Women's Lacrosse Drops NCAA Semi To Salisbury

May 19, 2007

Middlebury saw its season come to an end with a hard-fought 8-7 loss to Salisbury in an NCAA semifinal contest played at William Smith College. The Panthers were making their 14th consecutive trip to the semifinals and end their season at 16-2.

Robyn Bishop scored with 33 seconds remaining to lift Salisbury to the 8-7 victory over Middlebury. Bishop and Natalie Degele paced Salisbury (21-1) with two goals apiece.

Degele set the stage for Bishop's heroics. With the Sea Gulls trailing 7-6, she scored an unassisted goal, her 45th of the season, to tie the contest for the sixth and final time with 4:04 remaining. Bishop won the ensuing draw, but both teams committed a pair of turnovers in the waning minutes, adding to the drama.

Bishop was fouled inside the fan to set up her game-winner, but the sophomore wasn't sure if she should take the shot or look to pass. Bishop's shot beat goalie Blair Bowie to the lower left corner of the cage. The sophomore finished with seven saves, as did Salisbury sophomore Sonja Stuart, who earned the win.

The result was reminiscent of the teams' first meeting this season on March 27, a contest the Sea Gulls won 11-10. Precious little separated these two teams today as well, but Salisbury held a convincing 11-6 advantage on draws and scored on three free-position shots compared to just one for the Panthers.

With just under eight minutes left, Middlebury seniors Kim Walker and Claire Edelen seemed to give the Panthers (16-2) the momentum. Walker stripped a Sea Gull of possession in the Middlebury's defensive zone, collected the ground ball and threw a pass to Edelen near midfield. Edelen, who had a game-high three points on two goals and an assist, raced to the cage and gave the Panthers just their second lead of the day, 7-6.

The first half was as tight as can be with the teams heading into the break tied 5-5. Salisbury staked itself to an early 3-1 lead thanks to goals by senior Stephanie Shores, senior Kelly Mulligan, and Bishop. The Panthers rallied with four of the next six scores, including Amanda Smith's goal at the 23:34 mark that tied the game at 5-all. She also scored Middlebury's first goal of the game and was the only player to record multiple points in the first half.

Edelen, Smith and Katherine Entiwisle had two goals apiece to pace Middlebury, while Edelen added an assist. Edelen and Kate Perry were named to the All-Tournament team.

Middlebury SCORING: GOALS: Claire Edelen 2; Katherine Entwisle 2; Amanda Smith 2; Dana Heritage 1.  ASSISTS: Claire Edelen 1; Caroline Kirkendoll 1.

Salisbury SCORING: GOALS: Natalie Degele 2; Robyn Bishop 2; Kelly Mulligan 1; Stephanie Shores 1; Jessica Liston 1; Alexis Morrell 1. ASSISTS: Beth Rhodey 1.


GOALIES - MIDWLX: Blair Bowie 16-2 (60:00 minutes, 15 shots-7 saves, 8 GA); SAL: Sonja Stuart 4-0 (60:00, 14-7, 7).