Women’s lax opens with two victories

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s lacrosse program began play under new coach Kate Perine Livesay with two road wins, one vs. a NESCAC foe and the other at a non-league opponent.
The Panthers, NCAA Division III semifinalists a year ago, began 2016 ranked No. 4 after graduating just two players — although they were both All-Americans, Katie Ritter and Catherine Fowler. Up next is a Saturday game at No. 10 Tufts.
On this past Saturday, Middlebury cruised to a 17-6 win over NESCAC rival Connecticut College in the season opener for both squads. Laurel Pascal’s six goals paced the Panthers, who outshot their opponents 32-12. 
Bridget Instrum, Hollis Perticone and Alli Sciarretta all contributed with two goals for the winning side, while Mary O’Connell scored and dished out six assists. Evie Keating induced four Camel turnovers and had three ground balls, while Pascal controlled five draws. Kate Furber made four saves in her collegiate debut, surrendering three goals in 45 minutes of work. 
Erin Moran and Tina Balzotti scored two goals each to lead the Camels. Madison Barker had one goal and eight draw controls for Connecticut College. Meg Raskin collected 11 of her 13 saves in the opening half of action for the Camels.
Pascal put the Panthers on top 1:26 into regulation. O’Connell made passes from behind the cage to assist Pascal and Sciarretta for the next two scores. Middlebury built a 5-0 lead when Pascal netted her third goal of the half with 18:44 to go.
The Camels answered with the next two goals to trim the deficit to 5-2 with 8:27 to go in the opening half.
Middlebury responded by scoring the final seven goals of the half and the first three of the second half before the Camels netted four of the final six scores to make it a 17-6 final.
On Tuesday, the Panthers coasted past host Rensselaer (1-1) by a 17-5 margin. Middlebury went on a 6-1 run to close the first half and lead at the break, 10-3, and added to the advantage in the second half.
Chrissy Ritter had three goals and an assist to lead Middlebury, while Mary O’Connell tallied two goals and assisted on two others. Instrum had two scores and one helper, Pascal won six draws, while Maggie Caputi caused three turnovers in the win.
The Panthers posted a 28-12 edge in shots, including 12-3 in the second half. RPI had 25 ground balls to Middlebury’s 14. Draw controls went to Middlebury, 16-8.
Furber made five saves for the Panthers, while three keepers combined to make eight stops for the Engineers.

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