April 19, 2010

The Middlebury College women's lacrosse team had a tough week with three losses, two of them coming on the road. The weekend ended as Middlebury dropped its third straight game as the Panthers fell 12-8 at fifth-ranked Trinity on Saturday. Trinity improves to 10-1 overall and 6-1 in the NESCAC with their second win in a row and their first over the Panthers in the last 20 meetings between the teams. Trinity's last win against Middlebury was a 7-6 triumph in 1989 and the Bantams are now 8-19 all-time against the Panthers.  Middlebury, ranked No. 11 nationally, drops to 5-6 overall and 3-4 in the league with their third consecutive loss.

            Trinity's Rachel Romanowsky had three goals and an assist to lead Trinity to the win. The Bantams jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first seven minutes, as Megan Leonhard opened the scoring with a free-position goal 41 seconds into the contest and Romanowsky assisted Caitlin Irvine on a goal 22 seconds later before scoring her first of the day at the 27:25 mark. Alisen Urquhart scored twice in the next 10 minutes to help the Bantams to an 8-2 advantage with 2:30 left before the break.

            Middlebury senior Dana Heritage (Cheshire, Conn.) scored the first of her three tallies to cut the Trinity lead to 8-3 with two minutes remaining in the first half, but Leonhard converted the fifth Bantam free-position opportunity in six tries of the first half with 59 seconds on the clock.

            Irvine scored on yet another free position 1:06 into the second half, but was answered by Heritage at the 25:12 mark.  Trinity midfielder Sarah Remes and Romanowsky each scored goals to give the Bantams their biggest lead at 12-4 with 16:48 on the clock, but Middlebury rattled off four unanswered scores to pull back within four at 12-8 with 5:50 left in the game. Junior Sally Ryan (Mountain Lakes, N.J) assisted rookie Margaret Souther (Scarsdale, N.Y.) on the first goal of the spurt at the 14:20 mark, and scored the second on a free position with 6:32 left to play. Souther fed Heritage on a goal 11 seconds later, while first-year player Michaela Colbert (Topsfield, Mass.)  found sophomore Elizabeth Garry (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) for a goal 31 seconds after that.  Middlebury won the ensuing draw, but Trinity goalie Gina Dinallo stopped Souther on a one-on-one chance and took possession of the ball.

            Trinity successfully maintained possession for the final 5:21 of the game to squelch the Panther rally. Dinallo finished with nine saves and three ground balls, while Liz Bruno collected four ground balls and caused three turnovers for Trinity.  Ryan finished with three goals and one assist, while senior Catherine Gotwald (Alexandria, Va.) picked up a game-high five ground balls, and sophomore Lily Nguyen (Oakland, Calif.) made 14 saves in the Middlebury goal.

            #12 Union led 10-6 and held off a late Middlebury rally, on its way to an 11-10 road win on Middlebury College's Kohn Field on Tuesday.

            Trailing 2-0, junior Chase Delano (Greenwich, Conn.) scored a pair to tie the game with 8:34 left in the first half. Union answered with two goals of its own, including a free position tally from Kristin Joyce late in the half to take a 4-2 lead into the intermission.

            Middlebury tied the game at 4-4, before Union scored six of the next eight goals to take a 10-6 lead with 12:06 remaining. Joyce scored twice during the first three-goal run, with Chelsea Charette earning a pair of assists. Following a pair of Panther tallies, Joyce again scored twice with two helpers to Melissa Hine, making it a 10-6 game.

            Souther put Middlebury back on track at 10:30, before rookie Ellen Halle (Upperco, Md.) cut quickly to the goal and scored to make it a 10-8 game with 8:54 remaining. First-year player Heather Marrison (Brewster, N.Y.) converted a nice feed from Ryan with 5:44 left cutting the lead to 10-9.

            Middlebury won the ensuing draw control, but turned the ball over as Joyce scored her seventh of the game to put Union up 11-9 with 3:07 remaining.

            Union won the draw control and turned it over, as Delano quickly redirected a pass from Ryan to make it a one-goal game with 1:10 left to play.

            Middlebury won the draw control with a chance to tie the game, but Lizzy Moran stripped a Panther cutting to the goal and recovered the ground ball, as Union ran out the clock.

            Joyce led all scorers with seven, giving her 44 goals in 10 games this season. Jill LaForest added three goals for Union, as Kat Egizi picked up five ground balls and caused four turnovers. Delano paced the Panthers with four goals, while Souther and Halle each scored twice.

            Nguyen made six saves for Middlebury, as did Cat Ruggiero for Union. The statistics were relatively even, with Union holding a 15-10 edge in ground balls and Middlebury earning 13 of 22 draw controls.

            The 20th-ranked Amherst women's lacrosse team held visiting Middlebury to only one second half goal Thursday evening at Gooding Field, as the Lord Jeffs earned an 8-5 victory to mark their first win over the Panthers since 2003.

            The teams alternated goals in a back-and-forth first half, with Middlebury needing only 24 seconds to strike first. Sophomore Stephanie Gill (Hingham, Mass.) gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead on an assist from Halle, marking the fastest goal Middlebury has scored and the quickest Amherst has allowed this season.

            Amherst tied the game 1:04 later when Wyatt Davis took a pass from Kelley Trapp netting the equalizer. Gill would get the lead back nearly four minutes later on an unassisted tally for a 2-1 lead.  The Jeffs made it a 2-2 game 11:13 into the contest, but the Panthers regained the lead at 3-2  when rookie Michaela Colbert (Topsfield, Mass.) beat the Lord Jeff goalie on an unassisted tally with 10 minutes remaining in the half.

Lindsey Moran would break the scoring pattern for Amherst scoring a pair of goals at 20:42 and 24:25 respectively giving the Lord Jeffs their first lead of the game at 4-3. Moran's second tally came immediately after Middlebury came up with a big stop on a free position shot.

            The Panthers knotted the score at four apiece before halftime when Ryan put home an unassisted goal after Middlebury forced a turnover deep in their zone with less than three minutes to play. The visitors had a chance to take the lead with two minutes remaining in the half, but Amherst's goalie Lamia Harik stymied Middlebury with a point-blank save.

            Kathleen Scheld gave Amherst a 5-4 advantage on a free position attempt 1:37 into the second half, and it would take nearly 20 minutes for the game's next goal. Amherst controlled the tempo and maintained possession during the majority of the scoring drought, forcing Nguyen to come up with a pair of outstanding saves during the stretch.

            Marta Randall finally broke through to give Amherst a 6-4 lead with an unassisted score 21:31 into the half, but Delano cut the lead to 6-5 with an unassisted goal two and a half minutes later. It took Davis only 45 seconds to hand momentum right back to Amherst, making it a 7-5 game with 5:12 to play.

            The Panthers could not find a solution for Harik and the stingy Amherst defense in the waning moments, and Randall added an insurance goal with 43.3 seconds remaining in regulation to seal the victory.

            Davis, Randall, and Moran each had two goals for Amherst. Harik made 10 saves between the pipes to earn her seventh win. Meredith LaRose caused seven turnovers and picked up six ground balls, while Scheld added five ground balls and four caused turnovers. Gill scored her team's first two goals as the only Panther with multiple points on the day. Nguyen made nine saves for the visitors, as Amherst held a slim 21-18 advantage in shots. The Jeffs won the ground ball battle, 24-11.

            Middlebury had won each of the past nine meetings and 16 of the past 17, with Amherst's lone win during that stretch coming in the 2003 NCAA title game. The Jeffs had not defeated the Panthers in the regular season since an 11-10 result in 2000. Entering Thursday's game with an 80-5 all-time record in NESCAC play since the conference's championship format began in 2001, Middlebury has dropped three conference games in a season for the first time ever.

• Women's lacrosse record: 5-6

• Up next: 4/24 @ Tufts