DANBURY, CT - Junior Kelsey Heaton (New Milford, CT) scored six goals to lead the Western Connecticut State University women's lacrosse team as the Colonials overcame a three-goal first-half deficit to defeat Little East Conference rival Eastern Connecticut State University 12-9 Wednesday evening at the Westside Athletic Complex.
Also scoring for the Colonials were freshman Destinee Carey (New Milford, CT) with three goals, senior Hyla Costello (Southington, CT) with two goals, and senior Elena Gayton (Ellington, CT) who scored once.
For Eastern, senior Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) scored four goals, followed by senior Ashley Wolk (Barrington, RI) and freshman Paige Schneider (East Lyme, CT) who each scored two goals, and senior Mikaely Whitehouse (Columbia, CT) with one goal.
Heaton got things rolling quickly for the Colonials with two goals in the game's first two minutes for a 2-0 Western lead, but Eastern drew even at 2-2 on back to back goals by Schneider and Wolk.
With Western leading 4-3, Eastern went on a 4-0 run over 11 minutes through the middle of the first half for a 7-4 lead.
At the 3:37 mark, Costello converted a free-position opportunity to trim the Warrior lead to 7-5, and Carey scored an unassisted goal a minute later to make the Eastern margin 7-6 at intermission.
Carey scored again for Western to open the second half and even the score at 7-7.
After the teams traded goals for an 8-8 score with 20 minutes remaining in the game, Western took control and dominated play over the next 15 minutes, scoring four unanswered goals for a 12-8 lead. Heaton contributed a free-position and two unassisted goals during the run.
An Eastern goal in the closing minutes of the game made the score 12-9, giving Western the victory and keeping the Colonials undefeated in Little East Conference play with one regular-season game remaining.
For the game, Eastern held a slim 31-30 advantage in shots, while Western had the edge in ground balls, 25-17.
Colonial keeper Karli Portnoy (Sea Cliff, NY) made 16 saves to pick up the win. Freshman Taylor Emmerson (Colchester, CT) recorded 13 saves in goal for Eastern, but suffered the loss.
With the win, Western improves to 8-5 on the season and 5-0 in the Little East Conference. Eastern falls to 3-12, 2-4 in the LEC. The Colonials travel to New Hampshire on Saturday, April 26, for a first-place showdown with conference rival Keene State, which is also currently undefeated in conference play. Game time is slated for 12:00pm.