Middlebury women’s lax to host tournament

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team dismissed Babson, 18-5, on Sunday in second-round NCAA Division III tournament action, and by doing so earned the right to host an NCAA regional this weekend.
The 17-2 Panthers will face Illinois-Wesleyan (15-4) in one Saturday game at 11:30 a.m., while Catholic (15-6) and York will square off at 2:30 p.m. The winners of Saturday’s games on Kohn Field will return on Sunday at 1 p.m. to meet for the right to advance to the tournament’s final four on May 26 and 27 in Salem, Va.
The Panthers, ranked No. 4, will be favored in their games this weekend, although they have not faced any of the three teams. If they do advance past the regional, their semifinal opponent will almost certainly be College of New Jersey, one of the two teams to defeat Middlebury this spring.
Salisbury (18-1) and either Gettysburg (17-2) or Amherst (16-2) will be favored for the other semifinal berths on the other side of the bracket. Middlebury has played only its NESCAC rival Amherst among those teams, defeating the Mammoths, 11-9, on the road.
Against Babson (13-8) the Panthers bolted to a 5-1 lead in the first 10 minutes on the way to a 12-3 advantage at the half. Middlebury’s Hollis Perticone sprinted down the field after winning the initial draw and scored 11 seconds into the game. The Beavers answered at 28:08 on a Juliana McGuire free position but the Panthers scored nine of the next 10 goals — including the 100th of Perticone’s career — to lead by 10-2 with 5:33 left in the half.
Babson broke the spell to make it 10-3, but the Panthers scored twice in the final 1:25 to restore order and then allowed only four shots on goal in the second half.
Twelve Panthers found the net. McDonagh led the Panthers with four goals, while Perticone added three to go along with six draw controls. Georgia Carroll scored a pair while dishing out two assists, Emily Barnard scored one and added two assists and Erin Nicholas controlled five draws to go along with a goal and an assist. In goal, Kate Furber made five first-half saves, while Julia Keith stopped a pair of second-half shots.
Lexi Lenaghan and McGuire each scored twice to pace Babson, and goalie Cricket Fligor made 15 saves. Middlebury held advantages of 36-15 in shots and 17-7 in draw controls. On Saturday Babson had downed Castleton, a team including former Middlebury Union High School players Emma Best and Calista Carl, 17-4. Best scored for the 11-7 Spartans in that game.

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