BOSTON, MA – Junior midfielder Katie Gavin (Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA) set new school season records for points and goals, while netting nine goals to lead the Wheelock College women's lacrosse team over visiting Elms College, 22-14, this afternoon in a New England Collegiate Conference contest at the Winsor School Field in Boston, MA. The Wildcats improve to 5-7 overall, including 4-1 in NECC play and secure the number two seed in the NECC Tournament. The win sets a new school record for victories for Wheelock. The Blazers fall to 4-10 and 2-3 in league play and will be the fourth seed in the NECC tourney. Wheelock will host third-seeded Becker College on Wednesday, April 30, while Elms travels to Weston, MA to take on top-seeded Regis College on the same day.
The Blazers got on the board first when junior midfielder Kayla Narey (South Hadley, MA) connected for her 26th goal of the season just 27 seconds into the contest. The Wildcats responded with three unanswered goals, including two from Gavin and one from senior middie Christina Cubera (Baltimore, MD), who was honored along with senior Michelle Greene (Mansfield, MA) prior to the game in the team's Senior Day ceremony. Gavin's first tally with 6:37 to go in the first half was her 43rd of the year and broke her own school standard for goals. She finished with nine goals to give her 51 on the season.
Freshman defender Kathleen Tuechler (Farmingdale, NY) scored for Elms to cut the deficit to 3-2 with 18:45 showing in the first half, before Wheelock received consecutive goals from junior midfielder Molly Centore (Kennebunk, ME) and Gavin to take a 5-2 margin with 16:38 left in the opening half. Tuechler responded with her 15th tally of the year for the Blazers to pull them to within 5-3, but it was as close as they would get as four different players found the back of the net for the Wildcats over the next six minutes, including Cubera, Centore, junior attacker Emma Marrs (Old Lyme, CT) and Gavin to increase their lead to 9-3 with 8:44 remaining in the half. Elms junior attacker Nora McDonough (South Hadley, MA) struck for her team-leading 27th goal of the year to make it 9-4, but Centore and junior attacker Valerie Ferrante (Milford, MA) each scored prior to the end of the period to push the home team's advantage to 11-4 as they went to the break.
Both teams traded a pair of goals to open the second stanza with Tuechler finding the back of the net at the 27:15 mark to cut the Wildcats' lead to 13-6. The teams took turns scoring the next six goals with three going to each side as freshman middie Emily Dawson (Somers, CT) scored for the Blazers to set the score at 16-9 with 18:37 to play in the contest. Wheelock took its first 10-goal lead of the day after scoring three straight goals, including a pair of markers from Centore and one from Gavin to give the Wildcats a 19-9 lead with 13:04 to go in the game. Elms and Wheelock traded two goals apiece over the next four-plus minutes, including sophomore attacker Ashley Cava's (Wilbraham, MA) 15th of the season and Dawson's 12th. Gavin and freshman midfilder Violet Vig (Glastonbury, CT) each scored for the Wildcats to make it 21-11 with 8:52 to play. The Blazers closed out the match by scoring three of the final four goals, including a pair from McDonough, for a 22-14 final.
Gavin added an assist to her day to give her 10 points and a school-record 56 for the season, while picking up seven ground balls, winning three draw controls and causing four turnovers for the Wildcats. Centore also finished with a career-high 10 points and eight goals to go with 10 draw controls, four ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers. Cubera finished with five points, including three goals in addition to five draw controls, four ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Dawson finished with a team-high five points, including four goals for Elms and added two ground balls and two draw controls. McDonough netted three goals, came up with four ground balls, caused a turnover and won a draw. Tuechler registered five points on three goals and two assists, while scooping up five ground balls and causing three turnovers.
Freshman Meghan Lewis (South Berwick, ME) made 21 saves for Wheelock to finish the season as the only goalie in the nation with a 50% or better save percentage in every match she played this season, while sophomore Sarah Carpenter (Vernon, CT) stopped nine shots for the Blazers, who outshot the Wildcats, 42-38.