Women’s Lacrosse Wins Tight Battle vs. No. 5 Tufts

By LAUREN BOYD

MICHAEL BORENSTEIN
The Panthers rallied a close win against the Jumbos despite the pouring rain. Pictured above: Emma McDonagh ’19.

Fresh off another win against the fifth-ranked team in the nation, the women’s lacrosse team has not looked back, extending their record to 13-1. Rookie Jane Earley ’22, who earned NESCAC Player of the Week, led the Panthers to a 10-9 victory over fifth-ranked Tufts with four goals. Earley clutched the victory with a game-winning goal in the last three minutes of the contest, bringing the Panther record to 13-1 with just one game left in the regular season. 

 Momentum shifted throughout the entire game, as both teams never fell below a two-point deficit. Just as the Panthers jumped to a 2-1 start, the Jumbos responded with three of their own. This back-and-forth would continue throughout the game, reflecting the intensity of the contest. 

BENJY RENTON
NESCAC Player of the Week Jane Earley ’22 scored four of the ten Middlebury goals against Tufts.

 With 4:30 left in the game, the score was knotted 9-9. The Jumbos controlled the following draw — just as they had for the majority of the game — and raced down the field to face goalie Julia Keith ’20. Keith saved a Tufts shot and Middlebury successfully cleared the ball to Earley. Earley, with less than three minutes on the clock, took the ball around her defender and rocketed the shot to the back of the net.

The Panthers’ 10-9 victory puts them in a favorable position for the number one seed in the NESCAC tournament. In order to lock in their spot at the top, the Panthers will either have to knock off Williams or bank on Tufts falling to 14th-ranked Bowdoin. 

MICHAEL BORENSTEIN
Emma White ’21 and goalie Julia Keith ’20 celebrate after a save against Tufts.

Last week, senior Sara DiCenso said that their final two regular season games would be a challenge. Against Tufts, the Panther squad was able to overcome a difficult battle — one of the toughest they have seen this season. Williams will be the next bout before their postseason run.

 This season, the Williams Ephs have a 7-7 record, including a 3-6 record in conference play. Williams and Middlebury both lost to an 8-6 Bates team, but Middlebury has the upper hand with the rest of its impressive play. Middlebury’s sole loss came from their first game, which was decided in a heartbreaking OT. This served to be the wake-up call the team needed, as they have been spotless since that minor setback. 

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.