Second-Ranked Women’s Lacrosse Tallies 2-1 Week on the Road

Kate Zecca netted a pair of goals in Thursday's victory at Montclair State.
Kate Zecca netted a pair of goals in Thursday's victory at Montclair State.

The second-ranked Middlebury women’s lacrosse team put together a 2-1 record against three opponents on the road last week. On Tuesday, fourth-ranked The College of New Jersey outscored the Panthers 7-3 in the second half for a 10-6 victory. Two days later, Middlebury scored seven of the eight goals recorded in the first half, as the Panthers went on to collect a 15-7 road win at Montclair State. Returning to NESCAC play on Saturday, Middlebury forced 20 turnovers on its way to an 11-9 win over seventh-ranked Amherst.

On Tuesday, Middlebury opened the scoring 4:37 into the contest, while TCNJ had a player serving a yellow card. Junior Jenna McNicholas (Westport, Conn.) fed classmate Emma McDonagh (Reading, Mass.) at the top of the crease, who fired a shot past Lion goalie Miranda Chrone. Rookie Erin Nicholas (Scarsdale, N.Y.) doubled the lead with 11:13 on the clock with a shot from eight yards out.

TCNJ netted its first goal with 7:13 left in the opening frame on a tally by Kathleen Jaeger. Olivia Cleale added back-to-back tallies, giving the hosts their first lead of the contest at 3-2 with 2:09 left in the half. The teams went into the break tied at 3-3, as McDonagh scored with 1:21 left in the stanza on a nice spin move five yards out from the top of the crease.

The Lions jumped back into the lead on Cleale’s third goal of the contest 6:20 into the new half. McDonagh forced the third tie of the game minutes later with a high shot from five yards out from the top of the crease. TCNJ responded with three-straight goals, as Jaeger started the burst and Amanda Muller followed by Allie Gorman each scored on free-position attempts for a 7-4 lead with 16:19 remaining.

The visitors closed to gap to two goals at 7-5, when rookie Kirsten Murphy (Bridgewater, N.J.) circled the cage and bounced a shot with 10:22 on the clock. After the Lions got the goal back, senior Georgia Carroll (Lutherville, Md.) scored from short range off a feed from McDonagh with 6:36 left in the game. Jaeger (5:09) and Muller (1:53) closed out the scoring for the hosts, making the final 10-6.

McDonagh had three goals and one assist to lead the Panthers, while Murphy, Nicholas and Carroll each scored once. Senior Hollis Perticone (Darien, Conn.) collected six draw controls, while junior Susanna Baker (Rowayton, Conn.) had a steady game with three ground balls, three caused turnovers and a draw control. Sophomore Julia Keith (North Andover, Mass.) suffered the loss in goal, finishing with six saves.

For TCNJ, Jaeger led all players with five points on three goals and two assists, while Cleale tallied three times and set up another. Elizabeth Morrison had a big game on defense for the Lions, causing 10 turnovers, gathering nine ground ball and three draw controls. Chrone picked up four saves in the win.

On Thursday, Middlebury scored on its first three possessions of the contest, as junior Casey O’Neill (Burlington, Vt.) scored from the top of the crease with 1:05 expired. Carroll and Perticone both scored on free-position attempts 12 seconds apart for a 3-0 advantage less than four minutes into the game.

The hosts got on the scoreboard with 24:28 showing when Jessica Andreula converted on a free-position attempt. The Panthers netted the final four goals of the opening stanza, with three of them coming on free-position shots. Murphy made it 4-1, before rookie Grace Getman (Portsmouth, N.H.) drove to the net on the left side and fired a shot into the upper-right corner for a four-goal cushion.

Junior Sara DiCenso (Glastonbury, Conn.) and sophomore Kate Zecca (Leesburg, Va.) closed out the scoring on plays originating from the eight-meter arc, as the Panthers went into the break holding a 7-1 edge.

The Red Hawks tallied first in the second half, as Michaelah Reynolds tucked a shot into the top-left corner on a free-position attempt. Montclair State sandwiched two goals around a score by Middlebury sophomore Emily Barnard (Wayland, Mass.), cutting the difference to 9-4 with 22:06 remaining.

The visitors went on a nice run, scoring six of the next seven goals, extending the lead to 15-5 with just under five minutes on the clock. Three of those scores came on free-position attempts, as sophomore MG Gately (Alexandria, Va.) picked up Middlebury’s final tally with 4:47 left in the stanza. The Red Hawks added two late goals by Rhiannon Brown, making it a 15-7 final.

The Panthers spread out the offense with 10 different players recording a goal. Perticone led the way with three, while Zecca, Murphy and Getman each tallied twice. Perticone led the team with four draw controls and three ground balls, while rookie Addy Mitchell (Medfield, Mass.) caused a game-high three turnovers. In goal, Keith made four saves to earn the victory.

Brown netted three goals for MSU, while Leanne McCloskey boasted eight draw controls and Allyn Lilien scooped up five ground balls. Amanda Maguire played the opening 11:50 of the game and made one save, while Lilien made 11 stops the rest of the way.

Middlebury held a 38-14 advantage in shots and a 27-18 edge in ground balls. The Panthers finished 8-18 on free-position shots and the Red Hawks went 5-8.

In Saturday’s contest at Amherst, the Panthers trailed 2-0 before Barnard and Carroll tied the game at 2-2 just 5:17 into the game. Claire Dunbar scored her third of the game for the Mammoths, before McNicholas tied the game at 3-3 and O’Neill converted a pass from McDonagh with a player advantage for a 4-3 lead. Amherst tied the game, before the Panthers ran off three-straight goals for a 7-4 advantage with 7:20 left in the first half. The hosts scored the final goal of the half and trailed 7-5 at the break.

Perticone netted her first of the game just 57 seconds into the second half, extending the Panther lead to 8-5. Dunbar answered before Murphy put her team up 9-6 less than a minute later. Amherst again responded, this time on a goal with a player advantage by Katherine Malone at the 23:12 mark, making it a 9-7 game. Just 1:19 later, Nicholas found Barnard to extend the lead to three goals (10-7).

Dunbar brought the Mammoths within two before Carroll regained the three-goal advantage (11-8) for the Panthers when she scored after an assist from O’Neill with 13:09 remaining. Amherst netted the game’s final goal with 10:27 remaining as the Mammoths could get no closer. The teams ended the second half exchanging all eight goals that were scored.

Carroll, McNicholas and O'Neill each had two goals and an assist for Middlebury, while Barnard scored twice. Perticone won four draw controls, rookie Emma White (Dover, Mass.) earned two, while Mitchell forced three turnovers. Keith made seven saves in goal to record the win.

Dunbar led all scorers with five goals and two assists for Amherst. Hannah Fox finished with five draws, Malia Noves earned three, while Sabrina Solow caused three turnovers. Talia Land made 19 stops in the Amherst net.

• Women’s lacrosse record: 8-1
• Up Next: 4/3 vs. Union – 7:00 p.m., 4/7 vs. Colby – 12:00 p.m.