BOSTON, MA – Junior midfielder Katie Gavin (Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA) tallied 11 points, including nine goals to lead the Wheelock College women's lacrosse team to a 22-8 victory over Bay Path College this afternoon in a New England Collegiate Conference match at Winsor Field in Boston, MA. The Wildcats improve to 3-9 overall and 2-2 in league play, while Bay Path falls to 1-4 and 0-4.
Wheelock won a school-record 22 draw controls for the game and took at 15-5 lead after one half of play.
The Wildcats netted the first four goals of the afternoon in the opening five-plus minutes of the match, including a pair from Gavin and one each from junior middie Christina Cubera (Baltimore, MD) and freshman attacker Anna Shuqom (Brookline, MA). Sophomore attacker Nicole Mitchell (Hopkinton, MA) broke the Wheelock string and put Bay Path on the board at the 24:04 mark of the first half, before Gavin tallied two more for the Wildcats to give them a 6-1 cushion with 20:38 to go in the half. Junior midfielder Jillian O'Melia (East Longmeadow, MA) scored three minutes later for Bay Path to cut the deficit to 6-2, but Wheelock scored three straight goals on markers from sophomore midfielder Molly Centore (Kennebunk, ME), Gavin and sophomore midfielder Jessica Hersom (Sanford, ME) to take a 9-2 lead with 14:12 remaining in the period. Bay Path's Megan Squadrito (Ellington, CT) and O'Melia sandwiched goals around a Gavin score to make it 10-4, before the Wildcats strung together four straight goals to take a 14-4 lead with 4:45 showing on the scoreboard. Cubera scored a pair to go with a goal each from Gavin and Centore during the string. Squadrito and Gavin traded goals to end the half as Wheelock took a 15-5 advantage into the intermission.
Shuqom scored the first goal of the second stanza just 96 seconds into the period to increase the home team's lead to 16-5. Senior attacker Shelby Regan (Longmeadow, MA) and O'Melia each found the back of the net for Bay Path to bookend a tally by Wildcats' freshman midfielder Kaitlyn Donnelly (Atkinson, NH) to set the score at 17-7 with 21:52 left in the contest. Gavin scored at 20:08, before senior attacker Kailah Simon (Norwalk, CT) followed with her first collegiate goal for Wheelock at the 18:36 mark. Sophomore attacker Liz Randall (Westford, MA) also scored for the Wildcats to give them a 20-7 lead with just over 10 minutes to go. Bay Path capitalized on a two-player advantage with a pair of Wheelock players in the penalty box and saw O'Melia convert a feed from Mitchell for her team-leading ninth goal of the season to pull the visitors to within 20-8 with 6:58 to play in the game. Hersom and Cubera scored the final goals of the day for the Wildcats to make it 22-8.
Gavin also added six draw controls, four ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers to her afternoon for Wheelock, while Cubera matched her career-high with four goals in addition to three draw controls and two ground balls. Shuqom and Centore each tallied three points on a pair of goals and an assist, while Centore added a game-high seven draw controls, four ground balls and three caused turnovers. Shuqom picked up a pair of ground balls, caused two turnovers and won a draw control. Donnelly led all players with seven ground balls and four caused turnovers and also finished with two points.
O'Melia led Bay Path with four goals, five draw controls, four ground balls and a caused turnover, while Mitchell ended with three points, including a pair of assists to go with three draw controls and a ground ball. Squadrito tallied a pair of goals, picked up three ground balls and caused a turnover.
Junior goaltender Monica Bettle (Pembroke, MA) stopped four shots to earn her first collegiate victory for the Wildcats, while junior Kelley Wilbur (West Hartford, CT) made 19 saves for Bay Path.
Wheelock will be in action again on Monday, April 22 when it hosts Bridgewater State University at 7:00 p.m. for Senior Night, while Bay Path hosts Daniel Webster College in its season finale on April 27 at 1:00 p.m.