Women’s Lax Wins in Double-OT Thriller

By Jake Turtel

he year between last year’s Division III National Championship teams, the Middlebury women’s lacrosse team, ranked fifth in the country, edged out the sixth-ranked Trinity Bantams in a double-overtime affair. With 2:37 left in the second overtime period, Hollis Perticone ’18 gave the Panthers the win, extending their win streak to four.

In Hartford, Conn., the Bantams scored first. However, the Panthers quickly answered with goals by Mary O’Connell ’17 and Emma McDonagh ’19 – both unassisted. The hosts then netted three consecutive goals to put Trinity up 4-2; Perticone scored the last goal of the half with just over 10 minutes remaining, bringing the Panthers to within one at the intermission.

The second half was a back and forth battle starting with two more goals by McDonagh giving her a hat trick for the day. Trinity quickly regained the lead, however, with two more goals before O’Connell and McDonagh netted their second and fourth of the day, respectively — McDonagh’s goal was assisted by O’Connell, which was the 100th assist of her career. O’Connell is now only the third player ever in program history to achieve such a milestone. After a Bantam tally, Sara DiCenso ’19 regained the lead for the Panthers; but this advantage was short lived as Trinity scored two more goals in a span of 90 seconds, giving them the lead.

With two minutes remaining in the game, O’Connell played heartbreaker, tying the game up at nine. The first overtime period was scoreless, a defensive battle. Rather than disappointing, the first OT only added to the drama of the game.

In the second overtime period, Perticone drove to the net, ripped the ball into the back corner and sealed the deal for the Panthers; subsequently, sticks, gloves and eyewear were thrown into the air as the squad celebrated. It was the 20th goal of the season for Perticone.

“The most exciting thing about the overtime was how many times we were able to stop Trinity,” said Dicenso. “They won the draw in the first two overtimes and we played two sets of 3 minutes of awesome man defense and forced them to make bad shots. Also, Kate Furber ’19 came up really strong in goal. Perticone and Smith had an awesome double that caused the Bantams to turn the ball over which brought us down to score.”

In an even game in pretty much every statistical category, the Panthers came out of Connecticut with the win in a title game rematch. O’Connell paced Middlebury with five points – three goals and two assists.

“Our captains reminded us that we had come so far and fought so hard through the game that there was no reason to give up now,” Dicenso continued. “We knew we needed this win to solidify our spot in the NESCAC and were determined to win in overtime after suffering our other two losses of the season in overtime.”

With three games left in the regular season, Middlebury is heating up at the right time. The team will travel to Colby next Saturday, April 22, for their next conference matchup.