Falcons Drop Close Non-Conference Match to Smith

FITCHBURG, Mass. (March 23, 2010) Sophomore Amanda Burns (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) tallied a team-best five points for Fitchburg State, but the Falcons fell to Smith College, 13-10, in non-conference action this evening.

Burns led all Fitchburg State scorers with two goals and three assists, while tallying a team-high eight groundballs and four caused turnovers. Senior Emily Swan (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) was also strong with four points (3 goals, 1 assist) for the Falcons, while sophomore Jill Shaner (Arlington, Mass./Arlington) added a pair of markers.

Smith sophomore Meaghan Fileti (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Palos Verdes) led all players with a game-high eight points, totaling three goals and five assists for the Pioneers. Senior Carolyn Whiting (S. Orange, N.J./Columbia) also added a trio of scores for the Pioneers to go with one helper, while Sofia Nakhnikian-Weintraub (Eugene, OR/S. Eugene) chipped in with three points on one goal and two assists.

Fitchburg State controlled the offensive momentum early, jumping out to an early 4-1 lead just 11:54 into the match. Swan led the Falcons first frame outburst with a pair of tallies, while Shaner and freshman Cassandra Benoit (N. Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth) each added a score.

Smith battled back shortly thereafter, registering four unanswered goals to post a 5-4 lead at the 24:04 mark. The Pioneers received goals from four individual players over a span of 13 minutes, but the Falcons roared back, posting consecutive markers over the final 5:10 to take a 6-5 advantage at the break. Swan propelled the Fitchburg State scoring with her third marker of the game to knot the score at 5-5, while Shaner gave Fitchburg State a one point margin with her second score of the period.

In the second period, the offensive tides turn as Smith erupted for 14 shots and eight goals throughout the frame. The Pioneers silenced the Falcons for most of the period, allowing only four goals and holding Fitchburg State scoreless for the final 16 minutes. Fileti, Whiting and Bethany McGann (Arlington, Va./Washington Lee) led the Pioneer, second-half charge with two scores apiece, while freshman goaltender Alina Pechacek (Andover, Mass./Phillips Academy) turned away four Falcons shots in the period.

Throughout the contest, both teams were evenly matched with Smith holding a slim 31-25 advantage in targets. Both teams battled on the defensive end, holding 25 groundballs apiece, while Fitchburg State caused 13 turnovers and was a perfect 9 for 9 in clear attempts. Junior goalie Elizabeth Rubin (Brighton, Mich./Brighton) suffered the loss for the Falcons, stopping 12 shots between the pipes, while Pechacek totaled nine stops for the Pioneers.

Fitchburg State (2-2, 0-0 NEWLA) returns to action on Thursday as it travels to Saint Joseph's College (Conn.) at 4:00 p.m. Smith (2-2, 0-0 NEWMAC) will battle Elms College tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.


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