Southern Maine Outlasts New England College 24-16

Junior Aliza Jordan scored a career-high eight goals, had one assist and 11 draw controls in USM's win over New England College (file photo by Jason Johns).
Junior Aliza Jordan scored a career-high eight goals, had one assist and 11 draw controls in USM's win over New England College (file photo by Jason Johns).

Southern Maine Outlasts New England College 24-16

            GORHAM, Maine -- Juniors Aliza Jordan (Gorham, Maine) and Colleen Fleming (South Portland, Maine) and sophomore Allison Irish (Lyman, Maine/Massabesic) combined for 18 goals as the University of Southern Maine outlasted visiting New England College to post a 24-16 victory in a high-scoring non-conference women's lacrosse game Thursday afternoon at Hannaford Field.

            The win improved the Huskies' overall record to 8-5.  The Pilgrims dropped their third straight game to fall to 8-6 on the season.

            Southern Maine's 24 goals scored in the game equaled the school single-game record for goals established in 2014 against the University of Maine at Farmington and tied 17 days later against the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

            Jordan led the Huskies scoring a career-high eight goals and dishing out one assist.  Her eight goals were one shy of the school single-game record.  Fleming complemented her classmate tallying five goals and passing off two assists.  Irish matched Fleming with five goals and two assists.  Sophomore Megan Violette (Portland, Maine/Deering) contributed four points on two goals and two assists.

            Junior Tara Bainbridge (South Hadley, Mass.) led the Pilgrims scoring seven times and collecting one assist.  Bainbridge came into the game ranked third nationally in goals per game (6.31) and goals scored (82).  Classmate Alana Scott (Huntington, Vt.) had three goals and three assists, and sophomore Tailor Chapin (Chelsea, Vt.) score three goals and had one assist.

            The big difference for the Huskies came around the center circle where they won 28 of 42 draw controls.  Jordan led all players with 11 controls and Fleming picked up 10.  Sophomore Ruth Nadeau (Bath, Maine) had seven draw controls for USM.  Bainbridge led NEC with five draw controls, and Scott had four.

            USM had the early edge in the opening half sprinting to a 4-0 lead before the game was four minutes old.  Led by Bainbridge and Scott, the Pilgrims clawed their way back into the game and tied the score at 8-8 with five minutes remaining till halftime.

            Jordan's third goal of the half with 3:10 left snapped the tie and sparked a three-goal run by the Huskies to give the home side an 11-8 lead into the break.

            Dominating the draws in the second half (15-7), USM steadily lengthened its lead, peaking at 22-13 with 7:19 to go after a string of three consecutive goals from Jordan.

            Rookie goalie Mariah Vaillancourt (Lewiston, Maine/Edward Little) earned the win for the Huskies.  Vaillancourt came on in the second half to surrender eight goals and make seven saves.  Junior Hala Van Nostrand (Granby, Conn.) played the first half and did not record a save.  NEC rookie goalie McKenzie Gallasso (South Windsor, Conn.), who was under siege all game long, stopped 18 shots.

            Southern Maine piled up a 58-26 edge in shots and had a 34-26 advantage in ground balls.  USM also converted on 8 of 11 free-position attempts.

            The Huskies will play their final home game of the regular season on Saturday (12 p.m.) hosting Rhode Island College for a Little East Conference game.  The Pilgrims are off till Monday (4 p.m.) when they host Castleton in a North Athletic Conference game.