Women’s lacrosse survives Amherst’s challenge

AMHERST, Mass. — The Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team survived its toughest test of the spring on Saturday, defeating host Amherst in overtime, 9-8, in a duel of two teams ranked in the top 10 in NCAA Division III.
The No. 2 Panthers moved to 9-0 and will visit Bates this weekend after a Wednesday home game vs. Hamilton. Amherst dropped to 5-2, 2-2 in NESCAC play.
Bridget Instrum scored 1:48 into overtime to give the Panthers the win this Saturday in a game in which they outshot the Jeffs, 27-14 and earned a 12-5 advantage in draw controls. Amherst goalie Christy Forrest stopped 15 shots to keep her team in the game.
Amherst led at the half, 4-3, despite the first two of Instrum’s three goals and one by Laurel Pascal. Claire Cagnassola and Mia Haughton each scored twice in the half for the Jeffs.
Cagnassola scored two more in the second half, but goals by Pascal, Emma McDonagh and Hollis Perticone tied the score with 14:25 left in regulation
Haughton put the Purple & White back in front two minutes later. Panther Megan Griffin cashed in a feed from Sara DiCenso to deadlock the score at 7-7.
Amherst called time with 3:25 left and maintained possession looking for a last-second shot. In the final minute, Middlebury’s Chrissy Ritter caused a turnover and collected the ground ball. A successful clear gave the Panthers a shot to win the game in the waning seconds, but Forrest denied Instrum on a free-position shot with six seconds left in regulation.
Alli Sciarretta won the draw to start overtime in what proved to be the only possession of the extra session. Instrum netted the game-winner by getting past her defender and beating Forrest with a high shot.
Pascal’s first of her two tallies allowed her to reach the 150 career-goal plateau. Ritter had a game-high three caused turnovers and added three ground balls. Katie Mandigo got the starting nod in goal for the first time this spring and made six saves. 

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