BOSTON, Mass. – First year attacker Lauren Whitman (Mansfield, Mass.) matched the school record for goals by a first year with seven to lead the Simmons University women's lacrosse team over visiting Clark University, 12-6, this afternoon at Daly Field in Brighton, Mass. The Sharks improve to 3-0 on the season to establish the best start in school history, while the Cougars fall to 2-2 in their inaugural season.
Neither team was able to move the ball up and down the field with ease in the cold weather with Simmons owning a 13-25 success rate on clears and Clark successfully clearing the ball in 16 of 30 attempts. The teams combined for 72 turnovers, including 40 by the Cougars, but the Sharks dominated the shots with a 36-20 margin.
In addition to Whitman's offensive prowess, the Simmons defense was suffocating in the second half, allowing just two goals, while the offense scored seven times to secure the victory.
Whitman's seven goals tied teammate Molly Reinhold's (Mystic, Conn.) rookie mark set on March 31, 2018 vs. Albertus Magnus College. Whitman also added five ground balls, three draw controls and a match-high three caused turnovers for the Sharks. Reinhold tallied four goals, including three in the second half, to go with five ground balls, three draw controls and a pair of caused turnovers. First year midfielder Sidney Pilot (Pomfret, Vt.) handed out three assists and added four draw controls, two ground balls and two caused turnovers. First year attacker Samantha Hogan (Westborough, Mass.) netted her first collegiate goal as well.
First year attacker Elysia Hall (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and classmate Kiley Simmons (Atkinson, N.H.) paced the Clark offensive effort with two goals apiece. Hall also assisted on a score and picked up a ground ball, while Simmons registered two ground balls, caused two turnovers and won a draw. Junior attacker Anna Joyce (Hopkinton, Mass.) chipped in with a goal, an assist and two ground balls and sophomore middie Sophie Phelan (Westport, Conn.) contributed with four ground balls and three caused turnovers.
The Cougars scored just 20 seconds into the match when first year midfielder Dana Miller (Oak Ridge, N.J.) found the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. The teams traded two goals apiece, including a pair of markers from Simmons to give the visitors a 3-2 edge with 15:52 left in the opening half. Whitman responded with two consecutive goals for the Sharks to give them their first lead of the match at 4-3 with 8:22 to go in the period. Joyce knotted the score at 4-4 with her fourth goal of the season at the 3:20 mark of the half, but Whitman's fourth goal of the first half, with just over a minute to play, gave Simmons a 5-4 lead heading into the intermission.
Clark got off to a fast start in the second stanza, as it did in the first, scoring just 60 seconds into the half on a shot from Hall that found the back of the net to pull the Cougars even at 5-5. It proved to be the last score for Clark for almost 24 minutes as the Sharks defense tightened up.
Whitman tallied the first two goals of a six-goal run, capped by a pair of markers from Reinhold to give Simmons its biggest lead of the contest at 12-5 with 5:40 remaining in the game. Hall scored on a free position shot to end a Clark scoring drought that lasted 23:40 and cut the deficit to 11-6. Whitman scored the final marker of the day for either team when she deflected the Cougars' goalie's outlet pass and tallied her team-leading 13th goal of the season with 94 seconds left in the match.
Sophomore goalie Nicole Elliott (Wayne, N.J.) recorded 10 saves for her second double-digit save effort in as many starts for the Sharks, while senior keeper Maggie Paul (Falmouth, Mass.) stopped 11 shots for Clark.
Simmons returns to action on Monday, March 9 when it takes on Nazareth College at Ann Dever Park in Englewood, Fla. at 4:30 p.m., while the Cougars host Nichols College on March 8 at 12:00 p.m.