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Women’s lacrosse loses to top teams

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team dropped a pair of tight home games late last week to other teams also ranked in the top 10 in NCAA Division III before bouncing back to win a non-league game on Tuesday.
The Panthers, ranked No. 7 in NCAA Division III, dropped to 10-3, 6-2 in NESCAC play. Their three losses have come by a total of four goals. They are in fourth place in a tight NESCAC race with two league games to play and will host Colby at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
On Saturday, No. 6 Trinity (10-2, 7-1) scored three of the final four goals, including the game-winning tally with 10:33 left, for a key 10-9 NESCAC win.
Trinity, coached by former Middlebury Union High School and Panther standout Kate Perine Livesay, took an early 3-2 lead despite two goals by Panther Bridget Instrum. A goal and an assist from Chrissy Ritter and a Liza Herzog goal kept Middlebury within one at the half, 6-5.
Goals by Alli Sciarretta, Ritter and Herzog made it 8-7, but two free position goals put Trinity back on top. Chrissy Ritter scored again, this time with an assist from sister Katie Ritter, to tie the game at 9-9 with less than 12 minutes to go, but the Bantams sank the game-winner just over a minute later and held on for the win.
Megan Griffin added a goal and two assists for the Panthers, Catherine Fowler added six draw controls, and goalie Alyssa Palomba finished with six saves. Trinity goalie Emily Mooney also stopped six shots.
On the previous Thursday, No. 2 Cortland remained undefeated by outscoring Middlebury, 8-2, over the game’s final 22 minutes on its way to a 12-10 win that snapped the Panthers’ 13-game home winning streak. The late Dragon run erased an 8-4 Panther lead.
Instrum, Pascal, and both Ritters scored twice for Middlebury, while Katie Ritter dished out a pair of assists to go along with three ground balls and four draw controls. Fowler added five draw controls, while Chrissy Ritter caused three turnovers. Palomba finished with four saves. Cortland goalie Liz Ingalls made six saves.
On Tuesday, the Panthers defeated visiting Union, 15-8, as Pascal scored eight goals in a rain-soaked contest. Her output was the most for a Middlebury player since 1999 graduate Heidi Howard accomplished the feat on May 10, 1998. Three early Pascal goals helped the Panthers take a 4-1 lead, and Middlebury led at the half, 11-4.
Katie Ritter also scored three times before the break; she also scooped three ground balls. Hannah Deoul (five) and Fowler (four) paced the team in draw controls. Palomba made four first-half saves, while Madeleine Kinker (two saves) and Katie Mandigo (one) each saw second-half action. Jen Hughes made four saves for Union. 

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