Bangor, ME - The Husson University women's lacrosse team narrowly won the battle of the Eagles, defeating visiting Green Mountain College by a score of 9-8 in a back-and-forth match-up on Saturday afternoon at Boucher Field. Husson improves to 3-6 on the year, while leveling their North Atlantic Conference (NAC) record at 1-1. Green Mountain falls to 2-4 and remain winless in the NAC at 0-2.
The home Eagles were led by first year attacker Abi Staab (Berlin, VT) who scored six points on the day, netting five goals and added an assist. Husson's four other goals in the game came from four other players as the team showcased some impressive offensive movement. Junior attacker Kim Gambon (Walpole, MA) scored one to go along with a game-high nine ground balls and a team-leading two draw controls. Attack-wing Caitlyn Stauffer (Brookfield, CT) also added a score and wasn't far behind with eight bround balls. Junor goalie Kaleigh Morneau (Twin Mountain, NH) came into the game at halftime, making three huge saves in the second half, including a free-position shot with just six seconds remaining to earn the victory in front of the cage.
The statistics showed exactly how close the game was as both teams held advantages in different categories. For Husson, they led by large margins in shots (40-15) and ground balls (41-23), while GMC was impressive on the draws, winning 15 of 19 draw controls in the game. Husson was able to clear their zone 94% of the time going 15-16 on clears, while holding Green Mountain to 9-14 for 64% in the game.
For Green Mountain, the player of the game was Johanna Douglas (Essex, CT) who scored all but one of her team's goals, scoring seven while putting 9-11 shots on the cage. Douglas led the visiting Eagles with six ground balls, and won eight draw controls. Junior midfielder Bryanna Astor (Milltown, NJ) netted the other score for GMC, taking three shots, all on target while picking up two ground balls and controlling as many draws.
Douglas got the visitors on the board three and a half minutes into the game when she streaked towards the net and beat the goalie for the game's first goal. Husson answered a little over four minutes later when Gambon found the back of the net to level the score. Douglas put GMC back on top on another unassisted tally nine and a half minutes into the half. A few minutes later, Husson found the hole in the defense as Gambon took the ball down below the goal and fed Staab who took the ball and rolled around the crease, making a jump shot over the shoulder that found the five hole to tie the game once again. Douglas was able to track down the ensuing draw, and sprinted towards the offensive end and was able to score her first hat-trick of the game with 16:05 to go in the half. Both teams felt eachother out for the next twelve minutes before Husson was able to work the ball down to Staab who made the same crease roll to tie the game for the third time in the half. With just 43 seconds left to play, Douglas again scored for GMC and the gues Eagles would go into the break ahead by a score of 4-3.
Husson came out of the break with a renewed energy and jumped out on top less than ten minutes into the half when Staab threw another jump shot into the bottom of the net. The home team took the lead for the first time in the contest at 5-4 on another Staab tally with 19:32 left in the game. About a minute later, Douglas converted on a free position shot to even the score, and a minute after that she scored again to put Green Mountain ahead at 6-5. Stauffer converted on a rare offensive chance for Husson's leading scorer to tie the game again, and the home team would take their second lead of the game with 13:37 to go when Staab dished it to Haley Thibeau (Gardiner, ME) who made the play on the quick-stick. Husson would take the game's largest lead with just over 12 minutes to play in the second half when Staab scored her fifth and final marker to put the host Eagles on top 8-6. Douglas scored her seventh with 9:21 in the game, and GMC tied things up a minute later when Astor converted a free position shot of her own.
With overtime looming, the Husson defense caused a turnover in the defensive end and Emily Child (Mexico, ME) scooped up the ground ball, going coast-to-coast and beat the Green Mountain goalie for what would be the deciding goal with 3:16 left in the game. After a rare draw victory by the home team, Husson tried to milk the remaining few minutes off the clock, but an inopportune turnover led to an Astor break-away in the final seconds. A foul by Husson gave Astor a chane at the fan on a free position shot, but Morneau made the save to secure the victory.
Husson will travel to Maine-Farmington on Wednesday for a 4:00 pm start in another NAC bout, while Green Mountain returns to the field on April 11th as well, traveling to Castleton State, also at 4:00 pm.