BOSTON, Mass. – The Simmons College women's lacrosse team put together a second half comeback that just fell just short in a 13-12 loss to visiting New England College this evening at Daly Field in Brighton, Mass. The Sharks fall to 0-2 on the season, while hte Pilgrims improve to 1-1.
New England College took a 9-3 halftime lead, before Simmons made it a one-goal match in the second stanza with nine goals of its own.
Sophomore midfielder Elena Bragg (Belmont, Mass.) led the Sharks with a game-high four goals to go with four ground balls, while junior attacker Kasey Fries (Bridgewater, Mass.) struck for three goals and picked up three ground balls. Junior attacker Kiera Kirkaldy (Middlebury, Vt.) found the back of the net twice and also came up with a ground ball. First year Kate Bowers (Belchertown, Mass.) set up her teammates with a game-high four assists and added a ground ball. Junior Chyenne Yeager (Indiana, Pa.) stopped three of 10 shots in 13:41 of action, before sophomore Kenzie Rogers (Bourne, Mass.) made seven saves against six goals in the final 46:19 of action.
Sophomores Tara Bainbridge (South Hadley, Mass.) and Kaitlyn Berry (Canterbury, N.H.) each tallied three goals to lead the Pilgrims' offense. Berry also added a pair of ground balls and caused a turnover. Senior midfielder Allison Granata (Norwalk, Conn.) and first year midfielder Tailor Chapin (Chelsea, Vt.) also notched three-point outings for the visitors with a pair of goals and an assist each. Granata did good work on the defensive side of the ball as well with three caused turnovers and a trio of ground balls.
Senior goalie Mackenzie Meegan (Phoenix, Ariz.) picked up the victory with eight saves.
New England College took control from the opening whistle, scoring eight of the game's first nine goals, including three from Berry and two from Granata to take an 8-1 advantage with 15:35 left in the second half. Bragg ended a string of six straight goals for the Pilgrims with her second of the match, followed by a score from Fries to cut the deficit to 8-3 with 3:49 showing in the first half for Simmons. Bainbridge made every second count, scoring with just two ticks left in the opening period to give NEC a 9-3 lead heading into the break.
Brainbridge picked up where she left off, scoring the first tally of the second half at 26:55 for a 10-3 Pilgrims' cushion. The Sharks began their comeback with three unanswered goals from sophomore midfielder Ana Giarrusso (Hingham, Mass.), Kirkaldy and Fries to pull the home team to within 10-6 with 20:24 to play in the contest. Chapin and Bainbridge sandwiched NEC goals around a Kirkaldy score, before Fries and first year attacker Kingsley Richards (Lexington, Mass.) added to Simmons total to make it a three-goal match. The marker was the first of Richards' collegiate career.
Junior midfielder Caitlin Shanahan (Rocky Point, N.Y.) found the twine for the Pilgrims' final goal of the evening to give them a 13-9 margin with 7:34 remaining in the match. Bragg and sophomore attacker Missie Maiewski (Northampton, Mass.) each scored within a 15-second span to cut the deficit to 13-11 with 4:27 showing on the second half clock. Bragg netted her fourth goal of the night to pull the Sharks to within 13-12 with 3:26 to go, but it would be the last score for either team as New England College went home with the victory.
Simmons returns to action on Thursday, March 9 when it hosts Kings College (Pa.) at Daly Field for a 12:00 p.m. match, while the Pilgrims head to Los Angeles, Calif. to face Occidental College on the same day at 4:00 p.m. EST.