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Women’s lax advances in NCAA tourney

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team defeated visiting MIT on Sunday, 19-9, in a second-round NCAA Division III game and thus advanced to an NCAA Regional this weekend that will be hosted by Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.
On Saturday at 2:30 p.m. the Panthers will meet NESCAC foe Hamilton (12-5), while host Gettysburg (16-3) and York (14-5) will square off at 11:30 a.m. The winners will meet on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
The Panthers have not faced either Gettysburg or York, but are more likely to meet Gettysburg if they defeat Hamilton: Gettysburg won by six goals at York earlier this season.
Middlebury did play Hamilton this spring, however, prevailing by 12-10 on the road.
In what was the last home game for sisters and Middlebury residents Katie and Chrissy Ritter (Katie will graduate this month), Middlebury took charge on Sunday by outscoring MIT by 6-0 over a 3:38 span midway through the first half on its way to the 10-goal win over the Engineers, who finished their season at 17-3.
MIT’s Isabella DiDio converted a free position shot 22 seconds after the opening draw, but the Panthers responded with four straight tallies in less than eight minutes. Mary O’Connell scored twice, once from Hollis Perticone, and Bridget Instrum and Chrissy Ritter converted free position shots.
The Engineers’ Hannah Levy answered with two goals in less than a minute to make it 4-3. The Panthers followed with their 6-0 run in the next 3:38 to take a 10-3 lead. Laurel Pascal netted a free position tally before O’Connell set up Alli Sciarretta and Perticone for a pair of goals. Katie Ritter found some space and scored before O’Connell struck again to make it 9-3. Perticone netted the final goal of the run with a free position shot.
Levy scored on a restart from just outside the crease, and DiDio converted a feed from Kira Schott to made it 10-5 with 9:17 remaining in the half.  Middlebury then closed the half with goals from Bea Eppler and Kate Hodgson to lead by seven at the break.
Schott netted a free position goal to start the second half for MIT before Middlebury responded with seven of the next eight goals to put the game out of the Engineers’ reach.
Perticone netted a free position before Katie Ritter assisted Sciarretta and Pascal to make it 15-6 with 20:06 remaining. DiDio broke up the run before the Panthers netted the next four goals to hold a 19-7 lead with 7:47 remaining. Prior to the final goal of the run, Middlebury killed off a two-minute two-player advantage for MIT, responding with a goal from Pascal. Emily Young and Schott closed the scoring for MIT with a pair of free position goals to make it a 19-9 final.
Pascal’s four goals led all scorers, while O’Connell finished with three goals and two assists. Perticone added three with an assist, Eppler scored twice, while Katie Ritter had a goal and two assists. Catherine Fowler controlled five draws, while Pascal finished with four ground balls.
Goalie Katie Mandigo picked up the win in her second start of the season, making six saves and giving up seven goals in 43:45. Madeleine Kinker made two saves and allowed two tallies in 16:15. MIT goalie Eva Bohl finished with 10 saves.
The Panthers held a 37-21 advantage in shots and led 20-11 in ground balls. The Panthers were successful on 11 of 13 clears and the Engineers to six clears in 14 attempts.

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