NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College women's lacrosse team earned a victory in its first-ever varsity contest on Friday afternoon, topping Bay Path College by a 17-13 final in New England Collegiate Conference action at Alumni Field.
Mitchell freshman Ashley Murtha also made an auspicious debut, leading all scorers with 11 goals and two assists in the first collegiate game of her career. Sophomores Veyda McVey and Alexandra Mahar each added a pair of goals for the Mariners (1-0 overall, 1-0 NECC) while classmate Katie McBride and freshman Amanda Rowan.
Megan Squadrito led Bay Path (0-2 overall, 0-2 NECC) with five goals and three assists. Nicole Mitchell chipped in with four goals while Megan Tancredi added two goals and two assists.
Neither side led by more than two goals in a closely-contested first half. Murtha shouldered the brunt of the scoring for the Mariners in the first 30 minutes, collecting six of the team's seven goals for the half. Squadrito and Mitchell each had three goals for the Wildcats, and the two teams were locked at a 7-7 stalemate at intermission.
The game remained close for the first 10 minutes of the second half. Squadrito scored to open the scoring, and the teams traded goals back and forth until Murtha tied the game at 11-11 with 18:25 to play. The Mariners then went on to score the next five goals to open up their largest lead of the day at 16-11. Mahar, Rowan and McVey all potted goals during the stretch while Murtha netted the final two. Tancredi and Squadrito each scored goals in the final 2:58, but it wasn't enough to make up the difference.
Mitchell held a 20-12 edge in draw controls and went 3-for-3 on free position shots.
Mitchell junior Anysia Lombardo made six saves in goal in just over 40 minutes of action. Junior Jaleesa Peeples closed out the game between the pipes and recorded three saves. Bay Path goalie Kimberly Drahushuk finished with four saves.
The Mitchell women's lacrosse program competed at the club level in 2013 and was elevated to varsity status for the 2014 season.
Mitchell will next host Framingham State University on Sunday, March 23 at 4 p.m. Bay Path returns to action at home against Purchase College on Tuesday, March 25 at 4 p.m.