NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Keene State College scored eight unanswered goals in the first half to overcome a 4-2 deficit en route to a 14-8 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth women's lacrosse team this afternoon at Cressy Field.
The Owls captured their sixth straight win to improve to 10-3 and 5-0 in the Little East Conference, while the Corsairs slipped to 4-10 and 0-4. Keene State will face Western Connecticut State University (7-5, 4-0 LEC) at 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 26 to determine the conference regular-season champion.
Freshman Jenna Bellano (Brookfield, Conn.) paced the Owls offensive attack with five points, on four goals and an assist. Classmate Kelly Chadnick (Brewster, N.Y.) also recorded five points with two markers and three helpers. Four other Keene State student-athletes registered two points as the visitors unleashed a total of 35 shots. Senior Ashley Borjeson (Londonderry, N.H.) spearheaded the visitors' defensive attack with a game-high seven ground balls and five caused turnovers.
Sophomore Colleen Kane (Arlington, Mass.) led UMass Dartmouth with four goals and an assist. Freshman Catrina Longo (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) tallied a hat trick, while classmate Kelly Kryzak (Jeffersonville, Vt./Lamoille Union) dished out a pair of assists. Senior Taylor Corsano (Bourne, Mass.) was dominant in the circle, winning 11 draw controls. Junior co-captain Sarah Kalmes (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) forced three turnovers, while freshman Rachel Machado (San Diego, Calif.) produced four ground balls and two caused turnovers.
The Corsairs came charging out of the gates, taking an early 2-0 advantage just one minute, 28 seconds into regulation. Kane cracked the scoring column, when she finished a feed from Kryzak, while Longo converted a free-position shot just 22 seconds later. Keene State countered with a pair of quick strikes just 21 seconds apart to draw even at 2-all. Borjeson registered her fourth marker of the season, while Bellano cashed in on a free-position attempt.
The momentum shifted back into the hosts advantage as UMass Dartmouth regained its lead when Corsano fired home a pass from Kryzak at the 6:11 mark. Longo helped the hosts match their largest advantage of the contest, when she ripped her 21th goal of the season into the back of the net to push the Corsairs' lead to 4-2.
The Owls controlled the next 13 minutes of action, scoring eight unanswered goal to overcome the two-marker deficit. Bellano fueled the surge with three goals, while Chadnick and senior Eliza Witherbee (Newburyport, Mass./Oldfields School) each tallied two goals. Kane capped the first half scoring to trim the hosts' deficit to 10-5 entering the intermission.
Keene State slowed down the pace in the second stanza, outscoring UMass Dartmouth 4-3. Junior Polly Grey (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Albany Academy For Girls) recorded two goals, while Kane sandwiched a pair of scores between Longo's final marker.
In between the pipes, senior Erin Taylor (Brewster, N.Y.) made eight saves, including five stops in the second half, to earn the victory, while her counterpart, freshman Leah Wilkinson (Northford, Conn./North Branford), reached double digits in saves with 12.
The Corsairs honored their three seniors -- Corsano, Michele Winchell (Wilmington, Mass.), and Vicky Wood (New Bedford, Mass.)--prior to the start of their final regular-season home game at Cressy Field.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 6 p.m. on April 23, when the Corsairs travel to Rhode Island College (6-5, 0-3 LEC) for an important conference match.