Wellesley Lacrosse Hangs On to Defeat Southern Maine, 15-14

Senior Mariana Hernandez scored a goal and had three ground balls in the win (Frank Poulin).
Senior Mariana Hernandez scored a goal and had three ground balls in the win (Frank Poulin).

GORHAM, Maine -- Wellesley College lacrosse picked up a 15-14 non-conference win over the University of Southern Maine in a back-and-forth contest at Hannaford Field on Wednesday night.

With the win, the Blue even out their overall record on the year to 5-5, while the Huskies of USM drop just below at .500 mark to 3-4.

Senior Dacia Persky (Las Vegas, Nev.) paced the Blue offense as she scored six goals, while also tallying one assist. Persky is now just three points away from 200 points on her career. First year Eleanor Mallett (Berwick, Maine) continued her offensive output with five points on four goals and an assist, senior Mariana Hernandez (Orlando, Fla.) chipped in with three ground balls and a goal as well. First year Lorna Li (Newton, Mass.) got the win in net, tallying six saves to move her to 4-3 on the season.

For Southern Maine, Senior Aliza Jordan (Gorham, Maine) and first year Lindsey Keenan (Naples, Maine) led the Husky offense with Jordan collecting eight points on four goals and four assists, and Keenan totaling seven points on three goals and four assists. Junior Allison Irish (Lyman, Maine) also chipped in with three goals for the Huskies. Senior Hala Van Nostrand (Granby, Conn.) got the loss in net, moving her to 3-4.

Wellesley opened up the game on a 5-0 run, highlighted by two goals by Mallet, and two goals by senior Ellie Chalphin (Philadelphia, Pa.), but Southern Maine would respond to make get within three at halftime, trailing 7-4. The offense for both teams dominated the second half of play as Southern Maine outscored the Blue, 10-8, to ultimately fall behind by one. An Irish goal put the Huskies ahead 8-7, their first lead of the contest, with 20 minutes remaining, but the Blue would respond.

Wellesley scored the next five to regain the lead, 12-8. The Huskies fought back as they trailed 15-11 with just five minutes remaining, USM got within one goal when Jordan found the back of the net with just 55 seconds remaining. After earning multiple free position shots in the final minute with a chance to tie the contest, the Blue defense held strong to preserve the victory as the clock expired with a Husky shot sailing north of the goal.

The Blue finished the game with a 39-31 lead in shots and had a 22-9 advantage in draw controls. Wellesley also topped Southern Maine by a 22-21 margin in ground balls. 

Both teams return to action on Saturday, April 6, with Southern Maine traveling to Castleton for a Little East Conference matchup at 10:30 AM, while Wellesley hosts New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference opponent MIT at 12:00 PM.

NCAA Division III Week is an annual week-long celebration of Division III student-athletes and the impact they have on Division III campuses and in their surrounding communities. This year, NCAA Division III Week begins on Monday, April 1 and continues until Sunday, April 7. For more information, visit wellesleyblue.com/x/80miv.