NORTON, MA- Senior Caitlin Grant (Walpole, MA/Walpole) notched a career-best eight goals and reached the 100-goal milestone in propelling the Wheaton College women's lacrosse team to a 21-8 triumph over visiting Smith College Saturday in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Senior Day at Keefe Field.
Wheaton saw its five-game losing skid come to an end, improving to 6-7 overall and 2-2 in league play, while the Pioneers slipped to 3-9 and 0-4.
Grant, who now sits ninth in program history with 103 goals, rattled off six by halftime, including scoring three straight during the Blue and White's game-opening 5-0 run. Junior Chrissy Norberg (Winchester, MA/Northfield Mount Hermon School) tallied twice in 36 seconds to open the contest and give the hosts the lead for good. Grant's natural hat trick pushed the lead to five before Smith got on the board at 20:19.
The Lyons responded with a 4-0 run over 3:38 for a commanding 9-1 lead, as senior Bridget Thornton (Southington, CT/Cheshire Academy) tallied twice during the spurt, including notching her 100th career point. The visitors cut the score to 10-3 thanks to senior Blair Rapalyea's (Prides Crossing, MA/Manchester Essex Regional) second goal, but Wheaton found the back of the net three times in the final 3:23 of the stanza for a 13-3 halftime edge.
Grant opened the second half with a goal 2:26 in and, after Smith answered with a goal at 26:21, the Lyons ripped off five consecutive scores for a 19-4 lead. Freshman Hannah Ferris (Rye, NH/Portsmouth) tallied twice during the spurt. Wheaton led by as many as 16 at 21-5 before the visitors scored the final three.
After Grant's eight tallies, Thornton finished with three goals and two assists, Norberg had three tallies and one helper, while senior Madeline Williams (Annapolis, MD/Key School) added three assists. Ferris and sophomore Emma Doyle (Hamden, CT/Hamden) each recorded two goals, with Doyle returning from an injury and playing in her first game of the spring, while sophomore goalie Marianna Marcellino (Milton, MA/Thayer Academy) had eight stops.
Smith junior Carolyn Whiting (South Orange, NJ/Columbia) turned in three goals, while Rapalyea finished with the two tallies. Junior Chelsea Henderson (White Plains, NY/White Plains) stopped three shots in over 38 minutes of action, while sophomore Elizabeth Niehoff (Bronxville, NY/Bronxville) had five saves.
Completing its 10-game home slate this afternoon, Wheaton takes to the road for its final two games of the regular season, beginning with Tuesday's trip to Wellesley College for a 4:30 p.m. start.