BANGOR, Maine — Wednesday afternoon’s women’s lacrosse game against first-year program Rivier College gave some of Husson University’s players a case of déjà vu.
It was only a year ago they were in the same position, struggling to make and cleanly control passes, generate offense, and slow down the opposition’s attack.
Not that the Eagles were going to take it easy on the Raiders of Nashua, N.H., especially under steady rain that began as a mist and turned into a soaking shower.
Although senior attacker Shelby Bradford of Lee scored six goals and assisted on three others to help lead Husson to a 27-8 victory at Boucher Field, the postgame buzzword was balance, as in offensive balance.
“The big thing for us is we had 10 different players score today,” said Husson head coach Mark Hundhammer. “We’re trying to spread out the attack. It makes it pretty tough to defend when we’ve got a number of different people scoring.”
Six different players scored the first six goals for the Eagles, who are now 3-1-1 overall.
“It’s great this year we have so many people who can attack so teams can’t really key in on any one person,” said Bradford.
Junior attacker Megan Clement of Brunswick did just that, scoring the game’s first goal 17 seconds unassisted on a break to the white line en route to five goals and two assists.
Sophomore attacker Alex Laniewski had four goals — three in the second half. Other big scorers included senior defender Alex Huffman (three goals), sophomore attacker Jami Ladd (two goals), junior midfielder Caitlyn Butterfield (two goals, one assist), and freshman attacker Kim Gambon (two goals).
“Just basically, in terms of the catching and throwing and being able to put the ball where you want it, there’s been quite an improvement from last year to now,” said Butterfield. “Our transition was pretty good today, and we also settled it well to be able to control the game more.”
Meanwhile, Husson’s defense was limiting scoring chances by 0-3 Rivier. Kristen Capen, a freshman field hockey player from Leeds who had never played lacrosse before this fall, made 10 saves.
“We had to work hard on defense, despite the score,” said Butterfield.
Husson outshot Rivier 41-19.
“We want to be better defending and smarter, especially with our midfield defense,” Hundhammer said. “The key for us today was draw controls and also our transition to attack.”
Rivier was led by Lauren Bett, a freshman attacker from Otisfield who had three goals and one assist. Junior Natalie Bonvie had a goal and two assists.
“We look for little victories like getting ground balls, being the first person to the ball and executing fundamentals,” said Rivier coach Mary Maruszewski. “We’re implementing plays and putting plays in, but it’s a slow pace.”
Hundhammer can sympathize.
“We were in that same situation last year,” he said. “I have players who just started last year and they’ve definitely developed. Plus we’ve added some players with experience and that helps.”