals which were followed by free-positions tallies from freshmen Isabella DiDio (Jenkintown, Pa.) and Kira Schott (New Canaan, Conn.) to give MIT a 4-0 advantage after 10 minutes elapsed. Freshman Ahn Nguyen (South Portland, Maine) replied with two strikes of her own and later set up senior Samantha Purcell (Durham, Maine) for a goal that brought Southern Maine within two (5-3) midway through the half.

Sophomore Emma Kane (Garden City, N.Y.) redirected a feed from Wallace to give the Engineers some breathing room but the Huskies responded with six straight goals to close the frame with a 9-6 lead. Junior Jenna Cyr (Limerick, Maine) found the back of the net twice during the rally while senior Lauren Santo (Salem, N.H.) and freshman Sarah Pelligrinelli (Southington, Conn.) both registered a goal and an assist. A solo effort by junior Jacki Kelly (Brunswick, Maine) sparked the run as Purcell notched her second marker of the day.

A free-position goal from Forster early in the second stanza extended Southern Maine's run; however, freshman Kristyn Berretta (San Diego, Calif.) ended MIT's scoring drought and narrowed the gap to three (10-7) at the 20:43 mark. The Huskies countered with a 4-1 spurt that resulted in a 14-8 cushion with 14:19 left to play. Forster contributed two goals while Santo and sophomore Nicole LaPlante (South Portland, Maine) both added free-position markers.

An unassisted blast by Kane with 10:04 on the clock sparked the Engineers' late run as Schott followed with a free-position shot just over a minute later. Later on, a caused turnover by senior Molly McShane (Lake Bluff, Ill.) led to another Wallace goal that was set up by senior Laura Wacker (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to make the score 14-11 with 3:36 to go. This was as close as it would get as Pelligrinelli wrapped up the scoring with just under a minute left.

McShane compiled seven draw controls, four groundballs, and a caused turnover as Wright gathered four groundballs. Both Schott and Kane totaled two goals and an assist while Schott tacked on six groundballs. In net, freshman Paige Kennedy (Eastchester, N.Y.) turned away six shots.

Forster led the way for the Huskies with seven draw controls as senior Jessica Gassman (Kennebunk, Maine) added five groundballs. Kelly posted a goal and an assist to go along with five groundballs while Pelligrinelli and Santo both notched two goals and an assist. Junior Kim Vogel (Sanford, Maine) compiled 13 saves and three groundballs.

Both squads return to action at home next week. MIT will host Gordon College on Tuesday, March 5 while Southern Maine will take on the University of New England on Thursday, March 7.