GORHAM, Maine — Behind three key second-half goals by freshman Anh Nguyen (South Portland, Maine), the University of Southern Maine Huskies women's lacrosse team came from behind to defeat the Rhode Island College Anchorwomen, 13-10, in a Little East Conference game at Hannaford Field Tuesday afternoon.
With the win, the Huskies improve to 9-4 overall and 3-0 in conference play. The Huskies are 6-0 at home this season. The Anchorwomen have dropped three straight and slide to 4-7 overall and 0-4 in the conference.
Nguyen finished with three goals and an assist, and junior Jacki Kelly (Brunswick, Maine) also added three goals to lead Southern Maine offensively. Kelly's second goal, which she scored with 29 seconds remaining in the first half, was her 100th career goal. She becomes fifth USM women's lacrosse player to score 100 goals, and now leads USM with 38 goals this season.
Senior Lauren Santo (Salem, N.H.) and sophomore Nicole LaPlante (South Portland, Maine) each scored two goals, and junior Rosie Forster (Andover, Mass.) scored a goal, dished out a game-high two assists and picked up a game-high nine ground balls. Kelly also had six ground balls for the Huskies.
RIC sophomore Jessica Ricci (Hope, R.I./Cranston West) scored a game-high five goals to lead the Anchorwomen. Junior Ashley Signoriello (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) added four goals of her own to go along with one assist.
Southern Maine junior goaltender Kim Vogel (Sanford, Maine) earned the win making eight saves. Despite taking the loss, RIC junior goalie Taryn Carbone (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) had a tremendous day making 18 saves.
Down 9-6 with less than 10 minutes remaining, Nguyen scored an unassisted, man-down goal with 8:06 remaining to cut the Anchormen lead to two. After RIC called a timeout, Nguyen marched down the field and scored another unassisted, man-down goal to pull the Huskies within one, 9-8, with 7:32 remaining.
Forster then swept into the Anchorwomen zone from the left side and scored 1:35 later to tie the score, 9-9, at the 5:57 mark. Nguyen put Southern Maine on top, 10-9, 24 seconds later when she took a pass from Forster and beat Carbone to complete her first career hat trick.
Kelly scored her third goal, off an assist from Nguyen, less than a minute later to give the Huskies some insurance at 11-9.
Ricci pulled the Anchorwomen within one, 11-10, on an unassisted goal with 2:17 left, but Southern Maine senior Samantha Purcell (Durham, Maine/Lisbon) answered at the 1:26 mark off a nice pass from Forster and freshman Sarah Pelligrinelli (Southington, Conn.) scored the Huskies' final goal with 1:01 remaining to secure the 13-10 win.
In the opening half, Ricci and Signoriello each scored three times to give the Anchorwomen a 6-3 edge before LaPlante and Kelly converted free-position attempts to cut the margin to 6-5 at the break.
RIC pushed the lead to 9-6 in the opening 13 minutes of the second half on goals by Ricci, Signoriello and junior Sophie Kanno (Cranston, R.I./Cranston East) while USM could only counter with a marker from Santo.
Southern Maine returns to the field when they travel to Lewiston, Maine, to take on Bates College in a non-conference game on Thursday (5:00 p.m.). Rhode Island College will host Simmons College in a non-conference game on Saturday (12:00 p.m.).