|Wally Pierce '14 scored her first two collegiate goals and added an assist, three caused turnovers and three ground balls in Bates' 20-6 win. (File photo by Hank Schless '14)|
LEWISTON, Maine -- The No. 20 nationally ranked Bates women's lacrosse team fought off a game University of Southern Maine squad on Wednesday at Garcelon Field, pulling away from an 8-5 contest early in the second half to win 20-6.
Bates rose to 5-4 with its fifth win in the past six games, while USM dropped to 2-7.
After first-year Jackie Kelly (Brunswick, Maine) netted her second goal of the game for USM on a free-position shot with 27:55 left to go in the second half, Bates scored five times over a span of 3:07 to take a commanding 13-5 lead with 19:49 left in the game.
Bates junior Joan O'Neill (Westwood, Mass.) tied her career high with five goals and added an assist to lead the Bobcats in scoring. Junior Jenna Dannis (Milford, N.H.) added three goals and an assist, and junior Lindsay Thompson (Ipswich, Mass.) also tied a career high with three goals. First-year midfielder Wally Pierce (Weston, Mass.) scored the first two goals of her career and added one assist, a game-high three caused turnovers and a game-high-tying three ground balls.
Twelve Bates players got into the scoring column, including five more multiple-point producers in first-year Liz Bassani (Havertown, Pa.) with a goal and two assists, sophomore Erin O'Connor (Avon, Conn.) with a goal and two assists, first-year Rosie Hale (Winchester, Mass.) with a goal and an assist, first-year Michaela Brady (East Walpole, Mass.) with a goal and an assist, and senior Briana Gross (Andover, Mass.) with a goal and an assist.
USM senior Mary Vaughan (Brunswick, Maine) also scored twice for the Huskies, and sophomore Shelby Turcotte (Lewiston, Maine) netted a goal and one assist.
USM sophomore goalie Samantha Kiesel (Lakeville, Mass.) did an outstanding job of keeping the Huskies in the game into the second half, making nine saves in each period to finish with 18, including many from very close range in the first half. Bates outshot USM 44-13 in the game.
For Bates, three netminders split time in goal, including senior starter Mara Krueger (St. Louis, Mo.), who made one save and allowed a pair of goals. Junior Leah Elsmore (Broadview Heights, Ohio) made two saves and allowed four goals, while sophomore Eloise O'Connor (Loudonville, N.Y.) stopped one shot in a shutout final stretch of 12:41.
The Bobcats got out to a 4-0 lead with 18:24 left in the first half, thanks in part to two quick scores from O'Neill. But USM won the next draw and Kelly raced through the Bates defense to put the Huskies on the board at 4-1. USM first-year Rosie Forster (Andover, Mass.) then made it 4-2 with an unassisted tally, her team-high 17th score of the season.
O'Neill ended USM's mini-run with a free-position goal with 10:57 left, her third goal of the game and her 23rd of the season. Vaughan struck a minute later, however, to make it 5-3. Bates outscored USM 3-1 over the final 9:51 of the period for an 8-4 lead at the break.
After Kelly closed the gap to 8-5 with 27:55 left in the second half, Dannis and O'Neill contributed two goals apiece in Bates' decisive run of five unanswered goals between the 22:56 and 19:49 marks.
Bates plays a NESCAC game at Connecticut College on Saturday at 12 p.m. Southern Maine travels to play at MIT on Saturday at 4 p.m.