Van Der Kar, Castleton beats Westfield State in NEWLA game

The Castleton women’s lacrosse team bounced back from an early deficit against Westfield State University on Saturday evening at Spartan Stadium. Senior Marie Van Der Kar scored seven goals and freshman goalie Ashly Neal made 12 saves to lead Castleton to a 16-11 win over its New England Women’s Lacrosse Alliance rival.Castleton trailed 3-1 with just under 25 minutes left in the first half after Westfield’s Laura Chiricosta scored a free-position goal, but the Spartans capitalized on their momentum scoring six-straight goals over the next 14 minutes to take a lead, which they never surrendered.

Van Der Kar scored and initiated the run, while Junior Angelica Mazzola knotted up the score with a free-position goal three minutes later. Van Der Kar capped off two more and Mazzola struck again to push the Spartans ahead 6-3 with just under 13 minutes left. Junior Stephanie Paproski also chipped in a goal with just minutes remaining left in the half to complete the surge.

The Owls battled to get back in game, but the Spartans answered, scoring the final two goals of the half and the first after intermission to take a 10-4 advantage. The teams traded goals in the second half, but there was no turning back for Castleton, which hung on for the win. The Spartans outshot the Owls 39-27.

Paproski was next in line in the scoring column for Castleton with four goals on the evening, while Freshman Amanda Flodstrom and Mazzola added two goals apiece. Freshman Sarah Clark chipped in one, rounding out the Spartan scoring. Head Coach Tammy Landon was very proud and pleased with her teams efforts on Saturday evening.

“We played one of our best games of the year,” Landon said. “We played together as a team on all sides of the ball.”

Landon said every player in their position did their job exceptionally well and talked about her team’s ability to take control of a possession, which ultimately leads to its success.

“Our goal is to own the possession and that is a big reason why we won. We took the possession on every draw,” she said. “We really took them out of the game. We owned the possession which led to more goals for us.”

With playoffs just around the corner Landon is very excited and confident that if her team keeps its same mentality it will be able to take down the number one seeded Bridgewater State, which, so far, is the only conference loss for the Spartans.

“If we can keep this momentum going we will be successful,” she said.

With the win, Castleton improves to 7-3, (2-1 in conference play), while Westfield State fell to 5-4 (1-3). Castleton will return to action Wednesday, April 20. The Spartans will travel to Fitchburg, Mass. and take on the Falcons of Fitchburg State University.

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