Women’s lax searching for first NEWLA crown

It was senior day at Spartan Stadium and it was the seniors who shined bright as the women’s lacrosse team defeated Worcester State University 18-6 in New England Women’s Lacrosse Alliance Conference action Saturday, April 30.Senior Liz Haggerty scored a team-high five goals. Her fifth and final goal of the regular season marked her 100th career goal. Haggerty is only the fifth Spartan in the program’s history to reach that milestone alongside her classmate Marie Van Der Kar, who made history earlier this season becoming the only player to reach 200 career goals. Senior goalie Becki Duszak, who doesn’t normally start, played the entire game and had seven saves respectively.

Head coach Tammy Landon had nothing but kind words to say about her three seniors.

“I’m super proud of all three of those young ladies and the contributions they have made to this team on and off the field,” Landon said.

The game started in Worcester State’s favor when they scored less than a minute into the match. But the Spartans answered back when Van Der Kar scored just a minute later and was then followed up with a goal from Junior Angelica Mazzola who put the Spartans in the lead 2-1. It was smooth sailing from then, as Castleton never surrendered the lead again.

The Spartans went on a 6-0 run in just under four minutes, but Worcester’s Colleen Manning answered back with her second goal of the afternoon to put the game at 8-2. But that didn’t faze Castleton as they went on another 6-1 run in the last fifteen minutes to end the first half 14-3. Haggerty scored four of her five goals in those last minutes of the first half and scored her 100th career goal with just eight seconds remaining.

The Spartans came out strong in the second half, scoring the first three goals in less than 10 minutes, pushing their lead to 17-3. Castleton held off Worcester and the Lancers never scored again for the remainder of the match as Castleton finished strong with an 18-6 victory clinching the number two seed going into the NEWLA tournament.

Van Der Kar, Sarah Clark and Angelica Mazzola each had three goals apiece, while Stephanie Paproski added two and Jessica Taplin and Amanda Flodstrom each chipped in one.

Although the game seemed like an easy victory for the Spartans, Landon couldn’t stress the importance of ending the regular season on a high note.

“I really wanted us to play well going into playoffs and I think we are,” she said.

Castleton will face Fitchburg state in the semifinal round. The Spartans defeated Fitchburg 14-10 earlier in the season. Landon said it was because the team shut down one of its key players and in order for the Spartans to be successful they have to repeat that process all over again.

If the Spartans are victorious on Wednesday, they will take on the number-one seeded Bridgewater State, which was their only conference loss this season. This would be the third year in a row Castleton faces Bridgewater in the finals and although Landon is hoping the third time is the charm, her focus and her teams focus is solely on Fitchburg.

“You don’t get to Saturday without winning Wednesday. Fitchburg is our number one priority. You have to take one priority at a time,” Landon said.

Castleton ends the regular season 11-4 and 6-1 in conference play while Worcester ended their season 2-10, 1-6. The Spartans will return to action Wednesday May 4 where they will take on the Falcons of Fitchburg State for the NEWLA Semifinals.

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