WLAX's Murtha Ties NCAA Record on Senior Day

WLAX's Murtha Ties NCAA Record on Senior Day

NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College women's lacrosse team lost a 17-14 decision to Becker College on Saturday afternoon in a New England Collegiate Conference clash at Alumni Field.

Ashley Murtha accounted for all of Mitchell's offense on the day, finishing with a career-high 14 goals on 17 shot attempts. The 14 goals tied the NCAA Division III single game record and are the most in a game this season at any NCAA level. She also netted the 200th goal of her career late in the contest, reaching the mark in just her 34th game.

Cassandra Nelson led Becker with four goals while Meghan Bealka, Taryn Flebbe and Samantha Carter added three apiece. The Hawks outshot the Mariners 49-25 and held a 25-17 edge in ground balls.

Mitchell started off hot as Murtha scored three times in the opening seven minutes for a 3-0 advantage. The Mariners held the lead until a goal by Bealka tied the game at 4-4 with 5:11 to go in the half. The two sides then traded scores for a stretch, although a late tally by Nelson gave the Hawks a 7-6 lead heading into the break.

Murtha scored twice in the first five minutes of the second half to even up the match at 8-8. However, Becker responded with five straight goals—including two from Marissa Turner—to pull ahead for good. 

The Hawks led by as many as six before Murtha scored three straight to trim the deficit to 16-13. Her goal with 2:19 to go gave her 200 for her career, and she added one more in the final seconds to tie the NCAA record. It marked the seventh time in her collegiate career that she has scored 10 or more goals in a game.

Becker goalie Nikolle Storey made seven saves in the win. Mitchell goalie Gillian MacLellan recorded a season-high 16 saves between the pipes.

Prior to the game the Mariners honored three seniors in a special ceremony. Murtha, Willeen Pun and Allina Duncan are all four-year letterwinners and have been with the program since its inception in 2014.

Mitchell (2-5 overall, 1-4 NECC) will next play at Bay Path University on Tuesday, April 18 at 3:30 p.m. Becker (4-8 overall, 3-3 NECC) returns to action at home against Regis College on Tuesday at 4 p.m.