LOWELL, Mass. – The Dartmouth women’s lacrosse team and first-year head coach Danielle Spencer began the 2017 season on a high note Saturday afternoon, defeating UMass Lowell, 11-9.

Senior Courtney Weisse notched a career-high five goals in the win as the Big Green opened the season with a victory for the third straight year. Her last goal of the game broke a tie and proved to be the game winner, her first since April 25, 2015 at Columbia as a freshman.

“Our staff is excited about some of the things we saw today in our first game, individually and collectively,” Spencer said. “Tomorrow we will get back to work and prepare for a tough UNH opponent on Wednesday.”

Despite no points, Kathryn Giroux might’ve had the most dominating day of any player on the field. No other player in the 45-year history of the Big Green has ever had 10 draw controls in a single game, a figure Giroux reached Saturday afternoon in Lowell. Nine draws had been four times, including three times, all in the past five years, but Giroux’s 10 are a new benchmark for the Dartmouth program.

The visitors also got a pair of goals each from Taryn Deck and Cara DePippo. For the latter, it was the first two goals of her career with both separated by just three minutes in the opening portion of the first half.

Sophomore Elizabeth Mastrio and Katie Bourque each found the back of the net once in the game. For Bourque, it was the first goal of her career in addition to an assist in the game as she made her Dartmouth debut alongside four other members of the Class of 2020.

One of those new faces making her debut on Saturday was freshman goalkeeper Kiera Vrindten who started and played the opening 41 minutes. Vrindten stopped eight, while allowing just three in picking up her first career win.

Sophomore Charlotte Wahle came in for the final 19 minutes and change, making an additional two saves.

The River Hawks got a trio of goals from Jane Dudley and two each from Kristina Keith and Taylor Sokol in the loss. Goalkeeper Courtney Barrett stopped 11 and allowed the same number, playing all 60 minutes in the circle.

The Big Green held a 7-3 edge at intermission and then an 8-3 lead in the opening minutes before the home team notched-six-of-the-next-seven goals, tying the game at 9-9 with 12:09 remaining.

Weisse answered back, notching her fifth of the afternoon to regain the lead, 10-9, before Mastrio added the insurance marker with 7:21 left in regulation. That goal all but solidified the River Hawks’ second straight season-opening loss at the hands of the Green and White.

The visitors held an overwhelming edge in draw controls (18-4) that helped them to a 35-30 advantage in shots as well.

Dartmouth is back in action Wednesday afternoon at in-state rival New Hampshire in Durham.