CHICOPEE, Mass. – Elms College junior midfielder Brianna Lyons (Canton, Mass.) netted six second half goals but Wheelock College used seven scoring strikes from Katie Gavin (Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.) to help secure a 21-17 victory in Saturday afternoon's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's lacrosse game at Leary Field.
With the loss, Elms concludes its regular season with an overall record of 5-9, 2-3 in NECC play. Wheelock concludes its regular season with a 4-10 record on the season, 3-2 in conference play. Both teams will advance to the upcoming NECC Championship tournament with seeding to be announced Sunday.
Wheelock took a 10-5 lead into intermission on the strength of four scores by Gavin and three from Emma Marrs (Old Lyme, Conn.) and at the 28:43 mark of the second half, used a marker by Christina Cubera (Baltimore, Md.) to stake an 11-5 lead.
Elms answered as sophomore attacker Nora McDonough (South Hadley, Mass.) fired in a goal, followed by one from Lyons just 16 seconds later to pull the Blazers to within four at 11-7.
Trailing 13-7, back-to-back short-handed goals by senior attacker Chelsey Grabowski (South Hadley, Mass.) and McDonough again pulled Elms to within four at 13-9 with 24:10 on the clock.
The Wildcats kept their advantage at no less than four goals and led by as many as six goals three more times throughout the contest.
With the score set at 19-13 with 10:26 to play following a goal by Wheelock's Molly Centore (Kennebunk, Maine), Elms answered with four of the next six scores highlighted by two each from Lyons and freshman attacker Ashley Cava (Wilbraham, Mass.) to set the final score at 21-17.
Centore finished with five goals, Marrs tallied four strikes and Cubera netted three to help pace the Wildcats in victory. Despina Savvoulides (Norwalk, Conn.) scored twice in the second half, while goalkeeper Erika Belmore (Mattapoisett, Mass.) made 15 stops to earn the win between the pipes.
McDonough finished with five goals behind Lyons' six scores, while Cava, Grabowski and sophomore attacker Lauren Mazza (Agawam, Mass.) netted two goals apiece. Freshman net-minder Melissa LaFlamme (West Springfield, Mass.) made 11 saves in her first collegiate stint in goal and suffered the loss.
Lyons led the Blazers with five groundballs while Marrs picked up six for Wheelock. Blazers' senior defender Erika Murphy (Torrington, Conn.) caused five Wildcats' turnovers.