The Middlebury Campus

Georgia Carroll ’18 Leads No. 4 Women’s Lacrosse in Opening Weekend Sweep

Liv Sandford

By HEATHER BOEHM

The fourth-ranked women’s lacrosse team opened their season last weekend with a pair of road wins. The Panthers showed no signs of any first-game nerves against Bates in Lewiston, Maine, as they toppled the Bobcats 12–5 on Saturday, March 3. And the solid start did not stop there, as the team travelled to Springfield, Massachusetts, on Sunday, March 4, where they came from behind to beat Springfield 7–3.

The Panthers proudly flaunted the strides they made during the offseason with the seamless team dynamic they exhibited from the moment they took the field against Bates.

Middlebury was the first to notch a tally. Within the first three minutes of play, Casey O’Neill ’19 slapped in a pass from Georgia Carroll ’18. Soon after, Carroll would take matters into her own hands, scoring her first goal of the season. Kirsten Murphy ’21 then doubled the Middlebury total in the course of 11 seconds as she hammered two more shots past the Bates goalie. Just after the halfway mark of the first half, Hollis Perticone ’18 added a goal to make the score 5–0.

Despite their comfortable lead, the Panthers kept their heads down and kept their pace up. Sara DiCenso ’19 and Perticone combined for a pair of goals as the first half wound down, both assisted by Carroll, which made it a 7–0 game. Before the half came to a close, Bates snuck past the Panther goalie, narrowing the lead to six.

Despite coming out of the locker room for the second half with a six-goal lead, Carroll did not take her foot off the gas. She once again fought her way past the Bobcat defense to find the back of the net twice in the first 10 minutes of the half, which earned her a hat trick to go along with four assists.

Carroll commented on the team’s energy going into the competition, noting that the fourth-ranked visitors trekked confidently to Maine and were especially excited for the chance to start their season off with a bang.

“We were excited to get started as preseason was coming to a close, and I think that nervous excitement showed itself on the field,” said Carroll. “Our game plan was to balance pushing the pace and settling into our set attack/defense. We definitely had some first-game jitters, but we are proud of the persistence and grit that made this weekend a success.”

Julia Keith ’20 soundly defended the Panthers’ goal, making five saves in the course of the Middlebury victory.

With their first win under their belts, the Panthers journeyed to Springfield on Sunday looking to finish their opening weekend strong.

This time, however, the Panthers had to play from behind, as it was Springfield who grabbed the early lead. Eleven minutes into the game, the referee awarded the Pride a free position opportunity, on which Springfield’s Ann Mahoney managed to capitalize by finding the back of the net.

After almost 11 minutes of scoreless play, Middlebury responded with a goal by Jenna McNicholas ’19, despite playing a player down after a penalty. Although that would end the first-half scoring, Middlebury did have multiple scoring opportunities before time ran out.

Emerging from the locker room deadlocked with Springfield at one goal apiece, the Panthers quickly conceded another Springfield goal only minutes into the second half. Springfield’s Kate Sarnacki scored an unassisted, man-down goal just over a minute into the second half. Things then stayed quiet for a better part of the next eight minutes, until Sarnacki’s teammates Kayla Schroeher and Shelby Corsano combined to find the back of the net for Springfield, which increased the Panthers’ deficit to 3–1 with just over 20 minutes left in the game.

Although the Panthers outshot their hosts 30–9, Springfield held their margin until deep into the second half. The Panthers still had yet to narrow the two-goal deficit by the 12-minute mark in the second period. However, this would soon prove to mark the first time this season that the team faced and overcame adversity.

With three-fourths of the game gone, the Panthers came back firing in the remaining time they had to mount a comeback. Not only were they successful, but they did so by scoring six unanswered goals — the first four coming in a four-minute span — to close out the game. Carroll racked up two more goals to her total, and Henley Hall ’19, McDonagh, Perticone, and Murphy all found the back of the net before the final whistle.

Keith would stop Springfield from increasing their total, as she racked up three second-half saves to help the Panthers close out the contest with a 7–3 score.

Carroll reflected on the team’s confidence going against next weekend’s challengers.

“We are grateful to have these two games under our belt,” said Carroll. “This weekend was a great learning opportunity and will serve to build our confidence. This week we will be ramping up the pressure in practice and continuing to push each other.”

The Panthers will be back in action on Saturday, March 10, when they will travel to New London, Connecticut, to face conference rival Connecticut College.

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