April 20, 2009

The Middlebury College women's lacrosse team got back on track last week with a pair of NESCAC wins. The Panthers have secured a first-round home game for the upcoming NESCAC Tournament, and will host a quarterfinals contest on Saturday, April 26th at noon.

Middlebury got back on track with a 10-8 win over Amherst in a NESCAC game played on Kohn Field. Amherst controlled play for much of the first half, holding an 18-5 shots advantage as they took a 3-1 lead into the intermission. Trailing 1-0, the Jeffs scored twice in a 2:32 span to take a 2-1 lead. Lindsey Moran made it a 3-1 game at 4:42, scoring from a tough angle with an assist from Robyn Lightner.

Junior Dana Heritage (Cheshire, Conn.) converted a free position, followed by a tally from sophomore Chase Delano (Greenwich, Conn.) at the 19:01 mark of the second half to tie the game at 3-3. Moran then scored her third of the game for the Jeffs, followed by a shot to the low part of the net from Amy Craig to re-establish a two-goal lead at 5-3. The Panthers answered with a key 5-0 run over a 7:30 span to take an 8-5 advantage.

Free position goals from Heritage and Delano opened and closed the decisive run for the Panthers. First-year players Elizabeth Garry (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) and Hannah Epstein (Pennington, N.J.), along with senior Alice Demmerle (Greenwich, Conn.) also scored as Middlebury took a three-goal lead. Allie Horwitz answered for Amherst at 6:19, before Middlebury struck for a pair of take a 10-6 lead with 4:20 remaining. Garry scored the first with a feed from senior Lindsay McBride (Old Greenwich, Conn.), before Epstein scored the team's final goal. The two goals on the afternoon from Epstein were the first two of her career. Amherst scored a pair of late goals to make it a 10-8 final.

Delano paced the Panthers with three goals, while Heritage, Garry and Epstein netted two apiece. Senior Blair Bowie (Washington, D.C.) made 11 saves in goal to earn the win. Moran netted three goals to pace the Jeffs, while Horwitz scored a pair. Lamia Harik made eight saves between the pipes for Amherst. Middlebury outshot Amherst 22-8 in the second half, holding a 27-26 advantage in the game.

On Saturday, Middlebury earned its second NESCAC win of the week on Kohn Field as the 10th ranked Panthers defeated #8 Trinity, 18-9. Middlebury outshot Trinity 38-16 in the game, including 21-6 in the first half. The Panthers took advantage of 30 Trinity turnovers in the contest, as Bowie was forced to make just four saves en route to the win.

The Panthers wasted little time, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first 5:51 of the game. Delano opened the scoring, before a pair of transition goals from Garry and sophomore Sally Ryan (Mountain Lakes, N.J.). Caitlin Irvine converted a free position to put the Bantams on the board at 23:36, before Heritage and Garry found the back of the net to make it a 5-1 game. Jenn Calver converted a free position shot, followed by a goal from Rachel Romanowsky to keep the Bantams close at 5-3 with 18:10 remaining in the first half.

Middlebury took control of the game in the final 11:35 of the first half, scoring seven times to take a 12-3 lead into the intermission. Heritage and Delano each scored twice during the run that ended with a free position goal by Heritage.

Trinity came out strong in the second half, scoring four of the first five goals to cut the lead to 13-7. Irvine scored three of the tallies, with the fourth coming from Jesse Schultz at the 16:33 mark. Ryan answered for the Panthers before Schultz converted a quick stick from Romanowsky to make it a 14-8 game with 9:34 left to play.

The Panthers closed the game on a 5-0 run to emerge with an 18-9 victory. Delano had an eight-point afternoon with six goals and two assists, while Heritage scored three times with four helpers. Ryan scored four goals with two assists, while Garry had a pair of goals. Ryan caused two turnovers, while Delano earned four draw controls.

Irvine led the Bantams with five goals, followed by Romanowsky and Schultz with two apiece. Stephanie Fisher made two saves in 20:25, while Gina Dinallo made eight stops of 39:35 minutes of relief. Liz Bruno was all over the field for Trinity, earning four ground balls, four draw controls and causing five turnovers.
. Women's lacrosse record: 7-4
. Up next: 4/24 @ Williams - 4:15, 4/26 vs. TBA - NESCAC Quarterfinals - 12:00