With nothing but three stern tests on the remaining schedule, the Franklin Pierce University women’s lacrosse team played host to Bentley in a pivotal Northeast-10 Conference contest at Sodexo Field on Tuesday night. In what was a defensive struggle at times, particularly in the first half, the Ravens would never lead. Bentley used a three-goal surge in the first period to take a lead it would never relinquish, while seniors Ellie Shuman (3-1-4) and Hannah Lindgren (3-0-3) scored thrice each to lead the Falcons to a 10-8 victory.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 7-5 (5-5 NE10), while Bentley improves to 6-7 (5-5 NE10).
With three games to play, Franklin Pierce and Bentley are among a three-way tie for third in the NE10, as Assumption also sits at 5-5 in the league. Technically, the Ravens are in eighth position, as they lost their head-to-head meetings with both the Falcons and the Greyhounds, which serves as the tiebreaker. With eight teams qualifying for the Conference Championship, Franklin Pierce currently holds a one-game lead over Southern New Hampshire and Saint Anselm, which both own 4-6 NE10 records. The biggest problem for the Ravens is their final three games are against three of the league’s top four teams.
The Sweeney twins carried the load offensively for the Ravens, as Briana had three goals and an assist, while Caitlin scored three goals and attempted 14 shots, and no other Franklin Pierce player tallied more than one point. Caitlin Sweeney collected six draw controls, while senior defender Leana Richards caused a pair of turnovers and picked up two ground balls.
The Ravens return to the field on Saturday, April 22, when they remain home to host Pace at 4 p.m. at Sodexo Field.