Women's lacrosse stays close with No. 9 Le Moyne during 9-5 setback

Women's lacrosse stays close with No. 9 Le Moyne during 9-5 setback

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's lacrosse team trailed ninth-ranked Le Moyne College by two goals with fewer than 14 minutes remaining in an eventual 9-5 loss on Saturday during Northeast-10 Conference play at Duffy Field. The Purple Knights moved to 6-4 overall and 4-4 in the league, becoming the third team to limit the Dolphins to a single-digit goal total this season. Le Moyne, which is ninth in this week's Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll, is 9-3 and 6-2, having earned at least a share of the past two NE-10 regular-season titles.

In beginning a regular-season-ending stretch of five games against teams at least receiving national votes, including four ranked foes, Saint Michael's had its best defensive showing against Le Moyne in five all-time meetings after yielding an average of 16.0 goals to the Dolphins in the past three seasons alone. Junior Kate Boyer (Standish, Maine/Bonny Eagle) led the hosts with two goals, while seniors Claire Martin (Mattapoisett, Mass./Bishop Stang) and Shannon Murphy (Boxboro, Mass./Acton-Boxboro Regional/UMass) and sophomore Steph Bonewald (New London, N.H./Proctor Academy) all scored once apiece. Murphy added five ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Sophomore Casey Curtin (Waltham, Mass./Ursuline Academy) made 13 saves, senior defender Nicole Buckley (Scituate, Mass./Scituate) caused three turnovers, and junior defender Taylor Midgley (Hampton, N.H./Saint Thomas Aquinas) posted three ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Senior Kathleen Conese (Liverpool, N.Y./Liverpool) and junior Catie McKay (Penfield, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy) both scored twice for Le Moyne, which has qualified for the past three NCAA Tournaments, while five players scored single tallies. Junior Molly Marbut (Edgewater, Md./South River) had five stops.

Boyer got Saint Michael's on the board thanks to an individual effort at 26:31 of the opening half, and the Purple Knights held Le Moyne, which entered the game averaging 14.5 goals, off the board until 15:38, when sophomore Kaitlyn Armstrong (Oswego, N.Y./Oswego) scored. That began a flurry of three Dolphin goals in 1:39, but Martin tallied off of junior Courtney Piper's (Wolfeboro, N.H./Brewster Academy) feed with 12:17 to go, and Boyer forged a 3-3 tie at 8:54.

However, Conese netted the next two, one at the three-minute mark to put Le Moyne up 4-3 at halftime, and another 2:59 into the second stanza to make it 5-3. The Dolphins capped a 3-0 run with 23:09 remaining before Bonewald scored 1:57 later, beginning a 2-1 Saint Michael's stretch during which all three goals were scored on free-position shots. Murphy edged the Purple Knights to within 7-5 at 16:53, but McKay scored twice in a 5:46 span to produce the final margin.

The Purple Knights head to Saint Anselm College on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. game. The Hawks are receiving votes toward this week's IWLCA national poll.