MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The seventh-seeded Amherst College women's lacrosse team received seven saves from Christy Forrest '16 and had three different players net a pair of goals, but No. 2 Middlebury College used a three-goal effort from Hollis Perticone, and the Panthers scored four unanswered goals in the final 16:31 to edge the Purple & White, 9-8 in NESCAC quarterfinal action at Kohn Field.
With the loss, Amherst moves to 9-7 overall, while Middlebury (13-2) advances to face third-seeded Bowdoin College May 2 in semifinal action at top-seeded Trinity College.
Middlebury's Mary O'Connell scored the game's first goal 4:49 into the contest before Amherst rallied to score four of the next five goals. Rachel Passarelli '16 got the Jeffs' run started with an unassisted marker before Sarah Spector '15 scored on a feed from Mia Haughton '16 to make it 2-1 at the 20:12 mark. Megan Griffin scored on a feed from Katie Ritter before Haughton and Claire Cagnassola '17 registered back-to-back goals with Haughton's coming on the free position, while Cagnassola's was aided by Passarelli to make it 4-2 with 5:42 remaining in the first half.
Just twenty seconds later, the Panthers struck back with a stretch of three unanswered goals to end the half as Laurel Pascal, Ritter and Perticone each found the back of the net to give Middlebury a 5-4 edge at halftime. Perticone assisted Pascal's score.
Forrest made four of her seven saves in the first 30 minutes of action, while Madeleine Kinker made three saves in the stanza.
Amherst bolted out of the gate to start the second half as Spector scored just 3:03 into the frame to even the game at 5-5, before a goal by Priscilla Tyler '15 following a dish from Haughton gave the Purple & White a 6-5 lead. Passarelli then found Cagnassola who scored her second at the 21:56 mark to lift the visitors to a 7-5 lead, while Passarelli finished the four-goal run with a free position marker with 19:10 on the clock to set the score at 8-5 in favor of Amherst.
Middlebury then used a four-goal run of its own stake a 9-8 advantage as Ritter and Alli Sciarretta each provided unassisted goals, before Perticone fired in the next two goals to complete the Panthers' run. Griffin assisted on Perticone's game-tying goal at the 10:43 mark, while her go-ahead goal with 7:56 to play was unassisted and proved to be the game-winner.
Trailing by a goal, Cagnassola won the ensuing draw and the Jeffs held possession in their attacking zone for the majority of the remainder of the contest. Julia Crerend '18 and Spector each had a shot blocked by the Middlebury defense, while two of Passarelli's shots were wide of target. With just six ticks on the clock, Haughton's final bid at an equalizer sailed just high as Middlebury held on for the win.
Cagnassola finished three draw controls, while senior tri-captain Meghan Mills added two.
Perticone, Pascal, and Catherine Fowler led Middlebury with three draw controls each, while Ritter and Maggie Caputi picked up two groundballs each in the win.