Women's Lacrosse Cruises Past Plymouth in NCAA First Round

Bea Eppler scored a career-high four goals in the win.
Bea Eppler scored a career-high four goals in the win.

Middlebury had little trouble with Plymouth State, as the eighth-ranked Panthers (14-4) picked up a 13-1 victory in an NCAA first-round contest on Kohn Field. The home team advances to Sunday's second round, where it will meet third-ranked Colby (15-3) at 1:00 p.m. Plymouth State ends its season with a record of 11-4.

Middlebury took a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals from Mary O'Connell 31 seconds apart in the first 1:35 of the game. Bea Eppler cut to the goal and scored with a shot to the upper corner of the net to make it 3-0, before O'Connell found a cutting Hollis Perticone at the 24:17 mark for a 4-0 lead.

Kate Zecca and Emma McDonagh converted free-position shots, before Sara DiCenso gave her team a 7-0 advantage after a dish from Perticone at the 14:52 mark. O'Connell netted her third of the half with a shot to the top-left corner of the net with 4:57 remaining, before DiCenso closed the half with a free-position tally with 23 ticks on the clock.

Plymouth State had a good look in the final seconds of the half, but a big save from Panther goalkeeper Kate Furber on Kimmie Zuccaro kept it a 9-0 game.

DiCenso picked up where she left off in the first half, scoring the first goal of the second session just 58 seconds in after a nice feed from O'Connell. Eppler scored the final three Panther goals, two of them assisted by Zecca.

Plymouth State got on the board with 4:00 remaining when Megan Tingley found Caroline Vonachen, who quickly redirected the pass into the back of the net.

Eppler finished with a career-best four goals, while O'Connell netted three with two assists to lead Middlebury in scoring. DiCenso finished with three tallies, while Zecca had a goal and two assists. Alex White earned three ground balls and caused two turnovers on the afternoon. Furber made four first-half saves to earn the win, while Alex Freedman and Julia Keith split second-half duties.

Zuccaro earned a team-high three draws for Plymouth State, Meg Lunetta scooped up a pair of ground balls, while Vonachen had a goal and a caused turnover. Meg Brault made 14 saves between the pipes for the Panthers.

Middlebury held a 36-7 shots advantage, led 17-7 in ground balls and forced 22 Plymouth State turnovers.