Women’s Lacrosse Upset by Bates in Overtime

By HEATHER BOEHM

REID SMITH
Casey O’Neill ’19 scores on a free position shot.

The Middlebury women’s lacrosse team took to Kohn Field with a loud home crowd behind them for the first time since last May. Ranked the second squad in the country after an exhilarating NCAA run, the Panthers walked out on the turf hungry for another almost flawless season. But, on Saturday, March 2, the women fell short, trailing Bates 11-10 by just one goal in overtime. 

The Panthers got to work early on, throwing up the first two goals on the scoreboard. Emily Barnard ’20 and Kirsten Murphy ’21 snuck two shots past the Bobcat goalie before the third minute ticked by. The field was quiet for another 20 minutes, as both teams failed to find an open net. The silence was broken by Barnard once again, when she cradled the ball to the crease, giving the Panthers a three-goal advantage. 

Barnard came out looking faster and stronger than ever, picking up a career-best of five goals during the contest. Despite a relaxing semester abroad in Madrid, Spain, she showed no signs of any respite and posed a huge offensive threat to the Bobcat defense. If this matchup says anything about her, Barnard will continue to be a leading scorer throughout the 2019 season.  

REID SMITH
Gracie Getman ’21 attempts to dodge a Bates defender.

But Bates answered the deficit. They snapped the host lead, adding two goals to their name before Kate Zecca ’20 tallied another for the Panthers. At the end of the half the Middlebury offense held their ownclosing out the period still having a narrow margin of 6-5 over their NESCAC foes. 

As the second half whistle blew, the women hit the ground running. The Bobcat defense was helpless against an unrelenting Middlebury offense. Erin Nicholas ’21, who was a big part of Middlebury’s success last year, started off the scoring followed by Barnard and Casey O’Neill ’19. But a four goal lead was simply not enough. In the final 15 minutes of the half, Bates knocked back five more goals to Middlebury’s one, tying the game and leaving Middlebury parents at the edge of their seats. 

REID SMITH
Emma McDonagh ’19 attempts to pass the ball amidst Bobcat defenders.

Captain Susanna Baker ’19 spoke about the team’s play on Saturday. “Our play in the midfield was awesome on the draw and in transitions. However, we struggled to finish on offense, which gave Bates more possessions that they capitalized on. This week we are really focusing on taking only high percentage shots and communicating well on defense,” Baker said.

The underdogs were in for an overtime fight and they got the upset that they came for. In the final moments of play, Bates sophomore Summer Dias propelled her team to victory with an unassisted goal, closing out the match with a score of 11-10. 

REID SMITH
Jane Earley ’22, in the first game of her collegiate lacrosse career, advances the ball up the field.

Captain Sara DiCenso ’19 commented on the team’s unexpected loss this past weekend. “We were definitely upset at the outcome of the game. We are not going to dwell on the loss and our mistakes, but rather hope to learn from them. I think this will be a good learning experience for our team and can be a positive turning point in our season,” said DiCenso. 

The women will look to find revenge in their two matchups this coming weekend. The Panthers will face off against another NESCAC rival, Connecticut College, on home turf Saturday, March 9 at 12:00 p.m. The following day, on Sunday, March 10 at 1:00 p.m., they will challenge Springfield at home. 

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