Women's lacrosse defeats Southern Maine 16-6 for third straight win

Katie Allard had a career-high three goals and an assist in Bates' 16-6 victory over the University of Southern Maine on March 28, 2017. (File photo by Josh Kuckens/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College women's lacrosse team scored the first six goals of the game and built an 11-1 lead through 35 minutes en route to a 16-6 non-conference victory over the University of Southern Maine Tuesday evening at Garcelon Field.

The visiting Huskies (4-2) saw their four-game win streak come to an end, while the host Bobcats (6-3) won their third game in a row.

Bates junior Camille Belletete (Jaffrey, N.H.), junior Allison Dewey (Vergennes, Vt.) and sophomore Katie Allard (Ridgewood, N.J.) scored three goals apiece, with Belletete and Allard adding assists. Senior Kaileigh Maguire (Sudbury, Mass.) added two goals and junior Melanie Mait (Ogunquit, Maine) contributed a goal and two assists in the win.

Aliza Jordan scored two goals with one assist and five ground balls for the Huskies. Lauren Lessard, Kenzie Kidder and Ruth Nadeau added one goal and one assist apiece.

Bates' stifling transition defense kept the Huskies from clearing the ball on their first 12 attempts of the first half. USM successfully cleared on its subsequent three attempts, however, and the third ended with the Huskies' first score of the game, with Lessard hitting Allison Irish with a diagonal pass and Irish bouncing the ball inside the far post.

The goal closed the gap to 6-1 with 1:20 remaining in the half, but it may have lit a fire under the Bobcats, who scored three times in the final 42 seconds, with Belletete figuring in all three tallies. She netted her second goal of the game with 41.7 seconds to go, taking a feed from behind the goal line from sophomore Sydney Howard (Ashland, Mass.) and firing in a mid-range shot. Howard corralled the ensuing draw and with 22.4 seconds to go Dewey redirected a Belletete pass into the net for an 8-1 lead. Belletete won the next draw and calmly rifled a fastball into the upper left corner of the net with 3.9 seconds left in the half, with the margin suddenly ballooned into eight goals at intermission.

Mait opened the second half with an unassisted goal 32 seconds in, curling around the back of the USM net and shooting inside the far post. Maguire then converted a free-position shot with 24:48 to go, giving the Bobcats an 11-1 lead and initiating a running game clock. 

With 20:30 left in the game, Bates was hit with a yellow card and USM was awarded the ball in the Bates defensive zone. Responding immediately, Campobasso passed ahead to Kidder for a fast-break goal, closing the difference to 11-2. USM seemed to find confidence from the play and its defense turned up in intensity, with both teams breaking up each other's clear attempts back and forth. Bates first-year Caroline Kerrigan (Falls Church, Va.) scooped up the loose ball after USM threw the ball away and scored unassisted to restore the 10-goal lead with 18:05 to go.

USM responded with a 4-1 run over a nine-minute span, with Jordan assisting Lessard at the 12:27 mark then scoring on assists from Nadeau and Campobasso at the 9:14 and 5:58 marks, respectively, closing the gap to 13-6.

Bates ended the USM surge quickly, however, as Mait fed Allard for back-to-back goals within 52 seconds of Jordan's score. With 3:30 to go, the Bobcats again got the running game clock going as first-year Gianna DiPinto (Grafton, Mass.) finished off a feed from Annie Duke to make it 16-6.

Hala Van Nostrand made seven saves in goal for USM. Sophomore Eliza Statile (Ipswich, Mass.) made one save for Bates in the first half, and first-year Sarah Delany (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) made four saves in the second half.

Bates limited USM to 10 clears on 29 attempts, but maintained a mere 32-28 advantage in turnovers. USM won 28 ground balls to Bates' 24, but Bates controlled 17 of 23 draws.

Bates returns to NESCAC play Saturday at Hamilton, with an 11am starting time.