MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Western Connecticut State University scored the first three goals and led from start to finish in ending a run of four straight losses to Eastern Connecticut State University in an 18-9 Little East Conference Wednesday afternoon at Rick McCarthy Field.
With its fourth straight win, Western (11-3, 4-1 LEC) snaps Eastern's (3-11, 2-2 LEC) three-game winning streak and will move into second place in the conference behind the winner of tonight's match between LEC unbeatens University of Southern Maine and Plymouth State University.
While Eastern was never able to score more than two consecutive goals, the Colonials scored four in a row early in the second half and also had runs of three straight goals three times.
Eastern scored twice in a span of nine seconds in the final minute of the first half to cut Western's lead to two, 7-5, but the Colonials answered with one with 11 seconds left in the first half, then added another in the first three minutes of the second half, outscoring Eastern 5-1 at one point to move out to a 13-6 lead midway through the second half.
Senior Samantha Lawlor and sophomore Caroline Galligan combined for nine goals and four assists for Western. Conference goal leader Brooke Baldelli added her 53rd and 54th of the season. Senior Lauren Bradshaw, second to Baldelli in the LEC in points, had five points on three goals and two assists. A two-time LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Week, Bradshaw won ten draws and Baldelli five to help Western to a +6 advantage in that category.
Senior Michelina Pinto (Groton) and junior Madison Renaud (Somers) each scored three times for Eastern, with Pinto causing four turnovers and picking up four ground balls. Freshman Aiyana Ward (Waterbury) won five of Eastern's 11 draws.
Senior Jessica Purick (Riverhead, NY) made ten stops in net for Eastern, while sophomore Jennifer Sawicki made five saves before departing in the final minutes after allowing eight goals.
Eastern visits defending LEC regular-season and tournament champion Plymouth State Saturday at 11 a.m.