Women’s lacrosse opens by thumping Connecticut

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team opened its season on Sunday by coasting to a 19-4 victory over visiting NESCAC rival Connecticut.
The Panthers, ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division III preseason polls due to their status as defending national champions despite graduating nine seniors, spotted the Camels the game’s first goal but soon took charge with a 7-0 run and led at the half, 15-3.
Middlebury was set to visit St. Lawrence on Wednesday in warmer weather, and will host Tufts at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
In last Sunday’s game, Panther attacker Mary O’Connell led all players with four goals and four assists, while Emma McDonagh scored three times and set up a goal and Jenna McNicholas scored twice and assisted two strikes.
Emily Barnard scored three times, Henley Hall notched a goal and two helpers, and Casey O’Neill picked up a goal and two assists. On defense, Evie Keating snagged four ground balls and caused three turnovers. 
Tina Balzotti scored twice to lead the Camels, and two Camel goalies combined for eight saves. Julia Keith made two saves in the first half for Middlebury and earned the win. Kate Furber started the second half in goal and didn’t record a save in 16:16 of play, while Alex Freedman logged the final 13:44 with a goal allowed and a save. Middlebury held advantages of 30-9 in shots and 18-11 in ground balls.

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