NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – MIT's late rally came up short as host Smith College held on for a 17-15 win in a NEWMAC women's lacrosse game on Saturday afternoon. With five goals, senior Katie Kauffman (Olney, Md.) eclipsed the 100-career goal mark becoming the eighth player in program history to accomplish this feat.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Nealon (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) paced the Engineers with seven goals while Kauffman added three caused turnovers, two groundballs, two draw controls, and an assist. Junior Molly McShane (Lake Bluff, Ill.) posted four draw controls, two groundballs, and a goal as classmate Meghan Wright (Devon, Pa.) recorded four draw controls, three caused turnovers, and a goal. Freshman Carol Davis (Malborough, Mass.) notched three groundballs and two caused turnovers while classmate Lyndsy Muri (Ashland, Mass.) tacked on a goal and two draw controls. In net, sophomore Sarah Ritter (The Woodlands, Texas) collected 10 saves and four groundballs.
Kauffman and Nealon opened the scoring, but the Pioneers scored three in a row to claim the lead. Kauffman found McShane for the equalizer; however, Smith responded with back-to-back markers for a 5-3 edge. A solo effort from Nealon followed by a free-position strike by Wright resulted in another deadlock at the 13:12 mark. Smith countered with five unanswered goals during the final seven minutes of the half to enter the break with a 10-5 advantage.
The Pioneers carried the momentum into the second stanza, tallying two goals during the first two minutes. MIT replied with three straight goals from Kauffman and two by Nealon, narrowing the gap to 12-10 with 23:11 on the clock. Smith gained some breathing room courtesy of a 5-1 run, resulting in its largest margin (17-11) midway through the frame. Less than a minute later Nealon found the back of the net, sparking a 4-0 spurt that featured another goal by the sophomore attacker along with markers from Muri and Kauffman, the last at 3:41. The Engineers put one more shot on goal down the stretch but they could not overcome the deficit.
MIT (1-5, 0-1 NEWMAC) begins its West Coast road trip on Monday, March 26 at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.