No. 12 Amherst Edged by No. 4 Middlebury, 9-5

No. 12 Amherst Edged by No. 4 Middlebury, 9-5

Courtesy of Middlebury Sports Information

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Tied at 5-5 with 14:50 remaining, fourth-ranked Middlebury College scored four unanswered goals to defeat the 12th-ranked Amherst College women's lacrosse team Saturday on Kohn Field, 9-5.

With the loss, the Jeffs fall to 5-3 overall and 1-3 in the NESCAC. The Panthers improve to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in league play following the win.

The Panthers tallied the first three goals of the game. Chrissy Ritter put the hosts ahead at the 20:08 mark and a little more than a minute later, at 18:57, Bridget Instrum doubled the lead of an assist from Mary O'Connell. The score remained that way until the 13:44 mark when Laurel Pascal cut to the right and sent a low hard shot into the back of the net.

Trailing by three in the low-scoring opening half, Amherst tallied its lone goal of the opening stanza at 12:19. Rachel Passarelli '16 worked her way from the left side of the field, spun and sprinted down the middle of the Panther defense putting a shot over the shoulder of Middlebury starting goalie Katie Mandigo. The Panthers took a 3-1 lead into the halftime break.

Out of the intermission, Amherst sliced the Middlebury lead to one when Meghan Mills '15 found a cutting Julia Crerend '18 in the middle of the field for the goal. The game remained a one-goal difference until goals just 57 seconds apart from Ritter and Pascal. Ritter scored on a free-position attempt at 19:52, while Pascal scored her second of the game and 21st of the season on a quick-stick shot via a pretty feed from Katie Ritter.

Down once again by three at 5-2, Amherst stormed back with a pair of goals from Crerend sandwiched around a score by Claire Cagnassola '17 and tied the game with 14:50 remaining. Crerend's game-tying goal came as she worked from the right side, made a move toward the middle of the field and whipped a shot to the top left corner of the net.

With the game tied at 5-5, Alli Sciarretta scored three goals during a 9:30 stretch to put the game out of reach, giving her 17 goals for the year. Sciarretta scored the eventual game-winner on a pinpoint pass in the middle by K. Ritter at 13:22, and added another just over a minute later at 12:21 with the helper by Pascal. K. Ritter and Sciarretta recorded the final two tallies at 10:31 and 3:52 for the final score.

In addition to Sciarretta's three goals, Pascal finished with two goals and two assists. K. Ritter produced a goal, two assists and a team-best four draw controls, Mandigo recorded a pair of saves in 45:10 of action and left with the game tied at 5-5, while Madeleine Kinker (7-1) stopped three shots in the final 14:50 for the win.

Crerend finished with three goals, while Hanna Krueger '17 led all players with six draw controls. Christy Forrest '16 (5-3) took the loss allowing nine goals with four saves in 56:29 and was pulled to bring on an extra attacker with 3:31 left in the contest.

Amherst returns to the field Wednesday, April 1 and will head to Little Three rival Wesleyan for a 6 p.m. contest.