The Middlebury women's lacrosse team lost a tight game at Colby, falling 9-8 in a NESCAC Quarterfinal game in Maine. The Panthers finish their season at 8-7 and will miss the NCAA's for the first time since they've been eligible ('93-'94), a span of 16 years.
Middlebury won the first seven NESCAC titles after the league started a playoff system in 2001. Colby is the two-time defending champion and has now eliminated the Panthers in each of the last three years. Middlebury had never lost a quarterfinal game, with Colby winning the last two years over the Panthers in semifinal contests.
The sixth-ranked Mules (12-3 overall) led 4-2 at halftime and opened up a 9-4 margin when Kate Gragnolati tallied with 6:58 to play.
Middlebury refused to give up and scored the next four goals, the final score on a free-position shot by Margaret Souther with 2:06 to play. Suddenly the Mules only had a 9-8 margin.
Colby's Caroline Duke caused two turnovers in the final 1:46 to help the Mules regain critical possession time and run out the clock.
Amy Campbell scored two goals and two assists against Middlebury. Kate Pistel had a big all-around game with two goals, four caused turnovers, and four groundballs. Kathleen Kramer also had two goals, while Claire Donegan had one goal and two assists.
Chase Delano finished with four of Middlebury's eight goals. Heather Marrison, Sally Ryan and Elizabeth Garry also tallied for the Panthers.
Colby goalkeeper Sarah Warnke had eight of her 11 saves in the second half when Middlebury put on loads of pressure. Panther keeper Lily Nguyen also played well with nine of her 13 saves in the first half to keep Middlebury close at the break.