April 25, 2011

            Senior Sally Ryan (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) scored the game-winning goal with 14:10 remaining in the second half, and the #11 Middlebury women's lacrosse team made it stand up for a 10-9 victory at #13 Tufts in NESCAC action at Bello Field on Saturday.

            Tufts sophomore Kerry Eaton scored at 14:22 of the second half to produce the game's sixth tie at 9-9. Ryan collected the ensuing draw for Middlebury, dashed down the field and fired home the deciding goal. She finished with three goals and an assist, while sophomore Margaret Souther (Scarsdale, N.Y.) led the Panthers (9-4, 5-3 NESCAC) with four goals, two assists and six draw controls.

The one-goal loss is the third for Tufts (10-4, 5-3 NESCAC) against NESCAC's upper-echelon teams. They lost to Colby 11-10 and to Trinity 9-8. The Jumbos were led by two goals and two assists from current NESCAC Player of the Week Lara Kozin, while junior Casey Egan finished with a goal and two assists.

            The Panthers took an early 3-0 lead, with sophomore Ellen Halle (Upperco, Md.) recording a goal and an assist. Tufts rallied to tie the score at 4-4 with the help of two goals by first year Gabby Horner and two assists from Kozin. Souther scored off a pass from Ryan with 4:30 remaining in the half to put the visitors up 5-4 at intermission.

After the teams scored nine goals total in the first half, they combined for 10 in the first 16 minutes of the second half. Goals by Eaton and Kozin gave Tufts a 6-5 advantage, but Middlebury responded with scores from Souther and Ryan to lead 7-6. The teams traded the next six goals back-and-forth, including Ryan's winner.

            Junior goalkeeper Lily Nguyen (Oakland, Calif.) saved a Jumbo free-position shot, but the Panthers were soon whistled for a yellow card at 10:01. However, Tufts was called for a false start on a free-position attempt to turn the ball over to Middlebury. The Panthers were able to kill the rest of the penalty with possession.

The Panthers ran the clock down to around two minutes, but Tufts junior Kelly Cakert caused a turnover and scooped up the ground ball. After a Tufts time-out, the Jumbos turned the ball over before they could get a shot off and Middlebury was able to finish off the victory.

The Jumbos finished with slight edges in draw controls (12-9) and ground balls (13-11). Cakert and junior Stephanie Perez both controlled three draws. Junior Emily Pillemer led the hosts with four ground balls. Senior Sara Bloom made five saves during 60 minutes of action in goal.

sophomore Michaela Colbert (Topsfield, Mass.), scored a goal and was one of four Panther players to finish with two ground balls. Nguyen finished with four saves.

            Leading 2-1, Middlebury scored the game’s next 14 goals on its way to a 19-2 win over Skidmore (9-6) on Kohn Field. The 11th-ranked Panthers improve to 8-4 with the win and return to action at Tufts on Saturday. Middlebury has now won all 24 meetings between the schools.

            Trailing 2-0, Lindsay Stavola scored from close range to cut the Panther lead in half. Junior Lucy Jackson (Bronxsville, N.Y.) converted a feed from Halle from behind the net, before Middlebury ran off four goals in a 1:39 span to take a 7-1 advantage on a free position tally from Ryan at the 13:04 mark. The Panthers later scored twice in 18 seconds before adding three more first half scores for a 12-1 lead at the break.

            Souther scored with a side-arm shot around a defender early in the second half, before Ryan quickly converted a feed from Halle at the 24:26 mark. Halle followed with a pair of free position tallies, giving the Panthers a 16-1 advantage. Skidmore’s Kimberly Segalas broke up the scoring drought with 7:41 remaining, driving to the goal and converting after a feed from Stavola. Sophomore Dani DeMarco (Norwell, Mass.) scored from sophomore Alice Pfeifer (Chevy Chase, Md.), before feeding rookie Casey Flight (Dover, Mass.) for her first career tally with 2:25 remaining.

            Ryan led all scorers with six goals, followed by Jackson with three and Halle with two goals and two assists. Colbert won six draw controls in the contest. Segalas had a goal and three draw controls for Skidmore, while Stavola earned a goal, an assist and two caused turnovers.

            Nguyen made five saves in 53 minutes, while rookie Alyssa Palomba (Shrewsbury, Mass.) saw seven minutes of action for Middlebury. Rachel Klein made eight saves in 53 minutes of action for the Thoroughbreds, while Lexi Melville played the final 17 minutes.
• Women’s lacrosse record: 9-4
• Up next: 4/29 @ Williams, 5/1 – NESCAC Quarterfinals vs. TBA – 12:00