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Women’s Lacrosse Stays Undefeated Following Double Header on the Road

By Christine Urquhart

The Middlebury women’s lacrosse team continued their success with two wins this past weekend.  Middlebury defeated Tufts 17-9 on Saturday, March 12 looking for vengeance from last year’s loss, and then beat MIT 19-7 the following day in a non-conference collision. The Panthers improved their overall record to 4-0 and are currently ranked fourth in the nation.

“We had a big week this past week with three games over five days and are so excited about how we played,” Team Captain Laurel Pascal ’16 said. “What is so great about our team is that we have so much depth and talent, so it was truly a team effort.”

Said team effort began with Saturday’s conference matchup against Tufts.  The Panthers dominated the first half, scoring the first six goals of the game, two each by Bridget Instrum ’16 and Bea Eppler ’17, to take a commanding lead just 11 minutes in.  Mary O’Connell ’17 assisted on two of the scores.

However, the Jumbos came roaring back, scoring four of the next five goals to pull within three, 7-4, with time left in the half.  The Panthers quickly pounced by scoring another three, concluding the opening half with a 10-4 lead. Instrum started the burst with back-to-back goals.

Again Tufts did not accept defeat and responded immediately in the second half, scoring the first two goals to make it 10-6.  Once again, the Panthers fired back by scoring four of the next five goals in quick succession, bringing the game to 14-7.

While Tufts retorted with two goals, this was not enough to beat the Panthers as they finished the game with three more goals, thrashing Tufts 17-9. Pascal and Eppler had three goals and O’Connell finished with four assists, earning her NESCAC Player of the Week honors.  Alli Sciarretta ’16 also netted five goals in the Panthers victory.

Riding high off revenge against Tufts, the Panthers returned to action the following day against MIT for a non-conference game.  Similar to the Tufts game, the Panthers dominated on the way to a commanding 19-7 victory.

The game started with a spate of goals, with both teams combining for three goals in the span of 39 seconds.  The match was closest with 9:07 in the first half at a score of 6-5. However, that was short lived.  The Panthers clenched down on the defensive end of the field by not allowing a goal the rest of the half, all the while scoring the final six goals.  Kate Hodgson ’16 scored twice, while Hollis Perticone ’18, Sciarretta and Hailey Cosseboom ’17 each netted one to finish the first half with a 12-5 score.

Middlebury continued to dominate in the second half, scoring three more goals. Building on the scoring, the Panthers led 15-5 with 17:45 left in the game.  MIT tried to respond but only mustered two more goals, and Middlebury won 19-7.

Defensively the Panthers once again gave an incredible performance lead by Maggie Caputi ’16 who scooped up four ground balls and Evie Keating ’18 who had three ground balls and caused a pair of turnovers.

“The team has been focusing on aggressive defense and dynamic attack, which has paid off . . . and has given [the Panthers] a big step up against [their] opponents” Pascal said.

After such a dominant start to the season (and on the road no less), it should be a near fever pitch environment when the Panthers host NESCAC opponent Wesleyan at noon on Saturday, March 19th in their home opener.

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