Strong First Half Propels Western over Castleton

DANBURY, Conn. - Western Connecticut ran out to a 13-3 half-time lead and never looked back, taking a 17-9 non-conference victory over visiting Castleton State on Saturday afternoon at the Westside Athletic Complex.

For the Spartans, senior Angelica Mazzola (Centerpoint, N.Y.) and freshman Kate Auer (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) each recorded hat-tricks with three scores, while junior Jessica Taplin (Barre, Vt.), sophomore Blake Wardwell (Bridgewater, Vt.), and sophomore Taryn Smith (Southbury, Conn.) scored one goal apiece. The loss drops the team to 1-1 on the season.

Leading the offensive charge for the Colonials was junior Nicole Perrone (Brookfield, Conn.) with four goals, followed by junior Devon Edwards (Islip, N.Y.) with three goals. Sophomore Hyla Costello (Southington, Conn.), junior Shelby Ingrao (New Fairfield, Conn.), and senior Jessica Bouwman (New Milford, Conn.) scored two goals each for Western, while senior Brianna Mitterando (Mastic Beach, N.Y.), junior Kelly Brennan (Hicksville, N.Y.), junior Emily Brooks (Kingston, N.Y.), and sophomore Kirsten Hudock (Newtown, Conn.) each scored once. Edwards handed out a game-high four assists and leads the team in total points at 18 (11 goals, 7 assists).

Mitterando got Western on the board in the opening seconds of the game on a feed from Edwards to give the Colonials a 1-0 lead before 15 seconds had run off the clock. Perrone scored the first of her game-high four goals just over two minutes later, and the Colonials added five more unanswered goal before Auer finally got Castleton on the board with nine minutes remaining in the half. The teams then traded goals to give Western an 8-2 advantage, however a five-goal run pushed it to 13-2, before Wardwell deposited a goal in the waning minutes of the half.

Auer and Perrone traded unassisted goals in the opening minute of the second half, before the Spartans scored back-to-back goals to narrow the gap to 14-6. Western goals by Ingrao, Brennan, and Edwards over a four-minute span lifted the Colonials back to a double-digit lead at 17-6, providing a comfortable margin in spite of three Castleton goals over the game's final 10 minutes. Despite a flurry of action in the game's closing seconds that include a Spartan goal and a Western yellow-card, Western took the victory by the final score of 17-9.

Sophomore goalkeeper Karli Portnoy (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) made 11 saves for the Colonials to earn her third victory of the season, while junior Lily Derbyshire (Little Compton, R.I.) recorded nine saves in a losing effort for Castleton.

The Spartans return to action on Tuesday when they host Western New England at 4:00 p.m. in their first home game of the season.


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