CASTLETON, Vt. – The Spartans played even with Western Connecticut St. over the final 30 minutes but a six-goal run in the first half proved to be the difference as Castleton fell 14-12 in its home-opener at Spartan Stadium.
The Spartans outshot the Colonials 40-29 and picked up 30 ground balls compared to 16 for the visitors but dropped to 0-2 on the season. WCSU need just 22 shots on goal to score 14 as the team improved to 1-0 on the year.
Brandi Whittemore led the Castleton offense with a first-half hat trick, three ground balls and three draw controls. Kate Auer added two goals, five ground balls and six draw controls while freshman Tiffany Danyow was impressive on defense with four caused turnovers and five ground balls.
Kirsten Hudock paced the Colonial offense with five goals on just six shots. Hyla Costello added a hat trick and an impressive ten draw controls and one caused turnover. Destinee Carey and Kelsey Heaton both had three goals as well.
Castleton opened the scoring just 35 seconds into the contest on a free position shot by Whittemore. However, the Colonials countered with six straight goals over the next 16 minutes to pull in front 6-1. Auer ended the run with a goal at 8:38 and just a minute later Whittemore closed the gap to 6-3.
Jennilee Mark cut the WSCU lead to 6-3 with 4:23 left in the half and Whittemore's third tally made it 6-5 with just 1:53 remaining. Kirsten Hudock ended the Spartan run with 29 seconds left in the half as the Colonials took a 7-5 lead at the break.
Mariah Lesure scored two minutes into the second half to cut the lead to one and Brianna Mackay tied it up on a free position shot at 22:43. However, WCSU went on a 3-1 run over the next seven minutes to extend its lead to 11-8 with goals from Heaton, Costello and Hudock.
Freshman Grace Johnson cut the deficit to 11-9 with 10:32 left but Carey came countered with a goal two minutes later for the three-goal advantage. Flodstrom and Auer scored the team's final two goals but they couldn't get any closer than two the rest of the way as they fell 14-12.
Colonial goalie Karli Portnoy was impressive in net once again, making 14 saves while allowing 12 goals. Sophomore Meghan Els took the loss for Castleton as she allowed 14 goals and made eight stops between the pipes.
The Spartans return to action tomorrow when they play St. Joseph's (LI) at 1 pm.