No. 3 Middlebury Downs Top-Ranked Jeffs, 18-11

April 7, 2001

MIDDLEBURY, Vermont - The Middlebury College women's lacrosse team wrapped a 7-1 run around halftime, including a pair of goals in the first 24 seconds of the second period, en route to an 18-11 victory over top-ranked Amherst College on Saturday in a showdown of two of the nation's top three teams. 

The Panthers, the 1999 NCAA Champions and NCAA National Semifinalists one year ago, opened the game with a 4-1 run, including a pair of tallies from first-year Nuala O'Donohoe (Needham, MA). The Jeffs, who handed Middlebury one of their two losses during the 2000 season with an 11-10 victory last April, rallied to knot the game at four, using goals from senior Sarah Scheessele (Pittsburgh, PA), senior co-captain Kristin Osborn (Morristown, NJ) and sophomore Abby Ouimet (Hatfield, MA) to draw even with 8:27 left before halftime. 

O'Donohoe responded, however, converting a free-position attempt at 8:41 and adding an unassisted tally at 6:26 as part of a 4-0 Middlebury surge. Sophomore Amherst midfielder Mary Kate Allen (Springfield, MA) momentarily stopped the bleeding with an unassisted score with 3:44 before halftime, but Middlebury sophomore Char Glessner (Ipswich, MA) retaliated 27 seconds later, and the Panthers took a 9-5 lead into the intermission. 

The Jeffs, who trailed by three goals at halftime in wins over Salisbury State University and the College of New Jersey earlier this season, were never able to mount a run in the second half, as the Panthers scored twice in the first 24 ticks after the intermission to extend the lead to 11-5. Osborn and Scheessele wrapped a pair of goals around a Panther tally to close to within 12-7, but a 4-0 Middlebury run, including two goals from senior Betsy Wheeler (Wenham, MA) effectively put the game away, boosting the hosts to a 16-7 lead with 13:33 remaining. 

Down the stretch, the Jeffs rallied, closing to within six on Scheessele's third goal of the game at 3:41, but it was too little, too late, and Panther junior Julia Bergofsky (Exeter, NH) iced the victory with a free-position tally with 1:46 left in regulation. 

Wheeler led all scorers with five goals for the Panthers, while O'Donohoe finished with four goals, all of which came in the first half. Glessner added a four-goal game of her own, and Bergofsky finished with three goals and an assist in the win. For the Jeffs, Schesseele led the way with three goals and two assists, while Osborn finished with three goals and one helper, becoming the first player in school history to surpass the 200-point mark for her career. 

For the Jeffs, the seven-goal margin was the largest in a defeat since a 16-9 loss to Middlebury in 1998, and it was also the squad's first loss away from home since the Panthers' 10-9 victory in the 1999 NCAA championship game. Middlebury Head Coach Missy Foote, who picked up her 200th career win in the game, will likely see her squad move into the top position in next week's national polls after the win over number-one Amherst. The two teams could well meet again this season, with the inception of the NESCAC women's lacrosse tournament, a seven-team draw that will determine the recipient of the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. 

Amherst, who falls to 5-1 with the loss (2-1 NESCAC), will have little time to regroup, with three games in five days beginning Tuesday afternoon at Connecticut College. Thursday, the Jeffs return home for a battle with Wellesley College, before Saturday's home tilt against Wesleyan University. Middlebury improves to 5-0 with the win (4-0 NESCAC), and is next in action on Wednesday against Tufts University.

Saturday, April 7, 2001     1     2   --   F
Amherst (5-1/2-1)   5     6   --   11
Middlebury (5-0/4-0)   9     9   --   18

AC - Scheessele 3, Osborn 3, Beaumont 2, Aldrich, Allen, Ouimet 
MC - Wheeler 5, O'Donohoe 4, Glessner 4, Bergofsky 3, Hanley, Simpson 

AC - Scheeseele 2, Osborn, Ouimet 
MC - Hanley 2, Simpson 2, Bergofsky 

AC - Jess Thaxton, 8 saves (14 ga, 38:00), Brooke Diamond, 4 saves (4 ga, 22:00)
MC - Sarah Grenert, 10 saves (11 ga, 60:00)