Women’s lax to host NESCAC tournament

MIDDLEBURY — The top-seeded Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team defeated visiting No. 8 Hamilton, 14-5, in a NESCAC quarterfinal on Saturday and will host the league’s final four this Saturday and Sunday.
The 14-2 Panthers — coached by former Middlebury Union High School and Panther standout Kate Perine Livesay, who is assisted by former Tiger and Panther standout Katie Ritter — will meet No. 6 Trinity (11-5) on Saturday at noon. The other semifinal pits No. 4 Bowdoin (12-4) vs. No. 2 Amherst (15-1).
The winners will meet on Sunday with the NESCAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament on the line; Middlebury is likely to receive an at-large bid regardless of this weekend’s results. The Panthers defeated each of those teams in the regular season. They won at Amherst, 11-9, and defeated Trinity (14-8) and Bowdoin (14-4) at home.
Middlebury had little trouble with Hamilton this past Saturday, although the Continentals hung around early on and trailed by just 3-2 at 19:44 of the first half. The Panthers then closed the half on a 4-0 run, including two goals by Kirsten Murphy, to lead by 7-2 at the break.
Middlebury’s Georgia Carroll then scored twice in the first 27 seconds of the second half, on feeds from Murphy and Emma McDonagh. Three minutes later Carroll netted another score, and the Panthers coasted from there.
Carroll finished with a career-high five goals for the Panthers, while Murphy scored three times and assisted on four goals. Barnard added a hat trick, and Jenna McNicholas had a goal and two assists. Hollis Perticone controlled nine draws, raising her season total to NESCAC-high 101.
On defense Addy Mitchell caused four turnovers and scooped five ground balls, while Evie Keating caused three turnovers and grabbed three ground balls. Goalie Julia Keith made four saves in the first half, while Kate Furber made three stops in the second half.
Darby Philbrick scored twice for Hamilton, while goalie Hannah Burrall made 16 saves. Middlebury held advantages in in shots (39-18) and ground balls (33-24).

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