The fourth-ranked Middlebury women's lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA Regional Round with an 18-5 home win over Babson on Sunday. The Panthers will host three teams next Saturday and Sunday on Kohn Field. Middlebury will face Illinois Wesleyan in the first semifinal, while York (Pa.) will battle Catholic in the other regional game. The winners will meet on Sunday with a trip to the final four on the line.
Just 11 seconds into Sunday’s home game with Babson, Middlebury senior Hollis Perticone (Darien, Conn.) sprinted down the field after winning the initial draw and found the back of the net. The Beavers answered at the 28:08 mark when Juliana McGuire scored on a free position to knot the game 1-1. The Panthers tallied the game's next four goals, before Babson added a tally to make it 5-2 with 18:13 remaining.
Middlebury doubled its score, earning the game's next five goals for a 10-2 advantage with 5:33 left in the first half. The run opened at the 15:47 mark when rookie Kirsten Murphy (Bridgewater, N.J.) scored on a dish from classmate Grace Getman (Portsmouth, N.H.), making it 6-2. Almost two minutes later, sophomore Kate Zecca (Leesburg, Va.) beat a defender with a spin move to add a tally, before a free-position goal by rookie Erin Nicholas (Scarsdale, N.Y.) gave the Panthers an 8-2 lead. Perticone followed with her 100th-career goal, before Getman added one of her own for the 10-2 lead.
With 1:38 to go in the first half, Babson’s Lexi Lenaghan spun around a Middlebury defender before burying the ball in the upper-left corner of the goal to make it 10-3. The Panthers added two more scores in the final 1:25 of the first stanza, giving them a 12-3 advantage heading into the locker room.
Middlebury opened the second half with a four-goal run sparked by senior Georgia Carroll’s (Lutherville, Md.) initial score just 25 seconds into the session. With 27:53 remaining, Nicholas sent a pass to junior Emma McDonagh (Reading, Mass.) whose low shot found the back of the goal for a 14-3 advantage. The Panthers tacked on two more tallies, extending the lead to 16-3 just 5:10 into the second half.
The teams traded the last four goals of the game for an 18-5 final score.
McDonagh led the Panthers with four goals, while Perticone added three to go along with six draw controls. Carroll scored a pair while dishing out two assists, while sophomore Emily Barnard (Wayland, Mass.) scored one and added two helpers. Nicholas won five draw controls in the game to go along with a goal and an assist. Junior Kate Furber (Manchester, Mass.) made five first-half saves and earned the win, while sophomore Julia Keith (North Andover, Mass.) stopped a pair of second-half shots.
Lenaghan and McGuire each scored twice to pace Babson, with McGuire adding a helper. Cricket Fligor finished the game with 15 saves in goal.
Middlebury held a 36-15 shots advantage and won 17-24 draw controls in the game. The Panthers have now held 13 opponents to single digits this year.
• Women’s lacrosse record: 17-2
• Up Next: 5/19 – 5/19 Illinois Wesleyan at Middlebury – 11:30 a.m.; York vs. Catholic – 2:30 p.m. (NCAA Tournament Third Round), 5/20 – Regional Final – 1:00 p.m.