Spartans Wrap up Non-Conference Schedule with Norwich

Castleton, Vt. - The Spartans will host Norwich on Thursday, Sept. 19 in the team's final non-conference tune-up before beginning their grueling season slate against the North Atlantic Conference. 

The Spartans enter Thursday's game with a 3-3 record, after falling 3-0 to RPI on Saturday, Sept. 14. The Engineers outshot the Spartans 20-6, keeping them from generating any substantial attack chances. Leading scorer Mallory Costello was held without a shot in the game. 

Costello has netted five goals, dished off three assists, and accumulated 13 points on the season, leading the team in each scoring area. Besides Costello, all of the Spartans' goal scorers this season have been first year players. 

Morgan Young has notched three goals while Allison Vachon, Dominique Valancius, and Nicole Wershoven each have two goals. Kaileen Banks and Haley Stewart have each tallied one apiece. Junior midfielder Jenna Bostwick sits atop the team, tied with Costello at three assists. Valancius has notched two, and six different Spartans have one.

In net, Jessica Binkowski has proved to be solid in her first year between the pipes for the Spartans. Binkowski has allowed just nine goals in six games, and has turned away 20 opponent attempts. 

The Norwich Cadets have begun their season on a four-game skid, falling to the likes of North Atlantic Conference opponents Johnson St. (2-0) and Colby-Sawyer (5-1). The squad has been held to just one goal all season. 

The Spartans and Cadets have not met since Sept. 21, 2010 when Castleton downed Norwich 4-1. Despite being outshot 20-17, Castleton was able to net four goals against the Cadets, burying their in-state rivals. 

In home games coming immediately after a loss on the road, the Spartans are 3-0-1 since 2009. The last time the Spartans lost a game at home immediately following a road loss was October 15, 2008 when the squad fell to Plymouth St. 3-2. 

Castleton will look to hone their skills and polish their form as they prepare for their NAC opener. The Spartans begin their conference schedule Saturday, Sept. 21 when they travel to New England College.