CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT built a 10-2 halftime advantage and withstood a late rally from Wheaton College to emerge with a 14-10 victory in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's lacrosse game. The win clinched the No. 3 seed for the Engineers (9-5, 3-3 NEWMAC), who will square off with No. 2 Babson College in semifinal action of the NEWMAC Championship Tournament on Saturday, April 30 at Springfield College. The Lyons (6-11, 3-3 NEWMAC) earned the No. 4 spot and will host a quarterfinal game on Wednesday, April 27 against an opponent yet to be decided.
Katie Kauffman compiled a game-high eight points for MIT on five goals and three assists. Laura Wacker tallied five goals and an assist while Stephanie Leger registered a hat trick and two draw controls. Erica Little earned a pair of assists as Kaitlyn Nealon chipped in one goal and an assist. Kelly Duncan rounded out the offense with a helper while Molly McShane posted two groundballs and two draw controls. Lauren Rodda and Alex Wright both collected three groundballs as Rodda added two caused turnovers. In net, Sarah Ritter finished with 11 saves and four groundballs.
Tess Meyer (two goals, one assist) and Sydney Ferguson (one goal, two assists) paced Wheaton's balanced attack. Charlotte DeSantis and Brittany Whynot both notched two goals while Leila Mills, Katie Powers, and Hailey Colburn each tacked on a goal. Meyer led the Lyons with four groundballs, followed by three from Colburn. Kristen Palmer contributed four draw controls as Devon Soucier totaled three draw controls and two caused turnovers. In net, Marianna Marcellino turned away 10 shots.
Kauffman and Wacker accounted for the Engineers' first five goals of the game while Meyer put Wheaton on the board midway through the spurt. A solo effort by Powers brought the Lyons within three (5-2) with 12:53 left in the half, but the Engineers closed out the frame with five unanswered goals.
Wacker connected on a pass from Kauffman to open the second-half scoring early in the frame. Wheaton responded with an unassisted goal from Whynot which sparked a 5-2 run during the next 10 minutes that narrowed Wheaton's deficit to six (13-7). Kauffman found Leger to end the Cardinal and Gray's scoring drought with 7:35 to go, but Colburn's blast just over a minute later keyed the Lyons' late rally.
Following several possession changes, Whynot scored her second goal of the game on a pass from Ferguson, who then buried a free-position shot with 1:08 remaining in regulation. Ferguson won the ensuing draw control which eventually resulted in DeSantis' shot that hit the post. The Engineers gathered the groundball and retained possession to secure the victory.