Women's Lacrosse Rallies Past Catholic

March 31, 2011

Middlebury topped Catholic University of America in dramatic fashion as Sally Ryan scored the final four goals of the contest, including the game-winner with less than four seconds left, for a remarkable 13-12 road win between top 20 opponents. The win gives the 12th ranked Panthers a sharp 6-0 record, while the 10th ranked Cardinals, facing a ranked team for the fifth time this year, fall to 5-2 on the season.

Ryan scored the first of her career-high seven goals to open the game at 28:39, as Michaela Colbert made it a 2-0 Middlebury lead nearly two minutes later. Kate Robinson got CUA on the board with a score at 26:02, following with another tally 47 seconds later knotting the game at two apiece. The Panthers responded with three straight scores to go in front 5-2 with 15:21 to play in the half, but Mary Swarthout brought CUA to within 5-4 with back-to-back goals. Ryan and Swarthout then traded goals in a span of 1:01, making it a 6-5 game in Middlebury’s favor going into halftime.

Ellen Halle put the visitors in front 7-5 with her goal 1:05 into the second half, but CUA’s Lindsay Davenport answered with a goal off a Swarthout assist and the Cardinals were within one with 25:29 on the clock. Elizabeth Garry’s goal with 20:03 to play put the Panthers up by two once again, but CUA stormed back with four straight scores to take its first lead of the day, 10-8.  Swarthout scored two of the goals, while Davenport and Kelly Ryan added one each.

Middlebury’s Ryan scored her third goal of the day on a free position shot with 9:16 left in the game to make it a one-goal affair, but Kate Robinson and Swarthout scored two straight for the Cardinals in a span of 51 seconds, giving CUA a seemingly comfortable 12-9 advantage with 6:43 remaining. But the Cardinals simply had no answer for Middlebury’s Ryan, who took over in the final minutes. 

With 2:48 remaining, Swarthout picked up a yellow card that opened the door for Ryan’s dramatics. Ryan scored the first of her final four goals with 2:25 remaining, cutting the deficit to 12-10. She continued with two more scores in the next 1:18 to tie the game at 12 with a just over a minute to play.  The Panthers won the ensuing draw control and let the clock run down as they worked the ball around.  Ryan eventually got it and knifed her way towards the goal for the game’s final shot, which found the back of the net with 3.9 seconds remaining. Middlebury won the final draw control and ran the clock out to hold on for the exciting non-conference win.

Ryan’s seven goals and Halle’s two scores and an assist paced Middlebury. Hannah Epstein led the visitors with six ground balls and Ryan won a game-high five draw controls and also caused a pair of turnovers. Lily Nguyen went the first 56:31 in goal for the Panthers and stopped six shots during that time before giving way to Alyssa Palomba for the final 3:29.

Mary Swarthout had an impressive outing for the Cardinals with six goals and three assists, as Kate Robinson added a hat-trick and a pair of assists. Gabby Sena sent back nine shots in goal for the Cardinals and five different CUA players won two draw controls.

On Saturday, Middlebury is scheduled to visit NESCAC foe Colby, with the opening draw slated for noon.

Box Score