March 26, 2012

            Middlebury improved to 3-0 on the season with a 16-5 road win at Skidmore on Wednesday. The Panthers got out to a fast start as seniors Elizabeth Garry (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) and Stephanie Gill (Hingham, Mass.) scored 22 seconds apart to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. Lauren Madden answered right back for Skidmore taking a pass from Lexi Melville to cut the lead to 2-1 at 21:13.  But the seventh-ranked Panthers came back strong, going on an 8-0 run behind three goals from sophomore Liza Herzog (Baltimore, Md.) to take a 10-1 lead.

The Thoroughbreds responded with back-to-back goals from Christy Sutherland and Madden to chip away at the lead, but junior Ellen Halle (Upperco, Md.) capped off the scoring in the half with a free position goal to give Middlebury an 11-3 lead at the half.

The Panthers scored the first three goals of the second half before Melville and Robin Fetterolf tallied goals to answer back for Skidmore, but Middlebury scored the final two goals of the game to earn the 16-5 victory.

Madden finished with two goals, while Melville had a goal and an assist and Ali Evans finished with three ground balls and three draw controls.  Rachel Klein finished with eight saves in goal.

            For the Panthers, Gill tallied a game-high five points on three goals and two assists, while Herzog and Garry each had three points and junior Margaret Souther (Scarsdale, N.Y.) had a goal and six draw controls.  Senior Lily Nguyen (Oakland, Calif.) earned the win in goal, while sophomore Alyssa Palomba (Shrewsbury, Mass.) finished with one save in the final 14:20.

            Middlebury won its home-opener on Saturday, as the Panthers cruised to a 19-6 win over Wesleyan on Kohn Field. Junior Michaela Colbert (Topsfield, Mass.), Halle and Herzog each scored four goals to pace the Middlebury offense.

            Middlebury came out flying, taking a 3-1 lead in the game’s first 2:38. The Panthers followed with six straight goals to take a 9-1 advantage with 11:38 remaining in the first half. Two three-goal runs of just over a minute each aided the early offensive outburst. Herzog scored four of the first 11 Middlebury goals, with a pair from Colbert and two assists from Gill.

            Following a Wesleyan tally from Kaylin Berger with 9:52 remaining in the half, the Panthers scored the final four goals of the session to take a 13-2 lead into the halftime break. Colbert found the back of the net twice during the run, converting a nice feed from behind the net by junior Emma Kramer (Riverside, Conn.) at the 9:27 mark. Halle closed out the first half scoring on a free position goal with six seconds remaining.

            Halle picked up where she left off in the first half, curling around the goal to make it a 14-2 game at the 24:21 mark of the second half. The Panthers later extended the lead to 17-3 when rookie Colleen Sullivan (Madison, N.J.) converted a cross-crease pass from junior Dani DeMarco (Norwell, Mass.) with 12:45 remaining.

            Wesleyan answered with a three-goal run, getting tallies from Berger, Madeline Coulter and Leah Sherman to cut the advantage to 17-6 with 6:45 left to play. Halle added her fourth of the game, while DeMarco closed out the scoring at the 3:07 mark.

            Seven solo goals accompanied Middlebury’s three four-goal efforts. DeMarco, Kramer, first-year player Katie Ritter (Middlebury, Vt.), Garry and junior Alice Pfeifer (Chevy Chase, Md.) each had a goal and an assist, while Gill dished out two helpers. Nguyen earned the win with four saves in 42 minutes, while Palomba stopped three shots in 18 minutes of action.

            Seventh-ranked Middlebury finished an impressive weekend with a 16-5 victory at #10 Tufts in a NESCAC game on Sunday afternoon at Bello Field. Garry scored five goals and Nguyen backed a strong defensive effort with six saves in goal.

The Panthers, who won 19-6 at home against Wesleyan yesterday, outscored two conference opponents by a combined total of 35-11 over the weekend. They improved to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in NESCAC. Tufts dropped its second straight and is now 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the league.

The visitors got out to a 3-0 lead including two goals by Ritter. Jumbo Lara Kozin set up goals by Kerry Eaton and Gabby Horner making it 3-2, but that's as close as the Jumbos would get. The Panthers finished the half with six unanswered goals to lead 9-2 at intermission. Garry, Colbert and Souther tallied two goals apiece during the run.

Middlebury was strong as they scored the first three goals of the second half including two by Garry. That gave the Panthers a 12-2 lead and the game went to running time for the next six-plus minutes.

Tufts showed a hint of momentum when Kozin again assisted a pair of scores by Kelly Hyland and Sterling Champion for a 12-4 score. Middlebury answered with the next three to go up 15-4 and cruise to the victory.

Middlebury's Garry added an assist for a six-point game. Ritter finished with three goals and two assists, while Colbert tallied three times. Herzog was in the middle of an excellent defensive game for the Panthers with four groundballs and four caused turnovers. Sophomore Hannah Deoul  (Stevenson, Md.) finished with five groundballs. Colbert led the Panthers with three draw controls.
• Women’s lacrosse record: 5-0
• Up next: 3/28 @ Colorado College, 3/31 vs. Bowdoin – 12:00