NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College women's lacrosse team suffered a 25-4 setback against Wheelock College on Thursday afternoon in a New England Collegiate Conference matchup at Alumni Field.
The Wildcats picked up their first win of the year by tallying a season-high 25 goals, just one shy of the school record. A total of 10 players scored goals for Wheelock (1-3 overall, 1-0 NECC) in the contest, including five who found the back of the net for the first time this season. Katie Gavin led the way with eight goals while Valerie Ferrante added five goals and four assists for a game-high nine points.
Freshmen Ashley Murtha and Amanda Rowan provided the offense for Mitchell (1-4 overall, 1-2 NECC). Murtha finished with a hat trick to increase her team-leading goal total to 17 while Rowan netted her third of the season.
Wheelock scored three times in the opening 2:06 of the contest to jump out to a quick lead. Ferrante notched her first of the day just 13 seconds in, and Haley Lary and Gavin scored goals just 23 seconds apart to make it 3-0.
Mitchell finally got on the scoreboard at the 26-minute mark when Murtha fought her way through traffic and netted a shorthanded goal. After the Wildcats went up 4-1 on a score by Molly Centore, the Mariners responded with back-to-back goals from Murtha and Rowan to make it a game at 4-3 with 24:07 remaining.
That would be as close as it would get, however, as Wheelock scored 15 of the final 16 goals in the half to lead 19-4 at the break. Gavin scored three straight times to spark the offense and scored a total of seven goals in the stanza.
Wheelock shut Mitchell out in the second half and added six goals to pad the lead. Emma Marrs and Emily Hammerstrom each netted their first goals of the season as the Wildcats scored twice with a man advantage to start the half.
Gavin's final goal came with 6:30 left and bumped her team-leading total to 21 on the season. The eight goals tied for the fourth most ever scored by a Wheelock player in a single game, a category in which Gavin now owns the top four spots in school history.
Wheelock goalie Meghan Lewis recorded seven saves to earn her first collegiate win. Mitchell's Anysia Lombardo made six stops in goal in the loss.
Mitchell will next play at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy on Sunday, April 6 at 1 p.m. Wheelock returns to action at Curry College on Monday, April 7 at 7 p.m.