Panek notches 100th career goal to propel Falcons past Buccaneers on senior day
FITCHBURG, Mass. – The Fitchburg State University women's lacrosse team was in action this afternoon, defeating the Buccaneers of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 10-7 in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action at Elliot Field.
Senior Kayla Panek sparked the Falcons offense, totaling a game-best seven points on four goals and three assists, including her 100th career tally to go along with three ground balls and one draw control, while sophomore Anna Gagnon-Burch chipped in with two points on one score and one helper as well as one draw control.
For the Buccaneers, senior Ashley Solari finished with three points on two goals and one assists as well as three ground balls, one draw control and three caused turnovers, while junior Stephanie Hunt added two markers and one assist for three points to go along with one draw control.
Fitchburg State opened the contest on a 4-0 run on a pair of goals by Panek and one each from senior Ali Laferriere and freshman Rebecca Fisher. Mass. Maritime responded with back-to-back tallies from Solari and Hunt to make the score 4-2 going into the break.
Following the intermission, the Buccaneers cut the deficit to (4-3) as Solari notched her second goal of the contest before the Green and Gold answered back on scores by Panek and newcomer Tracy Long to extend the lead to 6-3.
Mass. Maritime battled back however on goals from freshman Cammi Balentine and Hunt to reduce the lead back to one (6-5). With the score 7-6, the Falcons secured the win as freshman Molly Richard, senior Andrea Comeau and Panek pushed Fitchburg State's lead to 10-6 before senior Stephanie O'Connor capped the scoring for the Buccaneers, resulting in the 10-7 final.
Throughout the contest, Fitchburg State held a 33-19 advantage in shot, while also finishing with a 26-21 margin in ground balls. In goal, sophomore Marguerite Belcher stopped ten shots for the Falcons in 60 minutes of work, while junior Mikayla Correia made 21 saves for the Buccaneers in the complete game effort.
Prior to the contest, the Fitchburg State women's lacrosse team honored nine seniors playing in their final regular season. From Mass. Maritime, #3 Kianna Carpenter, #4 Dahlia Seggelin, #6 Ashley Solari, #7 Stephanie O'Connor and #30 Christina Murphy. From Fitchburg State, #10 Kayla Panek, #11 Maddie Driscoll, #14 Andrea Comeau and #18 Ali Laferriere.
With the win, Fitchburg State improves to 10-7 overall and 4-3 in MASCAC action and will host the fifth seeded Vikings of Salem State University on Tuesday in quarterfinal round action of the MASCAC Women's Lacrosse tournament at 7 p.m. Mass. Maritime concludes its season with an overall record of 2-10 and a 1-6 mark in conference play.