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Panther women’s lacrosse falls in NCAA action

GETTYSBURG, Penn. — Host Gettysburg eliminated the Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team from the NCAA Division III tournament on Saturday, 9-7, in a regional semifinal.
The Panthers, ranked No. 9, concluded their season at 12-6. Gettysburg improved to 18-2, but was defeated by Middlebury’s NESCAC rival Trinity in Sunday’s regional final, 16-8.
Trinity, the defending national champion, is coached by former Panther and Middlebury Union High School standout Kate Perine Livesay. Gettysburg will host the final four. The Bantams will meet undefeated Cortland in one semifinal on Saturday, while Salisbury and Amherst will square off in the other. The winners will meet on Sunday for the title.
On this past Saturday, the Panthers took a 6-2 first-half lead, only to see the host No. 6 Bullets rally for the 9-7 win. Bullet goalie Shannon Keeler made 12 saves, eight in the second half, as her team fought back.
In the opening half, the Panthers scored four of the first five goals. Just 21 seconds in, Megan Griffin got Middlebury on the board, converting a feed from Mary O’Connell from behind the goal. Less than two minutes later, Chrissy Ritter made it 2-0 when she received a pass from Griffin and cut in from the right side.
After Gettysburg cut the lead in half, Middlebury scored two goals 18 seconds apart: Liza Herzog and Alli Sciarretta netted Griffin feeds at 24:05 and 23:47, respectively. Gettysburg scored next, but unassisted goals by Chrissy Ritter and Katie Ritter at 9:47 and 4:37, respectively, pushed the Panther lead to 6-2.
A late Bullet score made it 6-3 at the break, but Laurel Pascal restored the four-goal lead in the second half at 26:46 after quick-sticking a Herzog feed.
However, the Bullets took control of the momentum, tallying the next six goals over a 21-minute stretch as the Panthers failed to dent Keeler and the Gettysburg defense again.
Kelsey Markiewicz scored three goals and added an assist for the Bullets, and Hannah Buell chipped in two goals and an assist.
Katie Ritter gathered a game-best six ground balls, while Chrissy Ritter and Catherine Fowler each had three. Defender Hannah Deoul recorded a game-best four draw controls, while goalie Alyssa Palomba tallied six saves.
Middlebury held a 22-17 advantage in ground balls, and possessed a slight 10-8 edge in draw controls. Gettysburg earned a 27-23 edge in shots at goal, while the Panthers committed fewer turnovers, 16-20.

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