May 4, 2009

The Middlebury College women's lacrosse team has earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers will host Keene State in a first-round game on Wednesday, May 6th at 4:30. The winner of the game will advance to an NCAA Regional at Colby.

Middlebury suffered a 17-12 loss to Colby in a NESCAC semifinal game played at Tufts on Saturday. The Mules went on to win the NESCAC title with a 12-10 victory over Williams. Colby went on a six-goal run in the second half to break open a 7-7 game and come away with the win.

Colby and Middlebury were tied 6-6 at halftime. After the teams traded goals making it 7-7, Heather Nickerson and Caroline Atwater both scored twice during the 6-0 run for Colby that gave them a 13-7 advantage with 15:57 remaining in the second half. Middlebury stopped the streak with a goal by sophomore Chase Delano (Greenwich, Conn.), but Colby scored three of the next four goals and led 16-9 on Kate Sheridan's tally with 7:18 remaining. Back-to-back Middlebury goals by sophomore Sally Ryan (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) and junior Dana Heritage (Cheshire, Conn.) had them within 16-11 with 4:41 on the clock, but they would not get any closer.

The Mules and Panthers went back-and-forth in the first half. Ryan scored the game's first two goals for Middlebury, but Colby tied it at 2-2 on a goal by Amy Campbell at 16:26. Ryan had her third of the game to help Middlebury take a 4-2 edge, but the Mules responded with four straight, two by senior Becky Julian, and led 6-4. Delano and senior Caroline Kirkendoll (Telluride, Colo.) brought Middlebury even at 6-6 heading into halftime.

Middlebury's Ryan was the game's high scorer with five goals and an assist, while Delano scored four times with one assist. Senior Taryn Petrelli (Harrison, N.Y.) also had a game-high five caused turnovers, while senior goalie Blair Bowie (Washington, D.C.) finished with 10 saves (seven in the first half). Colby was led by three goals from Campbell and Atwater, who also had two assists and caused two turnovers.
. Women's lacrosse record: 9-5
. Up next: 5/6 vs. Keene State - 4:30 (NCAA First Round), if win - 5/9-10 @ NCAA Regional (Colby)