NORTON, MA- The Wheaton College women's lacrosse team suffered its fifth straight setback Thursday afternoon in a 17-14 non-conference loss to visiting Western New England College at Keefe Field during the teams' initial meeting.
The Lyons fell to 5-7 with the loss, including 5-4 at home, while the Golden Bears collected their fourth straight win to improve to 8-5.
The combined 31 goals marked the highest output for a Wheaton game this season, as Western New England has scored at least 12 tallies in each of its last six games. A trio of Lyons tallied four points apiece, with senior Madeline Williams (Annapolis, MD/Key School) and junior Chrissy Norberg (Winchester, MA/Northfield Mount Hermon School) accounting for four goals each and senior Caitlin Grant (Walpole, MA/Walpole) recording three with one assist.
Western New England sophomore Jeanmarie Barbato (Huntington Station, NY/Walt Whitman) paced all scorers with six goals, while freshman Katie Toomy (Northboro, MA/Algonquin Regional) totaled two goals and a trio of assists. Sophomore Nicole Poli (Medfield, MA/Medfield) turned in three tallies and a helper, and senior Michelle Thompson (Wilbraham, MA/Minnechaug Regional) added a hat trick.
The visitors never trailed, opening up a 3-0 lead by 26:25 of the first half on the strength of two goals from Barbato. Wheaton's Williams scored three of her team's first five to make the score 6-5 in favor of the Golden Bears before Western New England closed the half on a 4-1 spurt.
Senior Abbie Sherwin (Rye, NH/Portsmouth) and freshman Sydney Ferguson (Jamestown, RI/North Kingstown) scored 1:05 apart to begin the second half and slice Wheaton's deficit to 10-8, but the Golden Bears answered with five straight for a 15-8 cushion at 19:32. The Lyons responded with a 4-0 stretch in just under four minutes to get to within 15-12 midway through before Western New England scored twice and carried a 17-12 edge into the final minute. Wheaton tallied two times in the final 43 seconds to complete the scoring.
Lyon junior Hanna Landis (Cape Elizabeth, ME/Cape Elizabeth) had one goal and an assist, while sophomore goalie Marianna Marcellino (Milton, MA/Thayer Academy) notched nine saves in net.
Golden Bear junior Lindsey Fenton (Pelham, MA/Amherst Regional) had two goals and one assist, and senior Cougar Moynihan (South Glastonbury, CT/South Windsor) added two assists. Sophomore Marissa Bonitatibus (Yorktown Heights, NY/Yorktown) was credited with 10 stops in nearly 47 minutes.
The Lyons complete their five-game homestand and 10-game home slate on Saturday when they welcome New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe Smith College to Keefe for a 1:00 p.m. start.