Panther women rally to nip Bates in lacrosse, improve to 9-1
LEWISTON, Maine – The Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team rallied past host Bates on Saturday, 7-6, by outscoring the Bobcats in the second half, 5-1.
The Panthers, ranked No. 5 in NCAA Division III, improved to 9-1, 6-1 in NESCAC play. They will host Cortland on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and defending league and national champion Trinity on Saturday at 2 p.m. Bates, ranked No. 14, dropped to 7-5, 3-4 in league play.
Bridget Instrum scored twice for the Panthers in the final 14:18, including the unassisted game-winner with 7:23 remaining. Alli Sciarretta scored twice and assisted on Instrum’s first tally.
Katie Ritter and Hannah Deoul caused three Bates turnovers apiece, while Catherine Fowler shared the game lead with three draw controls. Middlebury goalie Alyssa Palomba and Bates goalie Hannah Jeffrey each made five saves.
For Bates, Wally Pierce had two goals, one assist, three draw controls and two ground balls, while Emma Noto added two goals.
Only Liza Herzog and Mary O’Connell scored for the Panthers in the first half, as they were troubled by turnovers and fell behind by 5-2. But after the break the Panthers outshot the Bobcats, 9-4, and controlled five of seven draws.
Middlebury’s Laurel Pascal made it 5-3 at 23:03 of the second half, but Bates regained a three-goal edge at 17:55. Middlebury drew back within two when Sciarretta converted a feed from Cat Lincoln at 14:48. Middlebury scored again 30 seconds later when Sciarretta set up Instrum, making it 6-5.
Lincoln tied the game with an assist from Delaina Smith with 8:29 to go. A Bates miscue then allowed the Panthers to take the lead: With Middlebury attackers pressuring Bates’ defenders on their clearing attempt, Instrum picked off a pass directly in front of the empty Bates’ goal and made it 7-6 with 7:23 left.
Over the game’s final seven minutes, Palomba made the save on Bates’ only shot, a free-position attempt by Pierce with 1:13 to go.
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