Worcester, MA --- Sophomore Molly Kilday (Westford, MA) tied season highs with five goals and seven points and freshman Jackie Connors (Ashland, MA) added a hat-trick as they helped lead third-seeded Worcester State to a 13-4 victory over #6 Mass Maritime in the opening round of the MASCAC Women's Lacrosse Tournament this evening.
The Lancers (12-4) move on to play at second-seeded Westfield State in the semifinals on Thursday at 7 PM while the Buccaneers finish their season at 2-12.
The postseason conference tournament win for the Blue and Gold ended a two-game skid as their last victory came in at 12-6 New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance semifinals win against Castleton State in 2007.
Mass Maritime senior Shelagh Hogan (N. Andover, MA) helped stake the early advantage for the visitors 2½ minutes into the contest before Kilday netted a pair 16 seconds apart to give the Lancers the 2-1 lead.
Hogan potted another with 21:14 on the clock to even up the score 2-2, but then Kilday, Connors and freshman Kalia Chase (Northbridge, MA) helped the Lancers go on a 3-0 mini run for the 5-2 score with 16:11 left to play in the first half.
Buccaneer freshman Janine Prokscha (Washington, CT) tacked on a free position marker four minutes later, but Connors, Kilday and sophomore Michelle Tully (Tewksbury, MA) ended the frame with goals for the 8-3 edge at the intermission.
Five different goal scorers for Worcester State helped the hosts close out the game with a 5-1 spurt for the final score.
Chase and Connors both finished with three helpers each as Connors made a difference with a season-best eight ground balls and four draws.
The back line of sophomore Sam Erwin (Attleboro, MA), freshman Mackenzie Callini (W. Springfield, MA), first-year Katelyn Murphy (Billerica, MA) and senior Stacey Doherty (Westford, MA) combined to amass 14 ground balls.
Connors also reset the single-season mark for ground balls (57) and caused turnovers (23) while her 44 draws are third-most in one campaign. Junior Vicki O'Brien (Canton, MA) chipped in one goal and one assist to move into eighth on the all-time scoring list and sophomore Jaclyn Lawlor (Westford, MA) is now alone in 10th place.
Mass Maritime freshman Shavonne Boyle (Doylstown, PA) picked up a career-best eight ground balls as senior Kim Courcy (Warwick, RI) registered six on the ground and she forced a pair of miscues.
WSU senior net minder Alex Chisholm (N. Brookfield, MA) finished with a trio of saves and four ground balls. Sophomore Deb Langley (Abington, MA) turned aside 11 shots in the setback for the Buccaneers.
The Lancers led in shots (33-13), ground balls (46-34) and draws (12-7) while the squad was effective on clears (13-for-15).