Women's Lacrosse Comeback Falls Short

FITCHBURG, Mass. – Freshman Ali Laferriere (Tyngsboro, Mass.) scored 10 of her team's 17 goals as the Fitchburg State women's lacrosse team held on for a 17-16 win over Wentworth in non-conference action played at Elliot Field.

With the win the Falcons up their win streak to four games and even their record at 7-7 on the season while the Leopards slip to 3-11.

The Falcons scored first, just 24 seconds into the contest on a goal from freshman Kayla Panek (Belchertown, Mass.) before the Leopards scored the next four goals as freshman Molly Dufresne (Plaistow, N.H.) scored to even the score and junior Alexandrea Banks (Ellington, Conn.) scored three times to give Wentworth a 4-1 lead.

Fitchburg State scored three straight goals with two coming from senior Markie Apple (Pittsfield, Mass.) and one coming from Laferriere to tie the game with 14:41 left. Junior Julie Azzinaro (Westerly, R.I.) gave Wentworth a 5-4 lead with 13:08 left before the Falcons scored the next three and took a 7-5 lead with 8:36 remaining.

The two teams alternated goals over the remainder of the half with Laferriere scoring with 11 seconds left on a free position shot to give the hosts a 9-7 advantage at the break.

Wentworth got goals from Dufresne and Banks 50 seconds apart to tie the score at 9-all 1:04 into the second half. Laferriere scored twice – sandwiched around a Banks marker – to give Fitchburg State an 11-10 lead.

With the Leopards down a player due to a yellow card, the Black & Gold scored a pair of shorthanded goals to take a 12-11 lead. Dufresne tied the game with 22:01 left and freshman Brandie Holland (Lynn, Mass.) gave Wentworth the lead just 14 seconds later.

Laferriere and Panek scored 13 seconds apart to give the Falcons a 13-12 lead before Dufresne scored with 14:36 left to tie the game at 13-all. Panek and Laferriere scored less than a minute apart to give Fitchburg State the lead for good with 12:49 left.

Junior Jessica Houghton (Billerica, Mass.) narrowed the deficit to 15-14 with 11:46 left, however, Laferriere and senior Erin Murphy (Warwick, R.I.) made it a three-goal game with 9:17 remaining.

Murphy's goal would be the Falcons final marker of the contest as Fitchburg State was held scoreless over the final 9:17 and clung to a 17-14 lead. Free-position goals from Houghton and Dufresne 2:08 apart made it a 17-16 game with 4:01 left.

A late Fitchburg State turnover gave the Leopards the ball back with 11 seconds left. However, the Leopards last-chance attempt to tie the game resulted in a turnover just before time expired.

In addition to her 10 goals, Laferriere won 15 draw controls. Panek had three goals and an assist while Apple and Murphy had a pair of goals each. Sophomore Elizabeth Darrigo (Billerica, Mass.) made seven saves on the night.

Dufresne had five goals and an assist, Banks scored five times, and Houghton had three goals, won five draw controls, picked up nine ground balls, and caused four turnovers. Junior Robyn Pacini (Stoneham, Mass.) made 14 saves for the Leopards.

Wentworth ends its season on Wednesday night when the Leopards host the University of New England.