BOSTON, Mass. – Faced with its first real test of the young season, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy women's lacrosse team fell behind early to Wentworth Institute of Technology and had fought back several times before losing 19-11. Despite a super effort from youngie Casey Sullivan, the loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Bucs and dropped them to 4-2.
Wentworth started off well, scoring only 16 seconds into the game on a goal by Emily Rogers. The game went back-and-forth for five minutes, with both sides getting chances, but it was the Leopards who would score next, as Brooke Paridis netted at 24:28. Rogers followed her with a third goal only eight seconds later.
Down 3-0, the young Buccaneer side came fighting back, led by senior Stephanie Hunt (Brookfield, Conn.), who claimed her 200th point in MMA's last game. Hunt beat the keeper 17 seconds after Rogers' second score, and Sullivan followed her lead less than a minute later. After a Cammi Balentine (Haverhill, Mass.) marker at 20:06, the score was knotted at three.
Maritime let the momentum slip away, though, and Wentworth scored three in the next three minutes, with Rogers claiming another two. Head Coach Marc Palombo's women once more fought back, with MASCAC Rookie of the Week Anna Deely (Marston Mills, Mass.) firing home at 17:00 and then assisting Sullivan just under two minutes later.
Continuing a trend, it was the Leopards with the next three goals, one by the ever-present Rogers. Sullivan and Hunt then took two, and the final seven minutes of the first half were a scrappy affair.
Wentworth started the second with yet another three goal run to make it 12-7 Wentworth, with two of the goals following penalties on the Bucs. Once more, the young Maritime squad failed to bow under pressure, and it was Sullivan who swatted home a brace of goals at 21:32 and 19:48 to get the visitors within three. Yet again, though, the Leopards scored three in-a-row, and this time, the Bucs could only claw one back, again by Sullivan.
From there though, the game unravelled as WIT found the net for five consecutive markers before Sullivan netted her seventh just under the two-minute mark. That was all for both sides and Wentworth improved to 3-4 with the victory.
The hosts featured a relentless offensive attack that took 53 shots, putting a remarkable 46 on target. Buc keeper Mikayla Correia (4-2) was heroic in her efforts, saving 24, but Maritime made far too many mistakes, turning over the ball 36 times to WIT's 24 and giving up a whopping 22 free possession shots. Luckily, the Leopards capitalized on only 10 of them, but Maritime could not take advantage of its six FPS, striking for only two goals.
Rogers finished with seven goals on 12 shots, while Paridis put up eight points, including five markers, taking 13 attempts on the net. Leah Cummins had five points and seven groundballs for the victors.
Sullivan, who has been underrated in the last two weeks thanks to the exploits of Deely and Hunt, was a revelation. The Sagamore Beach native shot nine times, scoring on seven, while only turning the ball over once and picking up two groundballs. Hunt also took nine shots and finished with two goals and an assist, gathering three grounders. Deely and Balentine were the only other Bucs to score, though the athletic Gina Connor (New Bedford, Mass.), another youngie, continued to be involved in much of the action, picking up five groundballs.
The match was the final tune-up before the Bucs begin MASCAC play on Saturday at Salem State (0-6). The noon-time game will be the last of a three-game week for Palombo's squad.
Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate