Women’s lacrosse takes three straight victories

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team won three times in the past week, including a key NESCAC victory at previously unbeaten Amherst, to improve to 9-1, 5-0 in league play.
The Panthers, who held all three foes to fewer than 10 goals and have only allowed as many as 10 goals once this spring, were ranked No. 4 in this week’s NCAA Division III poll. They will host NESCAC foe Colby, ranked No. 21, on Saturday at noon.
On March 29 the Panthers took a 7-1 halftime lead on the way to a 15-7 win at Montclair State (4-4). The Panthers got goals from Casey O’Neill, Georgia Carroll and Hollis Perticone on their first three possessions to take control early. They led by as many as 10, 15-5, before Montclair tacked on two late scores.
Ten Panthers scored in the victory, led by Perticone with three goals. Kate Zecca, Kirsten Murphy and Grace Getman each scored twice. Perticone led the team with four draw controls and three ground balls, defender Abby Mitchell caused a game-high three turnovers, and goalie Julia Keith made four saves. 
On Saturday the Panthers forced 20 turnovers and outshot host Amherst, 36-20, in an 11-9 victory over the then seventh-ranked Mammoths, who dropped to 7-1, 3-1 NESCAC.
The Mammoths took a quick 2-0 lead on two Claire Dunbar strikes, but goals by Emily Barnard and Carroll tied the game 5:17 into the contest. Dunbar scored again, but two goals each by Jenna McNicholas and O’Neill and one from Emma McDonagh helped give the Panthers a 7-5 lead at the break.
Perticone made it 8-5 57 seconds into the second half, and the teams traded goals: Dunbar answered before Murphy made it 9-6 less than a minute later. Amherst’s Katherine Malone made it 9-7 at 23:12, but 1:19 later, Emily Barnard, from Erin Nicholas, extended the lead to 10-7. Dunbar brought the Mammoths within two before Carroll converted an O’Neill feed to make it 11-8 at 13:09 remaining. Amherst scored at 10:27, but then the defenses took over.
Carroll, McNicholas and O’Neill each had two goals and an assist for Middlebury, while Barnard scored twice. Perticone controlled four draws, while Mitchell forced three turnovers. Keith made seven saves, while Mammoth goalie Talia Land made 19 stops to keep her team close. Dunbar finished with five goals and two assists.
On Tuesday the Panthers coasted past winless Union, 16-4, back at home on Kohn Field. The teams traded early goals before Middlebury went on a 7-0 run over 17:44 to take an 8-1 lead. Seven Panthers scored a goal apiece in that decisive surge, and they led by 10-3 at the half.
Middlebury opened the second half with a goal from Henley Hall nine seconds in, and she and four more Panthers added a goal apiece as they stretched the lead to 16-3 over the next 14:41.
Barnard, Carroll, and Hall all recorded two goals and scooped two groundballs for the Panthers, while McNicholas and O’Neill also each scored twice. Perticone controlled seven draws. Keith made two saves and allowed three goals in 42:53 of action, while Alex Freeman logged the final 17:07 and made six saves while allowing the final Union score.
Four players scored for Union (0-7). M.K. McIntire won seven draws for the Dutchwomen, while goalie Ellen Taney made 14 stops.

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