May 10, 2014

Castleton Falls to Trinity in NCAA Opener

Castleton capped a spectacular season with a tough loss to one of the nation's top-ranked programs. The Spartans fell to No. 3 Trinity 16-4 in the NCAA Second Round on Saturday.

The magic that got the Spartans past Thomas College in the North Atlantic Conference Championship and into the NCAA Tournament ran out against the Bantams, as the hosts handled the Spartans, knocking them out of the tournament and ending their season.

Jennilee Mark led the Castleton offense with three goals and Grace Johnsonscored once. Kim Gosselin and Blake Wardwell each earned assists. Castleton earned 16 caused turnovers as a team, with Rachel Bombardier and Sarah Clark each leading the way with three. The team instigated 25 total turnovers from the Bantams, but made turned the ball over 34 times themselves.

Martha Griffin led the way for Trinity, scoring three goals. The midfielder also scooped four ground balls and caused three turnovers. Meghan Collins was the anchor for the Bantams' defense earning five ground balls and five caused turnovers to lead the team in both categories.

After spotting the Bantams a pair of early goals, Castleton got on the board 4:46 into the game. Kim Gosselin snatched a pass from Brandi Whittemore, and found Grace Johnson streaking to the net. Johnson caught and fired past the Trinity goalkeeper to cut the Trinity lead in half, 2-1.

Molly Cox and Emma Malicki led an 8-0 run for the Bantams as they extended their lead to 10-1. Each of the Trinity attackers scored a pair of goals in the run that lasted nine minutes. Castleton scored for the second time after a 16:09 drought. Jennilee Mark beat a Trinity defender a ripped a low shot on goal. Mooney saved the shot, but Mark scooped the rebound and buried it to make it 10-2. The Bantams finished the half with a pair of goals from Karly Simpson and Griffin to take a 12-2 lead into the halftime break.

In the second half, the Bantams opened the period with a pair of goals to extend their lead to 14-2. Betsy Craig and Kathleen Timmons each scored within the first five minutes to extend the home team's comfortable lead.

The Spartans played evenly with the Bantams through the final 25 minutes of the game, tying them 2-2 over that span. Jennilee Mark swiped an errant pass from the goaltender and buried a breakaway for Castleton's third goal with 11:45 remaining. In the final five minutes, Mark struck again, this time on a pass from fellow senior Blake Wardwell. The tally made the score 16-4, which held as the final.

Castleton's season ends with a 9-7 overall record, including a perfect run through the NAC for the third straight season. The Spartans graduate five seniors, but will return next season in hopes of running the table in conference play again.