Women's Lax Headed To NESCAC Championship Game
May 5, 2012
The Middlebury women’s lacrosse team will make its eighth appearance in the NESCAC Championship game after a 7-6 win over Amherst (12-4) in a semifinal contest at Trinity. The Panthers (12-3) will take on the host school, a 9-8 overtime winner over Hamilton, in the title game at noon on Sunday. The championship game appearance will be the first for Middlebury since ’07, when they won their seventh straight title.
With the game tied at 3-3 at the break, Middlebury rattled off three straight goals in a 1:14 span and maintained the lead the rest of the way. Margaret Souther fed junior midfielder Michaela Colbert at the 24:21 mark for the first goal of the second half, and added an unassisted tally of her own 36 seconds later. Panther sophomore midfielder Liza Herzog completed the 3-0 run off a pass by junior attacker Emma Kramer with 23:07 on the clock.
Amherst cut the deficit to one goal, as sophomore Alex Philie and Allie Horwitz scored 26 seconds apart midway through the second half, but Panther senior Elizabeth Garry answered with a free-position at the 12-minute mark. Amherst controlled the draw, and Phillie beat Middlebury senior tri-captain goalie Lily Nguyen with 10:51 left to play to make the score, 7-6, in the Panthers’ favor. Middlebury attempted to kill the clock, but Amherst junior midfielder Marta Randall drew a charge to give the ball to the Lord Jeffs. Nguyen made a save on a shot by Philie, however, and the Panthers again held the ball. Horwitz finally forced a Middlebury turnover with just 15 seconds left in the game, and Amherst had the ball in its offensive end when offsetting fouls were called with five ticks on the clock and Middlebury won the throw.
The teams had traded goals over the first 11 minutes, before a Panther goal by rookie midfielder Katie Ritter gave Middlebury a 3-2 lead at the 19:34 mark. The defenses held both teams scoreless over almost the next 18 minutes, before Amherst rookie Meghan Mills converted on a free position with 1:42 left before intermission. Middlebury finished with a 14-to-7 edge on ground balls, including three to go with two goals and a pair of caused turnovers by Ritter. Philie scored twice and had five draw controls and three caused turnovers for Amherst, while sophomore Krista Zsitvay added a goal and an assist. Nguyen totaled eight saves and Lord Jeff senior Lamia Harik made five stops in the cages.