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Women’s lacrosse wins twice, now ranked 2nd

WATERVILLE, Maine — The Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team won a pair of recent games, including one key NESCAC contest, to improve to 9-1, 5-1 in league play. They are now ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division III and will host league foe Bates on Saturday at noon.
On this past Saturday, the Panthers defeated host Colby, 7-5, in a battle of nationally ranked teams — Colby (9-2, 4-2 NESCAC) entered the game ranked No. 2. The victory also avenged two 2014 Middlebury losses to the Mules, one in the NESCAC tournament.
Middlebury took a 5-0 lead in the opening 18:14 and then held off the Mules with tough defense. Laurel Pascal scored on a quick-stick feed from Mary O’Connell at 23:44. Katie Ritter made it 2-0 off a pass from Alli Sciarretta at 20:13. Pascal converted a free-position shot at 14:34, Chrissy Ritter scored 1:03 later on a feed from sister Katie, and O’Connell closed out the run with an unassisted score at 11:46.
The Mules scored the final three goals of the half. Abby Hooper intercepted a pass and scored, Abby Hatch added an unassisted goal, and at 1:43, Hooper tallied via a pass from Hatch.
The Mules made it 5-4 1:13 into the second half when Hatch set up a Sasha Fritts score. But a little over four minutes later Pascal netted a Katie Ritter feed, and at 23:10 O’Connell made it 7-4. Colby did not score until Hatch found the net with seven seconds to play.
Panther goalie Madeleine Kinker stopped 10 shots, including six in the second half. Colby’s Claire Dickson made nine saves. Panther defender Catherine Fowler had four groundballs, while middie Delaina Smith added four groundballs and one caused turnover, while Katie Ritter had three draw controls.
On Tuesday, the Panthers topped host Union, 12-8, by scoring seven straight times to erase Union’s early 5-3 lead and win for the ninth straight time. The 6-3 Dutchwomen took that lead in the 21st minute, and then the Panthers found the net seven times in a run that lasted 13:51 and spanned both halves. Bridget Instrum and O’Connell tallied two goals apiece in the decisive surge.
Sciarretta led Middlebury with three goals, while Instrum and O’Connell finished with two apiece, as did Katie Ritter and Pascal. Pascal picked up seven draw controls and four ground balls and caused four turnovers, while Maggie Caputi picked up three ground balls. Kinker made six saves, while Union’s Kim Grinhaus stopped 11 shots.

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