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Women's lax downs USM for second straight, 18-11

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates women's lacrosse team won at home for the second time in as many days on Thursday, in an 18-11 triumph over the University of Southern Maine at Garcelon Field.

Bates (6-6) jumped out to an 8-0 lead and held off the Huskies' (9-5) potent attack enough the rest of the way in a high-scoring affair for both sides; it was the most combined goals for two teams in a Bates game since last season's matchup at USM, a 20-9 Bates win.

First-year Moriah Greenstein (Glenmont, N.Y.) directed Bates' attack with aplomb from behind the USM goal, scoring once and dishing out five assists, the team's first five-assist game since Joan O'Neill '12 on April 29, 2011.

Junior Wally Pierce (Weston, Mass.) scored four goals to go with one assist, and junior SooHee Yoon (Lexington, Mass.) added a career-high three goals; both players had three draw controls apiece. First-years Emma Noto (Portland, Ore.) and Emma Brinkman (Rye, N.Y.) controlled five draws apiece for the Bobcats, who won 21 of 31 draws in the game. Brinkman, junior Blair Shrewsbury (Boxford, Mass.) and first-year Kelan McCann (Shrewsbury, Mass.) scored two goals apiece.

USM's leading scorer, junior Jacki Kelly (Brunswick, Maine), was held scoreless by the Bobcats, but the athletic trio of junior Jenna Cyr (Limerick, Maine), first-year Sarah Pelligrinelli (Southington, Conn.) and junior Rosie Forster (Andover, Mass.) combined for nine goals, with Cyr scoring four, Pelligrinelli adding three and Forster coming up with two. Forster also proved to be a major headache at both ends of the field for Bates, as she led all players with five caused turnovers and five ground balls.

Bates first-year goalie Hannah Jeffrey (Greenwich, Conn.) started and made two saves before departing with an 8-0 lead in the 21st minute. Sophomore Jill Conway (Andover, Mass.) saw her most extensive playing time in net and turned away 11 shots in the final 39:43 of the game.

USM junior Kim Vogel (Sanford, Maine) made seven saves, including six in the first half.

Bates appeared ready to blow out USM early on, after Getsinger got the Bobcats on the board with 25:50 left in the first half. Bates then poured in four more goals over a span of 2:20. Pierce assisted Brinkman to make it 2-0 at 23:19, prompting a USM timeout, but Bates capitalized on a USM turnover after Cyr controlled the draw, and on a delayed break Greenstein found Pierce open to make it 3-0, Greenstein's first of three straight assists. Noto controlled the next draw and Greenstein found Yoon from behind the USM goal 19 seconds later, and with 20:59 left in the half Greenstein and Yoon again connected for a 5-0 Bates advantage.

Pierce made it 6-0 on the first of five free-position goals by the Bobcats halfway through the period. Brinkman won the ensuing draw and made it 7-0 18 seconds later with a nice finish, switching from her right to her left hand at the last moment before scoring past Vogel.

Soon after Jeffrey's exit from the game, Conway saved an 8-meter shot by Cyr, but USM got its first of five free-position goals less than a minute later to make it 8-1, starting a 3-0 run by the Huskies. Bates won the next draw, but Forster stole the ball away and scored seconds later to finish off a one-woman fast break. Cyr then scored her first goal to make it 8-3 with 5:48 left in the period.

Bates halted the run as first-year Cora Hirschfeld (Shutesbury, Mass.) found the high part of the net off an assist by sophomore Kathy Yannopoulos (Simsbury, Conn.). Bates' McCann and USM's Cyr traded 8-meter goals before the period expired with Bates leading 10-4.

The Huskies kept Bates' defense busy throughout the second half, outshooting the Bobcats 18-14 in the period and forcing Conway to make nine saves; Bates turned the ball over 15 times in the half. After Greenstein assisted Shrewsbury to make it 12-5 in Bates' favor, USM went on a 5-1 run, including all three of Pelligrinelli's goals, over a span of eight minutes to close the gap to 13-10 with 6:18 left in the contest. Greenstein gave Bates some needed breathing room with an unassisted goal directly out of the next draw, followed by a perfectly timed feed to Shrewsbury cutting down the middle for a 15-10 Bates lead with 5:11 to go.

USM wasn't quite ready to go away. Cyr was awarded an 8-meter shot, but she passed to senior Samantha Purcell (Durham, Maine) open in the flat instead. Purcell alertly gave it right back to Cyr for her fourth goal of the game, closing the gap to 15-11 with 2:05 left. A activity-filled final two minutes saw Bates finish the game with three more goals, one each by Noto, Yoon and Pierce, the final two coming on free-position attempts.

Bates has its final home game on Saturday, as NESCAC rival Connecticut College visits for a 12pm game (Video / Live Stats).