BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- The Bridgewater State University women's lacrosse team clinched at least a share of their second straight Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) regular season title as well as the top seed in next week's MASCAC Tournament as the Bears cruised to a 17-5 victory over conference rival Westfield State University on Thursday afternoon at Swenson Field.
The host Bears improve to 11-5 on the season and remain unbeaten in MASCAC play with a 5-0 conference mark. The Owls, who have dropped four of their last five games, slip to 7-8 overall and 3-2 in the MASCAC.
The game also marked Senior Night and it was senior midfielder Taylor Clancy (Braintree, Mass.) who would lead the Bears to the convincing victory. Clancy scored a game high seven goals and was a perfect 4-for-4 in free position attempts. She also added two ground balls, two controlled draws and a caused turnover.
The Bears dominated play from start to finish out-shooting the Owls by a healthy margin of 30-10. Bridgewater led 9-2 at the intermission and were never seriously threatened. The Bears got up by as many as 13 goals late (17-4) in the second half before the Owls scored with just over a minute left to play to account for the final score.
BSU sophomore midfielder Lauren Geary (Hull, Mass.) filled the stat sheet with three goals, three assists, a game-best six ground balls, five draws and a pair of caused turnovers. Freshman midfielder Melissa Renauld (Framingham, Mass.) added three goals, two ground balls, five draws and three caused turnovers, while freshman attack Alex King (Weymouth, Mass.) and junior attack Riley Cachelin (Westwood, Mass.) tallied three points apiece.
The BSU goaltending tandem of freshman Allie Forman (Marblehead, Mass.) and sophomore Chandler Ross (Wrentham, Mass.) faced just six shots on goal thanks in large part to terrific team defensive pressure. The Bears forced 23 turnovers including 16 in the first half.
Junior attack Stephanie Lenhardt (Duxbury, Mass.) paced the visitors with a goal and two assists. Senior defender Jen Carew (Billerica, Mass.) added a goal, five ground balls and three draws for the Owls, while sophomore netminder Mimi Khampaeng (Hampden, Mass.) made nine saves between the pipes.
Clancy along with fellow BSU seniors Melanie Appleman (Hyannis, Mass.) and Braylan Wenzel (Bourne, Mass.) were honored prior to the game in the Senior Night ceremonies. Appleman scored a goal, while Wenzel notched a ground ball, a draw and a caused turnover.
Both teams wrap up regular season and MASCAC play on Saturday afternoon. Bridgewater travels to Salem State University for a five o'clock game with the Vikings. A win would give the Bears the MASCAC title outright. Westfield heads to Mass. Maritime Academy to take on the Buccaneers at one.
Notes: Clancy moved into sixth place on the Bears' all-time scoring list as she now has 226 points (166 G, 60 A) in four seasons at Bridgewater State....The Bears have actually won seven straight conference regular season championships since 2008 including five consecutive New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance (NEWLA) crowns (2008-2012).